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Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Canadian Masters Tennis Picks 2015 (August 11th)

As I had mentioned last week, I decided to take a few days off from the tennis Tour picks after what has been an infamous month for my picks, the worst in a four year period of doing this.

Making picks isn't always a simple process because it has to be backed up by what is shown on the court, while the element of luck has to be on your side and that has definitely been deserting me.

David Goffin - 1.5 games v Steve Johnson: There are a couple of doubts surrounding both players going into this First Round match in Montreal on Tuesday. David Goffin is playing his first hard court match since March, while Steve Johnson reached the Semi Final in Washington last week and has to be feeling some fatigue from the run that ended with a tight three set loss to John Isner.

Goffin had a rest week having reached the Final in Gstaad the week prior, but he would have had to travel over to North America and try and get used to the changing conditions from the clay courts. We saw a lot of Seeds go out early in Washington on their return to the hard courts and Johnson has to be confident who is now also very close to surpassing his career-high Ranking of 37 in the World.

If Johnson continues to produce the serving he was in Washington, it will be a tough match for Goffin as his own serve is susceptible to being put under pressure. The American does have a lot of ups and downs in his own performances and I do think Goffin is capable of getting enough balls back in play against him to try and extract errors.

Last week was the first time Johnson has won more than two matches in a row on the Tour this season so he might not be used to the physical effort that takes. He has played some inspired tennis of late, especially in Washington, but David Goffin is a very tough competitor too. The Belgian player has to make sure he isn't giving games away to offer Johnson a boost in effort, but Goffin can eventually wear down Johnson in a 76, 64 win.

Fernando Verdasco + 2.5 games v Nick Kyrgios: There definitely looks to be some slipping in the Fernando Verdasco game despite it looking like this could be his best year on the Tour in terms of wins since 2012. The last month has not been a great time for the Spaniard with a couple of tough defeats on the clay courts, but I think he could thrive in this underdog position on Tuesday in the First Round.

However, I am not convinced Nick Kyrgios is right as a pretty strong favourite to win this match after taking time off the Tour since the Davis Cup in July. He has made a move by bringing in Lleyton Hewitt to join his team and offer advice, but that might take some time to pay dividends.

The feeling is that the pressure that Kyrgios has been put under by the media criticism of his behaviour on court has had an affect on him. There is a lot to like about the Kyrgios game, but if he is unfocused and throwing in a lot of errors, he could be in a real world of trouble against someone like Verdasco and that is where the games look appealing.

An upset in this First Round match wouldn't surprise me at all, but this should be a close match with a couple of points here and there making all the difference. Fernando Verdasco and Nick Kyrgios can both be guilty of playing sloppy games and it might come down to which of them is more focused on the day, but I also think the Spaniard might take advantage of any match rustiness Kyrgios displays having been off the Tour for a month.

Victor Troicki - 3.5 games v Mikhail Youzhny: Victor Troicki hasn't won a match since blowing a two set lead in the Fourth Round at Wimbledon and that also includes blowing a two set lead in the Davis Cup while leading Serbia. The question is how much that has affected Troicki mentally having fallen to Sam Groth in his first match in Washington last week, but this should be the kind of match up that suits him.

As good a career as Mikhail Youzhny has had, he looks like a player that is going on his last ride around the Tour. His losses since retiring hurt at the French Open have been very poor and even his two wins in the qualifiers might not be enough to bridge the gap between Youzhny and the best players on the Tour.

Youzhny has slipped outside the top 100 in the World Rankings and he has won just 6 of his 24 matches in the main draws this season. The wins in the qualifiers might have given him some confidence, but the Russian was beaten by Troicki comfortably last year on the hard courts of Beijing.

My worry comes from Troicki's recent performances, but Youzhny will have to be a lot better than he has been over the last couple of months to win this one you would think. Youzhny has been both upset and beaten when expected and I think Troicki will have enough to see him off in a 64, 64 win.

Vasek Pospisil - 2.5 games v Yen-Hsun Lu: The last time the Canadian Masters was played in Montreal, Vasek Pospisil reached the Semi Final in a surprising run, but he was a First Round loser in Toronto last year. He gets to face Yen-Hsun Lu for the second time in three weeks and this is bound to be another close match if the first meeting is anything to go by.

Pospisil won that match in three sets, but it was Lu who actually won more points and I imagine this will be another match that is keenly contested. Lu has also won a couple of qualifiers to get into the main draw and may feel he has the conditions figured out to try and upset the home hope, although I am of the belief that the home crowd can help Pospisil move through.

This does look like it will be the best year on Tour for Pospisil, but he has to protect his serve better if he is really going to move up the World Rankings. The return game is an obvious weakness too, and he could be under some immense pressure if Lu brings in his 'A' serving game.

However, I do feel Pospisil's first serve might be the difference maker for the second match in a row and help him move through with a 64, 76 win in this First Round encounter.

MY PICKS: David Goffin - 1.5 Games @ 1.73 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Fernando Verdasco + 2.5 Games @ 1.83 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Victor Troicki - 3.5 Games @ 1.80 Bet365 (2 Units)
Vasek Pospisil - 2.5 Games @ 1.91 Paddy Power (2 Units)

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