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Monday, 20 May 2013

Tennis Outright Picks (May 20-26)

The back to back Masters tournaments have been completed and the path to the French Open has been set for most of the big names in the Men's and Women's draws.

Rafael Nadal won both tournaments in Madrid and Rome and that has enabled him to move back up to the World Number 4 Ranking and also avoids the possibility of him having to face one of his main rivals as early as the Quarter Finals at Roland Garros. Since losing the Final in Monte Carlo, Nadal has won three straight tournaments and will surely go into the French Open as the favourite to hold on to his crown as the 'King of Clay'.

He dismantled Roger Federer in the Final of Rome and although Federer was positive about his state of mind going into the French Open, I don't consider the 2009 Champion to be a real threat to win the tournament this season. He has failed to win a title this season, the first time he goes into Paris without a title since 2000, and Federer would certainly be a big underdog to beat either Nadal or Novak Djokovic if they meet in the French Open.

The Woman's draw also looks like it will be fairly predictable as Serena Williams continues to dominate all of her rivals. Serena won both the big events in Madrid and Rome and the undisputed World Number 1 has not lost since the Final of Doha back in February.

The French Open has not been kind to Williams in the past, but I would find it tough to look beyond her at the moment. If Serena is surprised, as she was twelve months ago, I would guess Maria Sharapova or Victoria Azarenka are the most likely winners and there aren't too many other players that are in this draw that have shown any form to suggest they can win a Grand Slam title.

The draw for the French Open will be made on Friday with the tournament to begin next Sunday. That means most of the big names are taking a week to get their minds and bodies ready for the two week Grand Slam slog, although there are still four tournaments taking place this week.

I am only making an outright pick from one of those events and I couldn't make a strong case for any player in the other events taking place this week.

ATP Dusseldorf
This is the first time that the tournament in Dusseldorf is in a traditional form as it was the home of the World Tennis Team Championships in previous seasons. The two home players, Tommy Haas and Philipp Kohlschreiber will both feel they can win this inaugural tournament, but they are both in the tougher bottom half of the draw.

Both the German players are in the top three of the outright markets this week, but I think it could make more sense to back Juan Monaco, the player splitting the two home players in the market.

Monaco hasn't had the best of seasons, but he has shown some signs of getting back to form in recent weeks. The clay courts remain Monaco's best surface and he has been beaten in close matches by players that have gone on to show some very good form in his last two tournaments.

This time, Monaco is given a decent start to the tournament here with a bye through to the Second Round and then facing an opponent that he would be a big favourite. The Quarter Final could pose problems if he goes up against Nikolay Davydenko, a player that has a strong head to head record against Monaco and is certainly capable of outhitting him off the ground.

However, if Monaco can get through that test, he can go all the way at a venue where he previously won with Argentina in 2010. I do think Monaco is worth having a small interest in to win the event here this week at the prices available.

MY PICKS: Juan Monaco @ 5.00 Bwin (1 Unit)

Rome Picks0-5, - 10 Units (10 Units Staked, - 100% Yield)

Season 2013+ 24.48 Units (569 Units Staked, + 4.30% Yield)

Season 2012+ 49.21 Units (855 Units Staked, + 5.76% Yield)
Season 2011+ 82.02 Units

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