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Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Tennis Picks 2015 (June 9th)

The grass court season officially began on Monday with the first main Tour events on the surface following the end of the European clay court season.

The French Open proved to be a slightly disappointing tournament for the season totals because of the outright picks- the daily picks were actually very successful with plenty of winners through the the last week of the tournament. However, Novak Djokovic losing the Final to Stan Wawrinka in surprising fashion meant I had failed to find a winner from either the men's or women's events and that had adversely affected what was otherwise looking to be a strong second Grand Slam of the season.

The season has still moved in the right direction, but it could have been a lot stronger half way through the 2015 season, although there is still a chance for this surpass last season which is always the challenge.

There was a lot of rain around the various tournaments that were being played across Europe on Monday and that has meant some events are perhaps a little behind their schedule. It should all be moved back on track by the end of Tuesday as there is plenty of tennis to take place with tournaments trying to get through the First Round.

My concern would be with the event in Stuttgart where a lot of rain is scheduled in the back end of the week, but hopefully it will stay away long enough for these events to get through the matches they are expected to.

Adrian Mannarino - 1.5 games v Yen-Hsun Lu: After a tough clay court season, both Adrian Mannarino and Yen-Hsun Lu will be much happier being on the grass courts and both have had success in the past on the grass.

While Mannarino at least followed the Tour during the clay court season, Lu didn't really pay that much attention and only took in a couple of tournaments. That might also be better for Lu's confidence as he won't have suffered as many losses as Mannarino did, but the latter has been the improving player over the last twelve months while Lu might be at the back end of his career.

The Frenchman's lefty serve can be very effective on a low bouncing surface like grass and Mannarino has had plenty of success on the surface over the last couple of years. Lu's serve can be dangerous when he is on form, the first serve being particularly effective when he is backing it up well, but he has to mentally get over a couple of losses to Mannarino.

This match will come down to which of the players is most effective with the likely limited chances they will get to win the match, but Mannarino has enjoyed the match up with Lu and I think he holds the edge in a narrow three set win.

Nicolas Mahut - 1.5 games v Lleyton Hewitt: A few years ago, Lleyton Hewitt would be entering the grass court season with genuine belief that he could win Wimbledon and the other big tournaments in this part of the season. That is no longer the case, but Hewitt is still a danger on grass with all his experience of the surface and the fact the Australian is very comfortable playing on the surface compared with many on the Tour.

Unfortunately for Hewitt he has been given a very difficult First Round match against Nicolas Mahut who is another player that looks forward to this portion of the season. Both will likely be very happy that the grass court season has been extended, although both are perhaps past the point where they can really expect to have strong showings.

Mahut can have the edge in this First Round match now that he has won three matches on the grass and he is a previous winner of this tournament. The lack of recent matches for Hewitt would have meant he would have preferred someone who isn't as comfortable as Mahut on the grass, especially now the Frenchman has three morale boosting wins under his belt.

If Mahut serves well, he should be able to find himself in enough Hewitt service games to win this match and I do think his familiarity with the conditions makes a big difference. Hewitt was a winner when he played in Hertogenbosch in 2001, but he hasn't been here since 2002 and I just think the pressure of the Mahut serve wears him down over three sets.

Yaroslava Shvedova + 3.5 games v Eugenie Bouchard: The struggles of Eugenie Bouchard have been well documented through the 2015 season, although there have been signs that she isn't miles away from returning to some sort of form. Moving onto the grass courts should be something that works in Bouchard's favour, but she might have been hoping for a much simpler First Round match than this one.

It isn't that Yaroslava Shvedova has been in exceptional form, but the clay courts are not really suited to the way she wants to play and Shvedova has given the best grass court players plenty to think about in recent years.

Over the last couple of season, Shvedova has pushed the likes of Sabine Lisicki (twice) and Serena Williams to three sets on grass, while she did have another strong grass court season in 2014. That includes Shvedova reaching the Quarter Final here and Bouchard did lose her first grass court match last season despite coming into this part of the year in better form than this season.

I respect the fact that Bouchard reached the Wimbledon Final last year, but the Canadian hadn't shown a lot of form on grass prior to that. Add in the fact that she has lost her first match on grass in each of the last three seasons and Shvedova might even cause the upset. However, I like this amount of games as a winning set for Shvedova gives her a great chance to at least cover.

MY PICKS: Adrian Mannarino - 1.5 Games @ 1.80 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Nicolas Mahut - 1.5 Games @ 1.91 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Yaroslava Shvedova + 3.5 Games @ 2.00 Bet Fred (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 1-2, - 1.80 Units (6 Units Staked, - 30% Yield)

French Open Daily Picks Final: 47-33, + 21.90 Units (157 Units Staked, + 13.95% Yield)
French Open Outright Final: 0-6, - 17 Units (17 Units Staked, - 100% Yield)

Season 2015+ 44.85 Units (855 Units Staked, + 5.25% 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)

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