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Thursday, 22 May 2014

Tennis Picks 2014 (May 22nd)

The French Open draw is now only twenty-four hours away and the tournaments that are being played this week are already at the Quarter Final stage. The tournaments need to be completed by Saturday as the second Grand Slam of the season starts the First Round action on Sunday.

There are a couple of big name players in action this week, but not really anyone that you would consider a contender to win in Roland Garros, so the players should be able to give their all to win a title and perhaps more money than they will in Paris next week.

Leonardo Mayer v Albert Montanes: Albert Montanes did win the title in Nice last season so will have a big motivation to defend his title this week, but I think Leonardo Mayer can produce a surprise win in this Quarter Final.

Mayer has plenty of momentum behind him having won five matches in Nice already to get to this stage, although the concern would be all that tennis causing fatigue.

He does have a good record against Montanes and Mayer has a decent clay court pedigree to think he can come through even as the underdog. The Argentinian player has a serve that could set up a few more cheaper points than Montanes and I expect there to be opportunities for both players to take control.

However, I believe Mayer has a little more quality at key moments that helps him through in three sets.

John Isner v Federico Delbonis: On a clay court, someone like Federico Delbonis will certainly feel they have a better chance in taking on John Isner and the huge serve he possesses, but the American has always said he feels comfortable on the slower surfaces.

Isner explains that his serve doesn't lose as much bite as the hard courts, while he can set up his groundstrokes a little better on the slower surface and he certainly feels he has a chance to perform on the clay courts.

He has big wins on the surface in the past having beaten Roger Federer, while also pushing Rafael Nadal to five sets in the French Open. I expect the serve to put a lot of mental pressure on Federico Delbonis whose own game is a little inconsistent and makes his serve vulnerable to being broken.

Delbonis will feel he has a real chance considering some of the losses that Isner has suffered during the clay court swing, but I would be worried about what decent servers like Ivan Dodig and Feliciano Lopez have done against the Argentinian too. I just feel he won't cope with the mental burden of keeping ahead of/up with Isner and I like the American to win a place in the Semi Final.

Carlos Berlocq v Gilles Simon: I was surprised that Gilles Simon is being set as the favourite to win this Quarter Final and have a feeling his performance against Rafael Nadal in Rome may be keeping his price artificially high.

He has been beaten in three of the last four matches against Carlos Berlocq, all on the clay courts, and I do believe the latter has a better clay court pedigree having won two titles on the surface over the last twelve months.

There should be a lot of extended rallies in the match as both players can get a lot of balls back in play, but I do think Berlocq has wrongly been set as the underdog and can eventually force enough mistakes from Simon.

Don't be surprised if there are a number of breaks of serve before it is all said and done, but Berlocq to move through is my pick from this Quarter Final.

Caroline Garcia - 1.5 games v Karin Knapp: This week has already been a productive one for Karin Knapp who snapped a long losing run on the Tour, but she may have to settle for reaching this stage of the tournament. That is because she is playing one of the form players in Caroline Garcia who is finally showing the form that had seen Andy Murray tip her as a future World Number 1 in the women's game.

There is a chance that Garcia is looking ahead to the French Open and a chance to play in front of her home support, but I think she will want to maintain the momentum that has seen her go 13-1 in her last fourteen matches.

That includes winning a title in Bogota on the clay courts and she will feel confident she can beat Knapp who had lost eight in a row prior to this week. Knapp has some easy power that will allow her to dominate some points of the match, but she can be frustrated by Garcia's defensive skills.

The Frenchwoman also has some easy power of her own and I think she will prove too much for Knapp and move through to the Semi Final.

Eugenie Bouchard - 4.5 games v Yaroslava Shvedova: Eugenie Bouchard has won her first two matches this week without breaking a sweat and while I think this one will be more difficult, I also think the Canadian comes through fairly comfortably.

Bouchard did beat Yaroslava Shvedova last month on the clay courts in a match where she took her chances and served better than her opponent.

That will be the key to this match as Bouchard should earn the easier points if she gets a decent amount of first serves into the match and that should also give her a chance to fend off more break points than her opponent.

The extra power that Bouchard has on her side of the court could prove to be the difference in a 63, 64 win.

MY PICKS: Leonardo Mayer @ 2.10 Coral (2 Units)
John Isner @ 1.80 Boyle Sports (2 Units)
Carlos Berlocq @ 2.05 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Caroline Garcia - 1.5 Games @ 1.85 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Eugenie Bouchard - 4.5 Games @ 1.90 Pinnacle (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 4-2, + 3.60 Units (12 Units Staked, + 30% Yield)

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