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Thursday, 24 September 2015

Tennis Picks 2015 (September 24th)

It was a very good day for the picks on Wednesday as all three made from Tokyo and St Petersburg came through as winners and all relatively easily too.

Even the three set win for Angelique Kerber saw her lose just one game in the final two sets against Madison Brengle and move through to the Quarter Final and it means a positive start to the week.

I will be concentrating on the two ATP tournaments on Thursday as Second Round action is concluded in Metz and St Petersburg and my four picks come from those two tournaments.

Nicolas Mahut v Adrian Mannarino: The layers have set this as a virtual pick 'em contest between two home favourites and I think the edge should be given to Nicolas Mahut.

The indoor hard court conditions should favour the big serve and willingness to get to the net wherever possible and Mahut is a former Semi Finalist here. He will look to use the serve to keep Adrian Mannarino under pressure although the latter is an improving player on the Tour and was a very comfortable winner in the First Round.

However, it has to be said that Mannarino is not particularly fond of indoor hard court tennis simply because he doesn't have the same weight of shot as others on the Tour. The indoor conditions means Mannarino generally doesn't get the same time to get around the court and he has struggled in Metz since his first appearance.

In that first appearance, Mannarino reached the Semi Final in Metz, but three First Round exits followed before beating Vincent Millot in the First Round a couple of days ago. Mahut did win his match comfortably on Wednesday so doesn't have the same rest, but he has won 4 of 5 previous matches against Mannarino and I think he can find a way to win this match.

Philipp Kohlschreiber - 4.5 games v Paolo Lorenzi: Twelve months ago, Philipp Kohlschreiber beat Paolo Lorenzi 63, 75 in Metz and I think he can make it two out of two at this tournament against the Italian.

There is no doubt that Kohlschreiber is on the way down in his career, but he had a couple of morale boosting Davis Cup wins over the weekend and is definitely the better indoor and hard court player in this Second Round match. He is playing an opponent who spends about 90% of his time on the clay courts and Kohlschreiber should have enough weight of shot and consistency to keep Lorenzi on the back foot in this one.

Lorenzi perhaps took advantage of Steve Darcis who won the fifth rubber in the Davis Cup Semi Final for Belgium, but he won't have the same fortune in the draw in the Second Round. The Italian does work hard on the court, but his serve is a potential weakness and that is a problem on the indoor hard courts where one break of serve can be enough to ensure the set is won.

It was a close match when they met last year, but I expect this one will be too. However, I think Kohlschreiber will have the more opportunities to break serve and can come through this match with a 64, 63 win.

Gilles Simon - 4.5 games v Edouard Roger-Vasselin: Two more French players will meet one another for a place in the Quarter Final in Metz and Gilles Simon has really enjoyed his time here having won the title twice before. This is his first match since the US Open which is where Edouard Roger-Vasselin will try to exploit his advantage.

Roger-Vasselin had to come through the Qualifiers to get into the main draw so has had three wins this week, so his confidence has to be in a good place taking on Simon. He hasn't beaten his higher Ranked compatriot in a professional match though and Simon was a comfortable winner over him on the indoor hard courts in Marseille earlier this season.

It was a closer match than the scoreline might have indicated, but Simon dominated the points against the Roger-Vasselin second serve and that is where he will look to dominate again in this Second Round match. He works hard and will look to wear down Roger-Vasselin and Simon does have the advantage when it comes to movement and being able to defend his position on the court.

Simon's serve is always a weakness that will give opponents a chance as he has to work hard for all of his points, but he should have enough know-how on the court to break down Roger-Vasselin. After a fairly long couple of sets, I like Simon to come through 63, 64 in this one.

Evgeny Donskoy + 3.5 games v Milos Raonic: This is a home tournament for Evgeny Donskoy and that should produce plenty of motivation for him to have as deep a run as possible here.

Facing the Number 2 Seed Milos Raonic is a difficult Second Round test, but Donskoy does have a couple of things going for him.

First of all is Donskoy has won a match here already and so he should be accustomed to the conditions while knowing the fans will give him plenty of support. Second this is Milos Raonic's first match since the US Open when he was suffering with some issues with his back and it has to be a question mark as to whether he is truly ready to go.

Tie-breakers are a real possibility in this match and it does feel Donskoy is getting too many games if the Canadian is not ready for a competitive match. Underestimating Donskoy won't work for Raonic and this has all the makings of a close match that should see the Russian stay within the number even if he loses the match.

I genuinely believe Donskoy has a chance of perhaps pulling the upset, but I will take the security of the games in this Second Round match.

MY PICKS: Nicolas Mahut @ 2.00 Ladbrokes (2 Units)
Philipp Kohlschreiber - 4.5 Games @ 1.83 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Gilles Simon - 4.5 Games @ 2.10 Bet365 (2 Units)
Evgeny Donskoy + 3.5 Games @ 2.00 Sky Bet (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 3-0, + 5.24 Units (6 Units Staked, + 87.33% Yield)

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