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Friday, 17 May 2013

Tennis Picks Rome 2013 (May 17th)

I have taken a few days off from the tennis picks simply because it felt like a strange tournament and my gut feeling has come up trumps so far. There have been a lot of withdrawals from the tournament with some big names beginning to think about Roland Garros and making sure they are ready for the second Grand Slam of the year.

Strange results have also been the order of the day with some real surprise participants in the Quarter Finals to take place today, while controversy hasn't been too far away from some of the matches played.

The biggest controversy has been the non-call Jerzy Janowicz had against Richard Gasquet at an incredibly vital time in their Third Round match. A ball that clearly hit the line was called out by the player and the umpire took his side, but it did leave a bad taste in the mouth as it is against the spirit of the game.

I don't personally know Janowicz so I can't say with any authority, but his actions following that 'call' suggests the big Pole knew EXACTLY what he was doing and I don't condone 'cheating' in any way. Unfortunately, it was 'cheating' that took Janowicz past Gasquet in the end and I think a lot of people would have taken note of that... He next faces Roger Federer and I expect the former World Number 1 to be very keen on putting a hurting on Janowicz and I really do hope he can do that.

The other big news of the week is the story about Andy Murray and whether he will compete at the French Open or not- I would still be surprised if Murray doesn't turn up at Paris and give it a shot, although the concern is getting himself ready for Wimbledon where he has a much better of actually winning the tournament.

Even if Murray was at 100%, I think it would be extremely difficult for him to win on the clay in a best of five set match as it seems there are too many players that are capable of beating him on the surface. That may play into his decision to play or not, although I also think Murray is keen on getting to the World Number 1 position and won't want to drop too many Ranking points from Roland Garros.

I think the British Number 1 will likely keep his options open and at least look at the draw- there is every chance that Murray would be in a half of the draw without Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal and that could lead to him having his best chance to reach the Final at the French Open. Again, I don't know Murray personally but he is clearly struggling with a lower back issue so it will be interesting to see whether he decides to take his place in the main draw next Friday or not.

Novak Djokovic - 4.5 games v Tomas Berdych: While Tomas Berdych has been playing consistent tennis to open 2013, he is yet to win a title and I also don't think he has been serving that well in recent weeks.

Whether there is an injury he is hiding going into the next couple of months with two Grand Slams to be played is hard to tell, but he is going to have to serve a lot better against the best returner in the Men's game at the moment.

Novak Djokovic was surprisingly beaten by Grigor Dimitrov last week in Madrid, but he has won at Monte Carlo on the clay and is still playing some very good tennis which makes him one of only two real contenders to win at Roland Garros later this month.

The World Number 1 would have covered this spread in his last five matches against Berdych since the beginning of last season and I do think he is going to have a few chances to do the same in this one. It wouldn't surprise if the first set is fairly competitive, but Djokovic to take that one and then move away from his Czech opponent in the second set for a 64, 62 win.

Rafael Nadal - 4.5 games v David Ferrer: Last week, these two Spaniards met and Rafael Nadal was given a 5.5 game handicap to surpass and failed to do so by half a game. This week, on a clay court that Nadal actually favours over Madrid, that handicap has dropped by a game and I think the layers have underestimated how tough a challenge Ernests Gulbis was in the last Round.

Maybe they think that has taken something out of Nadal, while David Ferrer was afforded a bye in the Third Round, but I think Nadal is going to be fine in this one. The match is incredibly important to Nadal as beating Ferrer will give him a chance of moving ahead of his compatriot in the World Rankings in time for Roland Garros, although Nadal will have to go through to win this event to do so.

The last four matches between the pair has seen Nadal record one set of 60 or 61 and I would be surprised if he didn't just enjoy this match up on a more traditional clay court and cover the spread this week.

MY PICKS: Novak Djokovic - 4.5 Games @ 1.92 Sporting Bet (2 Units)
Rafael Nadal - 4.5 Games @ 1.83 William Hill (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 0-3, - 6 Units (6 Units Staked, - 100% Yield)

Madrid Picks3-9, - 12.26 Units (24 Units Staked, - 51.08% Yield)
Madrid Outright Picks2-0, + 7.70 Units (4 Units Staked, + 192.50% Yield)

Season 2013+ 34.48 Units (559 Units Staked, + 6.17% Yield)

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

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