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Thursday, 23 April 2015

Tennis Picks 2015 (April 23rd)

Caroline Garcia - 3.5 games v Carina Witthoeft: Caroline Garcia has got something over Ana Ivanovic as she beat her for the third time in a row in the First Round which has also given her a good chance to pick up some vital Rankings point during the remainder of the week.

Any time you knock a Seed out of the draw, there will be room that is not expected in that section and Garcia has to find a way to take advantage of that now. It won't be easy with the home support that Carina Witthoeft will receive, but I think Garcia has the higher potential on a clay court with more consistency from the back of the court.

That isn't always a strength of Garcia who can quickly lose heart if things are not going completely to plan, but I still believe she can out-last Witthoeft in this match. Witthoeft was an impressive First Round winner over Mona Barthel, but she is still finding her way on the main Tour and Garcia can use her extra experience to ease through.

I will be looking for Garcia to serve well to keep the pressure on Witthoeft and eventually find her way into a 64, 64 win and a place in the next Round.

Kei Nishikori - 5.5 games v Santiago Giraldo: The last three times these players have met on the Tour has resulted in very easy wins for Kei Nishikori including when they met in the Final in Barcelona twelve months ago.

There are times that Santiago Giraldo has played at an extremely high level which takes the racquet out of his opponent's hands, but those days are not the common theme which is the reason the Colombian is not higher in the World Rankings. His erratic style can also explain why he has struggled so much against Nishikori, a player that can turn defence into attack very quickly, while also forcing opponents to hit one more ball than they would like.

Nishikori should make sure he returns plenty of serves which will force Giraldo to look to hit closer and closer to the lines and extract the mistakes that will just make the World Number 5's life that much easier.

As long as Nishikori can keep control of his own unforced errors, I think he is capable of coming through this match with some ease and a likely 64, 62 scoreline.

Victor Estrella + 3.5 games v Martin Klizan: Both of these players have won a title on the clay courts already this season and both will look at this match as a chance to progress and earn some big Ranking points.

Both Victor Estrella and Martin Klizan have come through with impressive wins under their belt as Marin Cilic and Juan Monaco were seen off respectively in the last Round. Neither player would have been a favourite to win those matches so the victory will give them a real confidence boost, although how they handle that victory is going to be important.

Martin Klizan has been in better recent form and I can understand why he has been set as the favourite, but Estralla battered him in Quito earlier this season and might be a little under-rated in this one. As much as Klizan can go through some real solid purple patches on the court, he is also never that far away from throwing in a tremendously poor set and I think Estrella doesn't go through the same peaks and troughs to the extent that Klizan does.

If Estrella can play his solid game, he should give Klizan some problems and may even take a set, if not the match, from the contest. That makes the 3.5 games he is being given look very appealing and worth backing.

Rafael Nadal - 5.5 games v Fabio Fognini: Take away the last game of the last match against Nicolas Almagro and you can't be anything but impressed in the manner of victory for Rafael Nadal. Now he gets the chance for a measure of revenge against the Italian Fabio Fognini who beat Nadal on the clay courts of Rio De Janeiro, but there were added factors going against Nadal in that match.

For example, Nadal had to play until the early hours of the morning the same day he was due back out to face Fognini and that had to have played a part in his defeat. He should be well rested this time and I also think Nadal's confidence is in a much stronger place having reached the Semi Final in Monte Carlo and finally beaten another top ten player.

You have to have respect for Fognini who is very capable on the clay courts as long as he remains mentally focused in the match and that is where the crowd comes in. They should be very pro-Nadal and that could potentially wind up Fognini and bring out the worst in his game, which won't help considering who he is facing on the other side of the court.

If Fognini does lose his mind, it might make things all the easier for Nadal and I expect the latter to move through to the Quarter Final off the back of a 64, 62 win.

MY PICKS: Caroline Garcia - 3.5 Games @ 1.92 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Kei Nishikori - 5.5 Games @ 1.92 Bet365 (2 Units)
Victor Estrella + 3.5 Games @ 1.83 Bet365 (2 Units)
Rafael Nadal - 5.5 Games @ 1.83 Paddy Power (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 2-4, - 4.56 Units (12 Units Staked, - 38% Yield)

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