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Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Tennis Picks 2015 (May 19th)

You have to be careful this week not to fall into a trap of backing a player that might have to head to Paris early for the qualifying ahead of the French Open. It will be less of a concern as the week goes on with the majority of those players likely to be out of events, but it proved to be a real issue on Monday at some of the tournaments being played.

I always wonder why players who know they need to head off early are allowed to be entered into tournaments this week as you know they are going to tank away a match at some point to prepare for that qualification coming up. That just seems really strange to me and something tournaments and the Tour have to work on together to prevent happening too often.

Janko Tipsarevic - 2.5 games v Denis Istomin: It hasn't been the most consistent return to the Tour for Janko Tipsarevic, but that has to be expected for a player that hadn't played a tournament in eighteen months.

Tipsarevic can't look back at his career with disappointment as he really did get the best out of his ability, but he clearly has made a return because he feels there is some unfinished business for him. And you can look at his return with some positives that he has won matches on his return and none of his losses has seen him outplayed to such an extent as to knock his confidence.

If Tipsarevic can bring that confidence to Geneva, I would fancy his chances to beat Denis Istomin who has slipped down the World Rankings and who has been struggling for some time on the court. The clay season has almost gone by with a lot of losses for Istomin, although I do think his game has to be respected as he has plenty of talent at his disposal.

However, Istomin's confidence has to be in a poor place and he is always liable to throw in a terrible service game or two and that might give Tipsarevic the chance to come through with a narrow 75, 64 win.

Marin Cilic - 4.5 games v Andrey Rublev: He had been awarded a Wild Card into the French Open Qualifiers this year having won the Junior title last season, but Andrey Rublev doesn't seem to have taken that. That is a surprise to me considering how much he has been playing on the main Tour and the young Russian has all the makings of someone who is going to be amongst the next generation at the top of the men's game.

He has already won a fair few First Round matches on the main Tour, including beating Jarkko Nieminen in the First Round here, while Rublev's best win has come against Fernando Verdasco in Barcelona last month.

Rublev has some power off the ground and is growing into his body, but it will be a big ask to beat the reigning US Open Champion even if Marin Cilic has been struggling to get back into the groove since his injury lay off.

Cilic has had some disappointing losses over the last few weeks and has lost 4 of his last 5 matches, but those have come at a high level for the most part and Rublev will be under pressure by the aggressive return of serve Cilic employs. It won't be easy for Cilic simply as he tries to work out what Rublev is going to bring to the court, but I think Cilic is good enough to still find a way to find a break of serve more in each set and come through 63, 75.

Nick Kyrgios - 3.5 games v Mikhail Kukushkin: He is the kind of character that tennis will love to have amongst their ranks as Nick Kyrgios will likely bring in a lot of attention for casual viewers as long as he continues progressing at his current rate. I am not convinced Kyrgios will ever become a serial winner on the Tour, but his serve will give him a chance for plenty of upset wins as shown already in his young career as he has wins over the likes of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.

The clay courts would have been expected to be Kyrgios' worst surface, but he has reached the Final in Estoril and has beaten Federer on it this season. That kind of form gives him a great chance to beat Mikhail Kukushkin who has generally struggled on clay through his career and doesn't have much form coming into this tournament.

There is no doubting the talent that Kukushkin has, but he can be so erratic with his play and can't afford to do that against a player that serves as big as Kyrgios.

As long as Kyrgios remains focused and not look ahead to the French Open, where he will be Seeded, I think the Australian has enough in his game to come through with a 63, 76 win.

Juan Monaco - 3.5 games v Sam Querrey: The American players generally are not big fans of the European clay courts and Sam Querrey is no different as he takes in a stop in Nice ahead of the French Open. Querrey has lost early in Madrid and Rome and must be looking forward to the extended grass court season before returning home for the North American hard court swing leading into the US Open.

Those faster surfaces suit Querrey as his serve really can carry him through matches, while his movement is less of an issue with rallies generally being shorter. However, on the clay those issues are exposed and someone like Juan Monaco has all the experience to find the holes in the Querrey game to move into the Quarter Final.

It has been a little bit of a disappointment for Monaco on the clay courts so far as he would have expected to have picked up more wins than he has so far since the Miami Masters when he was a surprise Quarter Finalist on the hard courts. Monaco has been guilty of missing some opportunities as he has struggled to put away opponents when they looked down and out, but he should have the edge in any of the rallies that get into five shots or more territory.

Both were impressive First Round winners, but the extra clay court nous that Monaco has should help him come through with a 64, 64 win as long as Querrey doesn't serve extra-big in this one.

MY PICKS: Janko Tipsarevic - 2.5 Games @ 1.80 Bet365 (2 Units)
Marin Cilic - 4.5 Games @ 2.10 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Nick Kyrgios - 3.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet365 (2 Units)
Juan Monaco - 3.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet365 (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 3-0, + 5.06 Units (6 Units Staked, + 84.33% Yield)

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