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Friday, 17 April 2015

Monte Carlo Tennis Picks 2015 (April 17th)

It was more of the same on Thursday as the frustration of not doing better than 0.500 from the picks has meant the week remains in a negative.

Sometimes you have to look at things and say it is not meant to be as players have struggled to maintain their leads when they have got into those positions, but it is also feeling like a week where players I have backed have struggled to grab their break point chances, but also been broken with limited chances against them. These little things make big differences in the match and for the picks and that has also not helped, although earlier in the week I was guilty of making some poor picks so that is on me.

Tomas Berdych - 2.5 games v Milos Raonic: It has been a strange week for Tomas Berdych who has reached the Quarter Final without being at his absolute best, but he may have caught a break as he faces Milos Raonic who is dealing with some kind of foot injury.

A win would mean Tomas Berdych is the top Seeded player left in the bottom half of the draw since both Stan Wawrinka and Roger Federer were knocked out on Thursday just before they were expected to meet a year after their Monte Carlo Final.

Even though Raonic is playing with some issue that became apparent in his win over Tommy Robredo, Tomas Berdych has to serve well and keep his patience. There is no doubt that some serves will whizz by Berdych and he may have a couple of half chances quickly closed off thanks to the Raonic bombs that he can produce, but that injury has to be a concern with bigger events to come in the next month and then leading into Wimbledon at the end of June.

Raonic also has a winning record over Berdych so could have the mental edge in the match, but I do think the Czech player is the better mover on the clay courts which could ultimately be the difference between two players that look to play strike-first tennis. I will be looking for an improved performance from Berdych who hasn't played well this week, but I think Raonic could be a little passive if the injury is bothering him and it might lead to a 76, 64 win for Berdych.

Grigor Dimitrov v Gael Monfils: The layers are undecided as to which of these players are going to make it through to the Masters Semi Final and you can understand why as both Grigor Dimitrov and Gael Monfils have some impressive wins under their belt this week.

Both are also coming in off surprising wins over Stan Wawrinka and Roger Federer respectively, and both played well in those matches to think this could be a really good Quarter Final.

Gael Monfils has won the two previous matches between them, the two that have been completed anyway, including a straight sets win at the US Open last year. The Frenchman did ride his luck in that win and I think it would have been a match that Dimitrov kicked himself about in the following days.

The big question for Monfils will be to see how he backs up his win against Federer considering the two previous times he has done that in tournament play has seen him lose his next match. Granted those losses came to Novak Djokovic and Robin Soderling in Masters events, but Dimitrov is playing confidently enough to take advantage of any lull that Monfils produces.

It does look like a match that could go the distance, but I think Dimitrov has been the more consistent of the two this week and I expect him to snap his losing run to Monfils and get a little closer to reaching a Masters Final.

Novak Djokovic - 5.5 games v Marin Cilic: It was an impressive win by Marin Cilic on Thursday, but he has to snap an 11 match losing run to Novak Djokovic if he is going to make it through to the Semi Final in Monte Carlo. This has already been a positive week for Cilic who has only recently returned to the Tour from an injury lay off, but beating Novak Djokovic on current form looks an immense task.

Novak Djokovic is looking to become the first player to win the first three Masters events of the season having already taken the title in Indian Wells and Miami. He could set up a big Semi Final with Rafael Nadal by coming through this match and the form hasn't come down from Miami despite the change in surface.

Some of their previous matches have been close, even if Djokovic has come through and won those matches, and that is because Cilic has an effective return, while he can also serve some lights out stuff.

I am still not sure he is at 100% following injury and taking on the best player in the World is going to be a huge test for Cilic in this Quarter Final. Novak Djokovic will return plenty of balls and make Cilic really work in this one and I think he wears down the Croatian at where they are at the moment.

Rafael Nadal - 3.5 games v David Ferrer: It has been a long time since Rafael Nadal was as big a price as this to beat David Ferrer on a clay court, but it goes to show how much the layers have lost confidence in the former World Number 1 even on his favourite surface. However, Nadal seemed to be much happier in his press conference after his win over John Isner in the Third Round and I think he can earn some revenge for the Quarter Final defeat to Ferrer twelve months ago.

It has been a solid season for Ferrer, but he had to spend longer on the court than Nadal on Thursday and has regularly been dismissed on the clay courts when going up against his compatriot.

If Nadal is right and he has started to get his eye in on the clay, it could be incredibly tough for Ferrer to outlast him in this Quarter Final, although there should be break points for both players as neither has a dominant serve. That has been a main reason that Nadal has been able to wear down Ferrer in the past and eventually get past him fairly comfortably and it could be more of the same in this Quarter Final.

This might be a really fun match to watch in terms of the point construction, but I do think Nadal will be too good and come through 75, 63.

MY PICKS: Tomas Berdych - 2.5 Games @ 2.00 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Grigor Dimitrov @ 1.92 Coral (2 Units)
Novak Djokovic - 5.5 Games @ 1.73 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Rafael Nadal - 3.5 Games @ 1.75 Bet Victor (2 Units)

Monte Carlo Update: 7-10, - 4.32 Units (32 Units Staked, - 13.5% Yield)

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