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Saturday, 23 April 2016

Tennis Picks 2016 (April 23rd)

I couldn't really have asked for much more from the tennis picks on Friday than what I got- there were five picks made, and all five came in as winners.

That has put the week in a position to recover from the poor Monte Carlo tournament, but there are still a couple of days to go to wind up the week.

On Saturday it is the Semi Finals being played in the four tournaments that have been going on this week and I am looking to kick on from Friday to underline the successful week.

Agnieszka Radwanska - 4.5 games v Laura Siegemund: This has been a very good week for Laura Siegemund who is playing in one of the home tournaments she is able to compete at. Siegemund has come through three Qualifiers and three main draw matches and has beaten the likes of Simona Halep and Roberta Vinci without dropping a set this week.

The German will look for another big scalp in this Semi Final and will have to be at her best to see off Agnieszka Radwanska who had an impressive win on Friday herself. Radwanska's was the last match on court so it was important for her to get through in straight sets and she will look to bamboozle Siegemund who only won one game in her only other appearance here.

I will admit that I am not always a fan of backing someone like Radwanska to cover a big spread like this one because of her serve being a weakness and thus easier to break. However she has the return game and movement around the court to force mistakes from Siegemund although the latter will feel she has gotten used to that style with the way she beat Halep and Vinci already this week.

I do think Radwanska is in the best form of those three players mentioned so Siegemund will have to be even better and I think it is the former who will win enough of the big points to come through 75, 63.

Federico Delbonis - 3.5 games v Lucas Pouille: This has been the second successful week Federico Delbonis is having on a European clay court and that will bode well for him in the coming weeks. It will give Delbonis every chance to improve his World Ranking and the Argentinian will be looking for another title having won in Casablanca a couple of weeks ago.

This looks a Semi Final he can win against the Frenchman Lucas Pouille who has had a successful week already. His win over Paolo Lorenzi might have taken something out of the tank though as Pouille as he had to come back from a set down to win in three tight sets.

While that was an impressive win from behind, Pouille will also know he will have to be better if he is going to compete with Delbonis who has been dismissing many an opponent on this surface over the last three weeks. The lefty has a decent serve which sets up his play and he has also been returning effectively and creating plenty of break points which makes him a dangerous opponent.

I think it won't be an easy match for Delbonis, but I do think he is the better player and can come through with an impressive 64, 64 win and a place in the Final on Sunday.

Fernando Verdasco - 2.5 games v Guillermo Garcia-Lopez: A battle between two Spaniards will determine the second Finalist in Bucharest and it is Fernando Verdasco who has dominated the head to head. Verdasco leads Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-3 on the head to head, but it was the latter who won their most recent match last season and he is considerably higher in the World Rankings.

Even with that in mind, I think the Garcia-Lopez serve is one that doesn't particularly have a lot of bite and it is a shot that Verdasco should be able to have some success against. While Garcia-Lopez has had success on the surface, I do think Verdasco is capable of having a number of break points in this one if he continues on the positive trend he has shown so far this week.

The win over Robin Haase was the kind of match that Verdasco has lost too often, but he battled through the first set after giving up his break of serve before looking after serve in the second set and breaking late to take the match. Those are the kinds of wins that will help Verdasco get back up the World Rankings and I do think his performances this week suggests he will have a little too much for Garcia-Lopez.

Verdasco has to stay focused when serving to not give Garcia-Lopez any encouragement and that focus should help him come through with a 76, 64 win in this one.

Benoit Paire + 4.5 games v Kei Nishikori: Benoit Paire is not someone I would be wanting to back as a favourite too often these days, but he looks to be getting plenty of games in this one against Kei Nishikori. The last two times these players have met has seen Paire come out victorious both times and the eye test suggests this is too many games being asked of the higher Ranked player to overcome.

That is not to say that Paire isn't capable of throwing in an absolute stinker of a match and being beaten 2 and 2 in this one. However he seems to enjoy the match up with Nishikori and this is a player that has performed well on the clay courts of Monte Carlo and here in Barcelona.

Nishikori is a former winner here so deserves all the respect he is being given while he is yet to drop a set this week. However he did have to save four set points against Alexandr Dolgopolov on Friday which may have turned that match completely, and Nishikori will have to be at his best to beat Paire in this Semi Final.

I will say it is hard to back Paire with a lot of confidence, but he will be a tough out for Nishikori if he is serving well and I will back him to cover with this number of games behind him, although I am not so convinced he wins the match.

MY PICKS: Agnieszka Radwanska - 4.5 Games @ 2.00 Ladbrokes (2 Units)
Federico Delbonis - 3.5 Games @ 2.00 Bet365 (2 Units)
Fernando Verdasco - 2.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet365 (2 Units)
Benoit Paire + 4.5 Games @ 2.00 Ladbrokes (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 10-4, + 9.34 Units (28 Units Staked, + 33.36% Yield)

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