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Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Tennis Picks Shanghai Masters 2013 (October 9th)

The first day of making picks from this tournament was a success and Wednesday sees a jam packed schedule as the organisers do their best to get the event back on track.

Richard Gasquet was upset in the First Round yesterday and that has dented his chances of making it through to the World Tour Finals in London, especially if Stanislas Wawrina and Milos Raonic can have strong weeks after getting through to the Second Round. The typhoon that hit Shanghai meant a lot of the matches played on Tuesday had to take place on indoor courts and we may have to see that happen again if the weather continues to make it an unplayable tournament outdoors.

John Isner - 3.5 games v Carlos Berlocq: Sometimes you just have to look at a match up and you should quickly be able to identify the difference in the ability of the two players taking to the court.

This is one such match as a motivated John Isner, who still has a chance of making it to the World Tour Finals in London, against Carlos Berlocq and I do believe the American will come through fairly comfortably in this one.

Isner has a strong serve which should set up enough easy points to hold on to that side of his game, while I do think Berlocq is someone that can play too many loose points. That cost him in the French Open when these two players met and I would be surprised if Berlocq doesn't drop serve at least once a set.

As long as Isner serves well, I think the big man comes through with a 64, 64 win.

Kei Nishikori - 3.5 games v Jurgen Melzer: These two players met in Tokyo last week and Jurgen Melzer is likely to still be kicking himself for missing out on a win over Kei Nishikori as he got to a position where he was serving for the match.

Melzer failed to do that and then quickly crumbled to defeat and I think the mental baggage from that defeat is likely to cost the Austrian the chance of picking up the surprise win in this Second Round match.

There is no doubt that Melzer is still a capable player when he finds his top game, but he is no longer a player that produces anything near the consistency to see off someone like Nishikori these days. Of course Melzer can turn back the clock at any time, but I think his three set surprise win over Ivan Dodig in the First Round is the only surprise win he will have under his belt here in Shanghai and I like Nishikori to come through 64, 63.

Fernando Verdasco + 2.5 games v Milos Raonic: Fernando Verdasco has won the last three matches played between these two players, although all of those have taken place on a clay court, but I still believe the Spaniard can cause Milos Raonic some real problems in this one.

Verdasco has a big game that will always give him a chance in matches as Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray will tell you after being pushed all the way by the former top 10 player. His lefty serve also gives him a real chance in the match as it will go into the Raonic backhand regularly and that is a wing where the big-serving Canadian can struggle for consistency.

Raonic doesn't have a great feel for the backhand and that is definitely an area of his game that needs to improve if he is to give himself a chance of winning Grand Slams in the future. The courts will aid the Raonic game and he should be able to rattle through some service games, but Verdasco is good enough to string together some winners and force this into a third set decider.

While 2.5 games doesn't look a lot at first glance, I do think Verdasco has enough to take a set and keep this competitive throughout, even in a losing effort.

Rafael Nadal - 5.5 games v Alexandr Dolgopolov: Rafael Nadal is the worst type of player for someone like Alexandr Dolgopolov to face as the former will work hard for every single point that is available. That kind of work ethic makes the bad shot-selection from Dolgopolov stand out and his love for the drop-shot could prove to be his downfall.

Nadal just won't take time off and will keep the pressure on Dolgopolov and you can see from their head to head that the World Number 1 has dominated the matches they have played against one another.

I know Nadal didn't look his best at times in Tokyo last week, but he got through to the Final there and I expect him to win one of the sets with a couple of breaks of serve behind him, helping him cover the spread in a 64, 62 win.

MY PICKS: John Isner - 3.5 Games @ 2.25 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Kei Nishikori - 3.5 Games @ 2.10 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Fernando Verdasco + 2.5 Games @ 2.00 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Rafael Nadal - 5.5 Games @ 2.20 Pinnacle (2 Units)

Shanghai Masters Update: 4-2, + 4.84 Units (11 Units Staked, + 44% Yield)

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