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Friday, 30 May 2014

French Open Day 6 Picks 2014 (May 30th)

Thursday proved to be a straight-forward day for the majority of the seeds that had to complete their Second Round matches and that made a change from three straight days of major shocks in both men's and women's events.

The same couldn't be said for the picks I made on Thursday as a mixed set of results led to a small profit, although that does mean winning ends to every day of the tournament to this point. However, there hasn't been a really big day so far and I am bound to have a day when things don't go right so I am hoping that anything like that doesn't remove the success made to this point.

With Na Li and Serena Williams both exiting the tournament, it was better news for the outright picks with the likes of Rafael Nadal and Simona Halep winning on Thursday, but both have a long way to go before they can get to the winner's enclosure.

The Third Round of the tournament will get underway on Friday as Paris has avoided some of the poor weather that had been expected at the start of the week. It is expected to warm up in the coming days which will suit Rafael Nadal and also make someone like Roger Federer that much more dangerous in the bottom half of the draw.

Roger Federer - 7.5 games v Dmitry Tursunov: These two players met on the hard courts in Indian Wells earlier this season and it needed two tie-breaks for Roger Federer to extend his record to four wins and zero losses against Dmitry Tursunov. On that occasion, Federer should have perhaps had an easier day in the office after having some success against the Tursunov serve without quite getting to the point of breaking, and I believe the clay courts will suit him even more.

There is no doubt that Tursunov has to be in decent nick having reached the Third Round here, but I also know that the next few months is when the Russian will feel much more comfortable as we get onto the grass and North American hard courts.

Tursunov doesn't have the patience to really compete on the clay and the damper conditions may make it that much harder for the Russian to look after serve against Federer in this match.

It has to be said that Federer wasn't at his best in his Second Round win, but a lot of credit has to be given to Diego Schwartzman for the performance he provided and I think Federer will be able to work through a 63, 64, 63 win.

Tomas Berdych - 3.5 games v Roberto Bautista-Agut: Over the last eighteen months, Tomas Berdych and Roberto Bautista-Agut have met three times and I am a little surprised that the latter has the winning record with two wins.

The Spaniard has the consistency that many of the better players that nation produces are capable of, but he is also one of the better defenders and that can frustrate Berdych and force errors. Bautista-Agut has a decent serve too which makes it that much harder for Berdych to fight back when he goes behind, and this is certainly going to be one of the more interesting Third Round matches on show.

Berdych will have the edge when it comes to serving and general play, but he has to keep himself in the match mentally which is something that he can struggle with. Someone has to tell Berdych that Bautista-Agut will look to frustrate by getting as many balls back in play and will likely make a few fabulous returns, but the Czech player will still prove too good if he can remain focused and not give up too many unforced errors.

You would think the previous experience of facing Bautista-Agut will help prepare Berdych and I think he comes through in four sets.

Tommy Robredo win 3-1 v John Isner: Another player that will likely have to keep his mind in the match mentally is Tommy Robredo against the big-serving John Isner who can keep himself in any contest when delivering his huge serve.

Even on the clay courts, Isner has shown his ability to take on the very best and no one will forget his five set match with Rafael Nadal here when the American held a 2-0 lead in sets. With a win over Roger Federer on a clay court in Switzerland, Isner will be confident he can spring what would be a surprise Third Round win, but I think Tommy Robredo is playing well and may have the experience to find a way through.

The danger for Robredo is pushing too much on his own serve and make too many mistakes which could give Isner a chance to win the match. However, I think Robredo can also make enough returns to bother Isner on a slightly slower court thanks to the conditions and I think the Spaniard may come through in four close sets.

Jerzy Janowicz + 5.5 games v Jo-Wilfried Tsonga: After the success of the 2013 season, Jerzy Janowicz was looking for another leap up the Rankings and move into the top 10, but it hasn't been a good season to this point.

Janowicz did at least snap a nine match losing run with his back to back wins so far in this tournament and, despite the obviously diminished confidence, I can see him giving Jo-Wilfried Tsonga a few things to think about on Friday.

That is mainly because Tsonga isn't the best returner on the Tour and has to deal with a huge first serve that Janowicz does possess, while the Pole loves getting to the net and playing drop shots to pressure his opponent.

With that serve behind him, I can see Janowicz exerting enough pressure to win a set in this match, although I am not convinced he will do enough to beat the Frenchman. Tie-breaks could also be a factor and all in all, the games being given to Janowicz look a little too many to ignore.

Sam Stosur - 3.5 games v Dominika Cibulkova: One of the dark horses to win the women's title at Roland Garros after the exits of Na Li and Serena Williams has to be former Finalist Sam Stosur who has impressively dismissed her first two opponents. On paper, the challenge of Dominika Cibulkova, the Australian Open Runner Up from January, looks far greater than what Stosur has faced, but there will be a real sense of confidence in the Australian's camp.

Stosur has dominated the head to head with Cibulkova and beat her fairly comfortably in Madrid three weeks ago and I believe she can frank that form again. As well as Cibulkova did to reach the Australian Open Final, she hasn't played that well during this clay court season nor did she really pull up trees last year.

The serve of Stosur should set up the easier points of the two and I think she is playing well enough and with enough confidence to earn another win over the diminutive Slovakian in this Third Round match.

The competitiveness of Cibulkova means she is likely to make this a very tight match and create chances, but I think she may just struggle to stay with Stosur in a 64, 64 loss.

Agnieszka Radwanska - 5.5 games v Ajla Tomljanovic: This should be a good match up for Agnieszka Radwanska against an opponent who has just struggled to take her form onto the main Tour despite looking too good for the level below.

Ajla Tomljanovic has had some good performances, most notably in taking Sloane Stephens to three sets at the Australian Open, but someone like Radwanska can expose the relative lack of consistency and has the habit of comfortably disposing of players far below her in the Rankings.

The real concern with a spread like this is the poor serve that Radwanska possesses and the chances she is likely to offer Tomljanovic in those games, but I also feel she will put plenty of pressure on her younger opponent.

I would expect Radwanska to earn enough unforced errors to win this match 64, 62 when it is all said and done and move through to the Fourth Round and the second week of the tournament.

Eugenie Bouchard - 5.5 games v Johanna Larsson: A run to the Australian Open Semi Final earlier this season open the eyes of the public to the talent of  Eugenie Bouchard and her win in Nurnberg prior to the French Open may just give her the momentum for another strong Grand Slam showing.

Bouchard has the power and the talent to beat Johanna Larsson in this Third Round match despite the Swede favouring the clay courts, and I think we will see a more complete performance than the Second Round win over Julia Goerges showed.

I do respect that Larsson got to the Final of Bastad on the clay last year, but she has struggled to put together wins this season and her back to back surprise wins in Paris are unlikely to be followed by a third.

The first set should be competitive at least, but I expect Bouchard to have too much consistency as the match continues and eventually come through 75, 62.

MY PICKS: Roger Federer - 7.5 Games @ 2.30 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Tomas Berdych - 3.5 Games @ 2.00 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Tommy Robredo Win 3-1 @ 4.33 Sporting Bet (1 Unit)
Jerzy Janowicz + 5.5 Games @ 2.00 Sky Bet (2 Units)
Sam Stosur - 3.5 Games @ 2.10 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Agnieszka Radwanska - 5.5 Games @ 1.85 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Eugenie Bouchard - 5.5 Games @ 2.10 Pinnacle (2 Units)

French Open Update: 12-9, + 5.30 Units (40 Units Staked, + 13.25% Yield)

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