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Thursday, 18 April 2013

Tennis Picks Monte Carlo 2013 (April 18th)

The tournament here in Monte Carlo continues to see some surprising results as the likes of Novak Djokovic and Tomas Berdych were pushed hard in their opening matches, although that could be down to the fact they are playing their first clay court matches of the season.

I haven't seen much of the Novak Djokovic match today, but I have read that he was looking a little tired and didn't play his best tennis. However, Peter Fleming put it best when he said that this is likely to be the worst tennis the World Number 1 will play this week as he gets more comfortable on his ankle and the strength returns after not playing much tennis since the Davis Cup tie in the United States.

He did lose the first set today, but the fact that Djokovic recovered to win in three sets could bode well for him through the rest of the week, although the man to beat remains Rafael Nadal after his devastating performance in the Second Round.

Grigor Dimitrov - 3.5 games v Florian Mayer: I have said many times on this blog that Florian Mayer is a very awkward player to face as he has a very unique game with all the slice and variations he uses.

However, Grigor Dimitrov has played him once before, a three set defeat on the clay courts a couple of seasons ago, and that should stand him in good stead for this match. I also think Dimitrov has vastly improved in the last couple of years and definitely looks like 2013 could be a breakthrough year for the young Bulgarian of whom so much is expected and the draw is open for a little run here in Monte Carlo.

Dimitrov has had a couple of straightforward wins this week, while Mayer has had to battle through in three sets in both matches. While it is impressive that Mayer has found a way to get through and win those matches, I think it will be a lot more difficult against Dimitrov in the form the latter is displaying.

I expect these players will be going in opposite directions in the Rankings too this season and I think the Bulgarian wins this 6-4, 6-3.

Andy Murray - 3.5 games v Stanislas Wawrinka: This is not an easy clay court match as I mentioned yesterday that Stanislas Wawrinka is very comfortable on the surface, but I do think if Andy Murray serves well, he should be able to come through with some relative comfort.

Both players will be well aware of what the other brings to court and I do think there will be a few breaks of serve, but Murray has won all three meetings since his surprise loss to Wawrinka at the US Open in 2010.

Even though Wawrinka has won both times they have played on clay, it has to be remembered that those matches came in 2008 and earlier and I do think Murray is a vastly improved player on the surface. If this match had been played yesterday and was the World Number 2's first game on the clay, it would definitely be a more dangerous match, but I think he has his feet underneath the surface.

Motivation will also be extremely high as Murray will retain his World Number 2 Ranking if he wins this match and I think he can get over this cover. It might take three sets, but I believe Murray has enough in him to win one set fairly comfortably and that should be enough to cover these games.

Juan Martin Del Potro - 5.5 games v Jarkko Nieminen: Juan Martin Del Potro just about got through his Second Round match, but I do think this match up favours him a lot more than the previous one against Alexandr Dolgopolov.

Del Potro is comfortable on the clay courts which do give him enough time to wind up his big shots and he has the consistency to really hurt Jarkko Nieminen whose second serve can be a liability on most surfaces, especially the clay courts where it sits up to be punished.

It does look a bit amount of games to be covered if I am honest, but I do think Del Potro is capable of grabbing a double break in one of the sets and that could be enough to get the job done. I am looking for the big Argentine to make a faster start than he did in the Second Round and I think he will be a little more ruthless when he is presented opportunities on the Nieminen serve than Milos Raonic was in the last Round.

It is possible this ends with a 6-3, 6-3 win for Del Potro to move to six straight wins over Nieminen.

MY PICKS: Grigor Dimitrov - 3.5 Games @ 1.73 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Andy Murray - 3.5 Games @ 2.14 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Juan Martin Del Potro - 5.5 Games @ 2.25 Pinnacle (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 4-7, - 7.58 Units (22 Units Staked, - 34.45% Yield)

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