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Friday, 16 October 2015

Shanghai Masters Tennis Picks 2015 (October 16th)

The Quarter Finals have come around at the four tournaments being played across Europe and Asia and there are some top matches for the neutrals to enjoy, particularly those at the Shanghai Masters.

That looks like being a quality ending to the penultimate Masters of the season, although I think you will do very well to look past Novak Djokovic who has not just been winning matches, but dominating opponents over the last couple of weeks.

Precious Ranking points have been earned already by those chasing the World Tour Finals places and it will be the winner of the Kevin Anderson and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga Quarter Final that is the most likely challenger for one of the top eight spots. That makes that match even more important than simply getting to a Masters Semi Final and looks a close one to call.

The picks went 3-2 on Thursday, but it was somewhat disappointing that it wasn't a better day with two poor picks that never looked like covering.

Rafael Nadal-Stan Wawrinka Over 23.5 Total Games: This should be a very close match on Thursday between two players who have both produced some very good tennis at testing times this week. Stan Wawrinka might have lost twelve of his fourteen matches against Rafael Nadal, but he has won the two most recent ones and will be confident he can be the player to snap Novak Djokovic's run of form.

However, there is no doubting that Nadal has picked up some confidence from his run to the Final in Beijing and followed that up with two solid wins here. He has played two big servers so this is a completely different test for Nadal against an opponent who is capable of out-hitting anyone from the back of the court when he is on his game.

Both Nadal and Wawrinka had long weeks last week and I do wonder if fatigue is a potential factor and if there will be enough in the tank to come back from a set down regardless of who loses it. On the other hand, my feeling is that this is a big match for both players who are still looking to prove something to the other big names out on Tour and so I expect both to battle very much to the end.

Stan Wawrinka has won five of the last six sets these players have played against one another so I am surprised he is the slight underdog in this one. I considered backing him to win the match but I do think Nadal is playing very well at the moment and it wouldn't surprise me at all if we have to see a decider between them.

Andy Murray - 2.5 games v Tomas Berdych: Despite both of these players spending as much time in the top five of the World Rankings as they have, this will only be the third time that Andy Murray and Tomas Berdych have met this season. It is Andy Murray who leads 2-0 to level up his career head to head against Berdych and the decision of the Czech man to appoint Dani Vallverdu, Murray's former coach, hasn't worked out for him in this head to head.

Any time you reach the Quarter Finals of a Masters tournament, it does mean you have likely won some good matches in the week and that can be said for both Murray and Berdych. Andy Murray hasn't been on Tour since guiding Great Britain to the Davis Cup Final while Tomas Berdych was a tournament winner in Shenzhen, but I like Murray's chances to win this Quarter Final.

He was returning John Isner's return effectively on Thursday and so the Berdych serve won't really bother Murray and he also knows exactly what Berdych is expecting through Vallverdu. That appointment has given Murray extra motivation in this kind of match and he is usually a better player for it.

Murray has won five sets in a row against Berdych and I think he will prove too good for him again and earn another shot at trying to take down Novak Djokovic.

Venus Williams - 4.5 games v Alize Cornet: She survived her First Round match in Hong Kong by the skin of her teeth, but Venus Williams was in decent nick last time out and can pick up a big boost for her 'Race to Singapore' for the WTA Tour Finals.

Matches against Alize Cornet have been dominated by Venus Williams in the past and she has won all eight previous sets and most of those have come very comfortably. Only one of those sets have seen Cornet win as many as four games and I think the Frenchwoman has taken advantage of her draw to get to the Quarter Final.

She had been in poor form prior to this week in Hong Kong and I think it will be tough for Cornet to manage Venus Williams if the latter brings her best tennis to the court. Venus Williams does struggle for consistency these days though and so Cornet will have a chance in this one, but I like the motivation Venus is playing with as she looks to ensure a Williams sister is representing in Singapore later this month.

Williams can get the better of Cornet with her superior power but has to keep her unforced errors under control to help her move into the Semi Final behind a 63, 64 win.

MY PICKS: Rafael Nadal-Stan Wawrinka Over 23.5 Total Games @ 1.91 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Andy Murray - 2.5 Games @ 1.73 Sporting Bet (2 Units)
Venus Williams - 4.5 Games @ 1.73 Paddy Power (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 6-7, - 3.92 Units (26 Units Staked, - 15.08 % Yield)

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