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Friday, 11 October 2013

Tennis Picks Shanghai Masters 2013 (October 11th)

It was a strange Thursday in Shanghai as a number of underdogs proceeded to make matches competitive, while some even went as far as to pull the upset.

That didn't help the picks although it has still been a strong week so far as we reach the Quarter Final stage of the penultimate Masters tournament of the season.

We also have been given a little more clarity as to which players will be going through to London for the World Tour Finals next month- Stanislas Wawrinka had a very important win over Milos Raonic which will give him a strong opportunity to get through to his first end of season appearance.

Interestingly, he will also be moving ahead of Roger Federer in terms of points earned this season after the former World Number 1 was beaten in the Third Round yesterday and that has once again raised questions as to how long Federer will continue playing.

It is about as  low as his confidence has been since he started winning Grand Slam titles and even three/four years ago, there was a different feel to watching Federer- back then he may not have been hanging with the likes of Rafael Nadal, but he wasn't losing as many matches against players he would have walked through as he is these days.

Gael Monfils isn't an average player, but he hasn't shown a lot in 2013 and other defeats to the likes of Daniel Brands, Sergiy Stakhovsky and Federico Delbonis are certainly more worrying than the one he had yesterday. Federer's confidence looks shot and he is now in a battle to make it to London at the end of the season, although he does benefit from the fact that Andy Murray has pulled out of the tournament.

I don't think anyone should tell Federer when it is time to hang up his racquet for good, but it will be interesting to see what his motivation will be to continue as he is quite a way behind the likes of Djokovic, Nadal and Murray when it comes to potential Grand Slam winners, including at his beloved Wimbledon, and the drop in the Ranking just puts up more obstacles in front of him.

For now, Federer will get to spend some time at home before the Basel tournament and then he will head to Paris in a bid to get the points he needs to finish in the top 9 of the Race to London.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga - 3.5 games v Florian Mayer: It will take three really good weeks from Jo-Wilfried Tsonga if he is to get involved in the World Tour Finals and he has a big chance to add some more points to his total by coming through this Quarter Final.

Tsonga met Florian Mayer in one of his first matches after recovering from injury which took away three months of the Frenchman's season and he had to come back from a set down to get the job done a couple of weeks ago.

I don't think Tsonga will need to go the distance this time although I don't want to under-estimate Mayer for the second time after his impressive and fairly comfortable win over David Ferrer yesterday. However, Tsonga's big game should work perfectly on these faster courts, although I am a little concerned with the return game of Tsonga which can be erratic at best.

The big first serve should set up easier points for Tsonga and I believe he should be able to come through 63, 76 as long as he doesn't waste the break point chances that come his way.

Nicolas Almagro + 3.5 games v Juan Martin Del Potro: The fans might not have been too happy to see Tommy Haas pull out of his Third Round match yesterday, but Juan Martin Del Potro would have been very happy to have the rest and recuperation time that that afforded him.

Del Potro has been suffering from a flu/cold, while he also played a lot of tennis last week and the extra day off will have aided him in his recovery, although he now faces a pretty tough test in the form of Nicolas Almagro in this Quarter Final.

The two players met in the Semi Final in Tokyo last week and it took two tie-breakers to help Del Potro go through on the way to winning the tournament and this could be another close game between them. The courts will aid both players who have big serves and heavy groundstrokes and breaks of serve could certainly be a luxury in this one.

It will be interesting to see how Almagro comes out after winning a tight Third Round match against Tomas Berdych- it was a fairly long match and with less than a day of rest, it can be tough for players to pick up their play. Neither player is likely to play with a full tank, but Almagro certainly has been playing well enough to keep this very competitive.

Novak Djokovic - 5.5 games v Gael Monfils: It was a strong display from Gael Monfils to see off Roger Federer in the Third Round, but the level certainly rises another level as he takes on Novak Djokovic in this third Quarter Final.

There was a slight injury concern for Monfils in the win over Federer, but I wouldn't read too much into that if he does take the court despite the number of injury problems he has had over the last eighteen months and this is likely to be a fascinating match.

I don't think Monfils will be able to rely on the serve to bail him out in the same manner it did yesterday as Djokovic is a far better returner than Federer is and I can see the World Number 2 forcing the Frenchman to win the points and not give up too many cheap points.

After such a big win for Monfils yesterday, it wouldn't surprise me if he struggled to match that intensity in this one and I like Djokovic to win this 64, 62.

MY PICKS: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga - 3.5 Games @ 1.85 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Nicolas Almagro + 3.5 Games @ 1.73 Ladbrokes (2 Units)
Novak Djokovic - 5.5 Games @ 2.05 Pinnacle (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 8-6, + 6.04 Units (26 Units Staked, + 23.23% Yield)

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