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Saturday, 20 April 2013

Tennis Picks Monte Carlo 2013 (April 20th)

One of those weeks where you feel you have taken one step forward and two steps back... That pretty much sums up the week in Monte Carlo where a lot of the favourites have struggled as many players are in their first clay court matches of the 2013 season.

It is funny to think that someone like Novak Djokovic or Andy Murray would not have played much, if any, tennis on the clay courts since the French Open in May/June 2012 and so it isn't overly surprising that the players have had a tough time understanding the movement and feeling comfortable on the court.

That was one of the reasons why Rafael Nadal, who took part in the clay court events in South America before Indian Wells, was a huge favourite to continue his domination of the tournament here, although I don't think the Spaniard would have been expected to have been pushed as much as he was in the Quarter Final against Grigor Dimitrov.

The talented Bulgarian had a real chance to surprise Nadal as the third set was very close, but I still think that is another breakthrough for Dimitrov who has already given Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray all they can handle earlier in the season. Dimitrov looks set to make some real waves on the Tour and I think anything less than a top 20 Ranking at the end of the season would be seen as a disappointment.

Rafael Nadal - 5.5 games v Jo-Wilfried Tsonga: If Jo-Wilfried Tsonga brings his 'A' game, he will be able to do enough to cover the spread here, although I don't think there is too much of a chance that he can surprise Rafael Nadal with the backhand being too much of a weakness that can't be hidden on a clay court.

There have been times when Tsonga seems to lose the mental concentration in matches and he will be punished by Nadal in this one if he does, especially if he produces the tennis that cost him the first set against Stanislas Wawrinka yesterday.

I am expecting Nadal to play this match with a lot of balls being hit to the Tsonga backhand to open up the court and I expect the Spaniard to dictate most of the rallies. If the Frenchman serves big, he may be able to get out of games, but the forecast suggests the court will play very slowly and I just think everything dictates to a fairly routine win for Nadal.

Nadal should also be able to punish the second serve and I do think it will be an easier match than yesterday and he will come through 6-2, 6-4.

MY PICKS: Rafael Nadal - 5.5 Games @ 2.10 Bet 365 (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 6-10, - 9.72 Units (32 Units Staked, - 30.38% Yield)

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