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Monday, 13 April 2015

Monte Carlo Tennis Picks 2015 (April 13th)

The first Masters event on the clay courts actually began with a few First Round matches on Sunday, but the main bulk of this Round will be played on Monday as a full schedule takes place through the day.

Most of the top players won't be in action until Tuesday or Wednesday as they are given a bye in the First Round, but it is interesting to see Novak Djokovic as a fairly strong favourite to win the event. Some of that is down to the fact that Rafael Nadal hasn't won the event in Monte Carlo in the past two years and Novak Djokovic is a former winner here, while the other element is clearly the form of the two players who are Seeded for a Semi Final match next weekend.

Jerzy Janowicz + 2.5 games v Fabio Fognini: If Fabio Fognini has his mind on the task at hand, he can come through this First Round match back on his favoured surface without too many problems. However, when is Fognini ever truly focused on his match?

The serve of Jerzy Janowicz could frustrate the life out of Fognini if the Italian begins to get down on himself, although you have to expect the return to the clay courts will only be a good thing for Fognini. The problem for him might be that he has done a lot of losing recently since being defeated in the Rio De Janeiro Final and he has yet to win a match since then.

Despite all the energy and emotion that Janowicz brings to the court, he has really slipped off the standard he had set for himself eighteen months ago, although most keen observers of tennis may feel he is more at the level he should be with his current World Ranking. The big serve does give Janowicz some cheap points, but he has a tendency to go too big on the second serve which leads to double faults, while he doesn't always protect the serve by going to the drop shot far too often.

It won't work against the speed of Fognini who is very comfortable on the clay, but I do think Janowicz will have a real chance to win at least one set and might be able to win that set big enough to keep within this number. I think this might be a frustrating match to watch at times with both players perhaps missing chances to control the match, but it could end with a 63, 26, 64 kind of win for Fognini so I will recommend taking the games.

Steve Johnson + 2.5 games v John Isner: The American players on the ATP Tour might be some way from challenging for the major Grand Slam prizes, but one consistency with some of their legends from the past is the difficulty they have in transitioning their game onto the clay courts in Europe.

They have also spoken of the difficulty in playing fellow Americans on the Tour as they have close relationships with one another so it might be a really tough day in the office for Steve Johnson and John Isner in Monte Carlo.

It should be a close match too as neither of these players is that comfortable on the clay courts and both had disappointing losses in Houston last week. It was a surprise that Isner decided to begin his clay court preparation here this year, while Johnson's most productive efforts on the surface have come in Challenger events.

The Isner serve should be more effective on the clay than the Johnson one and that might give the higher Ranked player the edge, but I think he might find it mentally tough playing against his compatriot. Isner has also been a little off his game in recent weeks if you ignore the run to the Semi Final in Miami and their two previous matches have been very close.

As long as Johnson doesn't overplay off the ground, he has every chance to force this to be a very competitive match in the final match on the main court on Monday.

MY PICKS: Jerzy Janowicz + 2.5 Games @ 2.00 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Steve Johnson + 2.5 Games @ 2.00 Bet365 (2 Units)

Weekly Picks Final8-7, + 0.86 Units (30 Units Staked, + 2.87% Yield)

Season 2015+ 37.13 Units (517 Units Staked, + 7.18% Yield)

Season 2014+ 45.05 Units (1586.5 Units Staked, + 2.84% Yield)
Season 2013+ 21.74 Units (1251.5 Units Staked, + 1.73% Yield)
Season 2012+ 49.21 Units (855 Units Staked, + 5.76% Yield)
Season 2011+ 82.02 Units

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