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Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Rome Tennis Picks 2015 (May 12th)

Monday's picks began brilliantly, but it was my decision to pick three Italian players that let me down as two of those lost outright, although Fabio Fognini did come through at the end of the day to ensure a winning start to the tournament in Rome.

After a solid week in Madrid, this is a week where I would like to end with another positive to add to the season totals and then I can begin to get ready for the French Open which is fast approaching. Tennis picks from the tournaments next week might not be so frequent simply as most of the top players will not be in action and it is hard to know what motivation players have until later in the week when a potential title looms.

Before that it would be about players looking ahead to the second Grand Slam of the season.

Carla Suarez Navarro - 5.5 games v Mona Barthel: One of the most in-form players in the first part of the 2015 season begins her campaign in Rome in one of the first matches to take to the court on Tuesday. Carla Suarez Navarro has beaten the players she has been expected to and that has moved her into the World Top Ten, although I still remain unconvinced that the Spaniard truly believes she belongs at the top of the women's game.

That has seen her come up short against some of the biggest names on the Tour, but Mona Barthel won't be the kind of player that intimidates Suarez Navarro in the form she has displayed through 2015.

It is all the tougher for Barthel considering her run of four losses in a row on the clay courts with the last couple of losses coming by wide margins. She is going to struggle with the consistency Suarez Navarro will bring off the ground and from both wings, although the Suarez Navarro serve can be a weakness at times especially if Barthel gets her eye in.

Even that might not be enough and I do think Suarez Navarro is capable of producing a 64, 62 win.

Timea Bacsinszky - 3.5 games v Sabine Lisicki: It is funny to think how little moments can change a career, but Timea Bacsinszky could easily have been a former tennis player at this point although she decided to knuckle down and give it one more big effort.

It has paid off for Basinszky who has been winning titles this season and she is getting very close to cracking the top 20 in the World Rankings which would be an impressive turnaround of fortunes. I think she has heavy groundstrokes which should give Sabine Lisicki some problems in this one, while her movement is perhaps a little under-rated.

As impressive as Lisicki's win over Sloane Stephens was in the First Round, the clay court season isn't usually her best time of the season and the German has been struggling for consistency. Lisicki doesn't have the patience to really get things going on the clay and I think Bacsinszky will be too good for her when it is all said and done.

If Bacsinszky can serve well, I like her winning this match 64, 64.

Marin Cilic - 1.5 games v Guillermo Garcia-Lopez: There is still plenty of room for improvement for Marin Cilic on his return to the Tour and this match against Guillermo Garcia-Lopez is anything but a straight forward one for him.

However, I think there have been signs that Cilic is not too far away from finding something like his best tennis and he will need that if he is to progress to the Second Round. He will benefit from the fact that Garcia-Lopez is unlikely to earn too many cheap points behind the serve, but Cilic will have to serve well himself if he is to see off the Spaniard.

Garcia-Lopez is very comfortable on the clay courts having won a title and reached the Semi Final of another event already in 2015, but I think Cilic has enough in his game off the ground to win the match and move through.

It could go three sets before the match is decided, but I like Cilic's chances to come through with a 46, 63, 64 win.

Stan Wawrinka - 3.5 games v Juan Monaco: Personal problems have been blamed for Stan Wawrinka's inconsistent results through the 2015 season, but I think it is more to do with the way the Swiss Number 2 approaches tennis that his results have been so up and down. When Wawrinka is on form, he is near unplayable, but his dips can see him go through a rash of unforced errors and that is a reason he has been struggling to get to the business end of tournaments.

However, this match up looks a good one for Wawrinka who has won all four previous matches against Juan Monaco and who dominated him when they met in Monte Carlo last month.

Monaco is a very good clay courter, but the power is going to come from Wawrinka's side of the court and the latter also has the serve that can offer up some cheaper points, while Monaco has to work hard for everything he earns.

It is a worry for Wawrinka fans that his inconsistencies show little sign of improving, but I think he will feel comfortable in this match and come through 64, 63.

David Ferrer - 3.5 games v Richard Gasquet: Richard Gasquet has won a title on the clay courts of Estoril already this season, but it will take something really special for him to challenge for the French Open title later this month. The Frenchman is one of the best shot-makers on the Tour, but Gasquet will have to be at his very best to beat David Ferrer, even if the latter hasn't shown a lot of consistency in his performances in recent weeks.

This match will be a serious grind for both players as the rallies become extended, but Gasquet will believe he can have the edge thanks to already playing a match here this week. However, I think Ferrer is the better clay court player and should be a little too good as long as he serves better than he has in Barcelona and Madrid.

Gasquet may have won the last two matches between these players, but it is Ferrer who won the two previous clay court matches and I do think the longer rallies will favour him. He can wear down Gasquet physically in this match and that should give Ferrer the advantage the longer these two spend on court.

After a close first set, I expect Ferrer to work his way through with a 76, 63 win.

MY PICKS: Carla Suarez Navarro - 5.5 Games @ 1.92 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Timea Bacsinszky - 3.5 Games @ 1.73 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Marin Cilic - 1.5 Games @ 1.80 Sky Bet (2 Units)
Stan Wawrinka - 3.5 Games @ 1.85 Betfair Sportsbook (2 Units)
David Ferrer - 3.5 Games @ 2.00 Bet Fred (2 Units)

Rome Update: 4-2, + 3.26 Units (12 Units Staked, + 27.17% Yield)

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