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Friday, 6 February 2015

Tennis Picks 2015 (February 6th)

I can only describe it as a frustrating Thursday afternoon with one pick coming in but two losing from what looked like very strong positions. Gilles Muller won the first set 63 and was 42 up in the second set tie-break and looked set to move through to the Quarter Finals, but fell apart from that position and was eventually beaten in the third set.

Ivan Dodig seemed to be creating break point after break point from the end of the first set through to the middle of the second set- unfortunately he couldn't win the first set and then made far too many errors in the decider and was knocked out of the event.

Fernando Verdasco is completing his match against Gerald Melzer in the early hours of the morning so hopefully he can at least split the picks for Thursday.

Richard Gasquet - 3.5 games v Denis Istomin: Denis Istomin was the beneficiary of one of the most controversial retirements you are likely to see through the 2015 season- Malek Jaziri pulled out after taking the first set because the winner was due to play Dudi Sela and the Tunisian has previous in trying to avoid meeting an Israeli player on the Tour.

That is pretty disgusting that sport can't overcome prejudices, but Istomin has taken advantage by moving through to the Quarter Final against home hope Richard Gasquet. The Frenchman has enjoyed playing in Montpellier in the past and he was an easy winner in the Second Round.

After a down 2014, Gasquet has opened 2015 with some renewed confidence that comes from feeling a lot better with the back which had been giving him some problems. He should get the better of the rallies in this one unless Istomin brings his absolute best to the court, but that has been a rare sight in recent months.

Gasquet has dominated the head to head and beat Istomin three times last year despite not being at his best. I would imagine he can secure a 63, 76 kind of win in this one.

Gael Monfils - 3.5 games v Steve Darcis: One of my reasons that I wasn't interested in backing Gael Monfils to defend his title in Montpellier is the slow start he has made to the 2015 season, but I do think the Frenchman has too much talent and athleticism for Steve Darcis.

Darcis will always be remembered for his victory over Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon a few seasons ago, but that really hasn't been backed up by him and the majority of his success has been in the levels below the main ATP Tour.

It has been a good week for Darcis who has come through qualifiers to reach this Quarter Final, but he hasn't had to beat someone as good as Monfils and I just think the frustration of trying to hit through Monfils is too much. There will be times Darcis has success doing that, but the mental pressure of having to hit one more shot will likely eventually break him in my opinion.

After a tight first set, I expect an early break to set Monfils on his way and to move through to the Semi Final with a 64, 63 win behind him.

Andreas Seppi - 2.5 games v Ricardas Berankis: Ricardas Berankis had to dig deep to knock out one of the Seeds in the draw, but he has to go back to well to try and beat Andreas Seppi in the Quarter Final. Seppi was largely disappointed with his performance against James Ward in the Second Round, but did get through and backed up his strong showing at the Australian Open.

I'd expect Seppi will be able to get more out of his return of serve than Muller did in the last two sets of his match against Berankis and that should give him a good chance of winning this match. The Italian will be looking for more out of his serve though, especially if he wants to make this an easier day in the office than he had on Thursday.

There will be some long rallies in this one and it might even come down to which of these players have recovered the best from their efforts on Thursday. At least Seppi got a few more hours to get his recovery going and I think his added experience comes through.

This is the time of the season when Seppi has to take advantage of his good form to try and move up the Rankings and earn 'easier' draws as the Tour moves forward. As well as Berankis did to come back and beat Muller, he could easily have been out of the tournament in the second set tie-break and I look for Seppi to come through 64, 67, 64.

MY PICKS: Richard Gasquet - 3.5 Games @ 1.73 Bet365 (2 Units)
Gael Monfils - 3.5 Games @ 1.80 Sky Bet (2 Units)
Andreas Seppi - 2.5 Games @ 1.73 Paddy Power (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 3-4, - 2.54 Units (14 Units Staked, - 18.14% Yield)

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