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Saturday, 6 February 2016

Tennis Picks 2016 (February 6th)

I have to be a little frustrated with the way the picks went on Friday as it was the second day in a row when players missed not one or two chances to break serve, but what felt like hundreds of chances.

It was epitomised half way through the day when I tweeted out that my players had gone 4/29 on break point chances compared with their opponents who had gone 8/19. That is hard to accept because it clearly looks like the chances are being created but players are not quite getting over the line.

Add in a Feliciano Lopez retirement when two games from losing the match and it was a bad day wit very little luck going my way.

Saturday is all about the Semi Finals in Montpellier, Quito and Sofia as the week winds down with the first ATP 500 event of the season beginning next week in Rotterdam. There is also a big Premier Event on the WTA in St Petersburg as that Tour returns following Fed Cup action which dominated the end of this week.

Richard Gasquet - 3.5 games v Dustin Brown: He will forever be remembered for beating Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon, but Dustin Brown could have a more memorable week for himself if he can win the title in Montpellier. He has never before reached the Final of a Singles tournament on the main ATP Tour and he can start improving his World Ranking with a victory over Richard Gasquet in the Semi Final.

To be fair, Brown is the outsider of the four players left in the draw, but he has had a strong week after come through the Qualifiers to enter the main draw. He won the first two matches in the main draw as the underdog including a straight sets win over Gilles Simon, but Richard Gasquet is the toughest challenge he has faced this week.

The home favourite rode his luck at times in the second set against Marcos Baghdatis but still managed to come through in straight sets. Gasquet actually played well and looks to be over the back injury that forced him out of the first month of the 2016 season and I do think he will be able to contain the Brown game.

That is the key for Gasquet to make sure he looks after his own serve and then wait for the chances to come on the Brown serve. We have all seen 'Dreddy' serve incredibly well, but he is also likely to throw in a number of double faults.

If Gasquet can begin to get a read on the Brown serve and where it is going, he can make enough balls back to force Brown into difficult volleys. He might take a little time doing that, but I think Gasquet has looked good in the the first two matches and can win this one 64, 64.

Gilles Muller + 2.5 games v Roberto Bautista Agut: This looks a solid Semi Final as two players who have begun this season in decent form meet for the right to play in the Final on Sunday. Roberto Bautista Agut already has a title in the bag and had a strong showing at the Australian Open which makes it hard to oppose him, but I think Gilles Muller has been playing some very solid tennis himself this week and can keep this competitive if not win outright.

The first serve could be the key for Muller as it has been for much of the week and he had an impressive win over Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in the Quarter Final. Muller will need the first serve to be working because Bautista Agut has a very solid return game and is capable of frustrating opponents with his movement and ability to make them play one more shot.

His own serve is pretty effective, but the second serve is where Bautista Agut can have problems and there is the chance he is undercooked having had just one match this week. At least he got to see a lefty serve in the Quarter Final which may help Bautista Agut recognise the angles that Muller is throwing at him, but it looks a very close match which makes these games appealing.

Bautista Agut has won the last four tie-breakers he has played which makes him particularly dangerous for Muller, but I will take the games in this Semi Final in Sofia.

MY PICKS: Richard Gasquet - 3.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Gilles Muller + 2.5 Games @ 1.91 William Hill (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 11-11, - 2.74 Units (44 Units Staked, - 6.23% Yield)

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