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Saturday, 9 April 2016

Tennis Picks 2016 (April 9th)

Another busy day in the tennis world as the tournaments wind down and the ATP Tour moves onto the first Masters event on the clay courts in Monte Carlo.

The Semi Finals in Casablanca, Charleston, Houston and Katowice take place on Saturday and I have picks from some of those matches.

Federico Delbonis - 4.5 games v Albert Montanes: This has been a strong week for Albert Montanes who has begun the slide out of the main Tour events. The veteran has yet to drop a set this week but the challenge increases in magnitude as he gets ready to face Federico Delbonis for a place in the Final on Sunday.

It is a big ask for Montanes who has lost all three previous matches against Delbonis and has yet to win a set. Most of those wins have come fairly comfortably for the Argentinian and I am backing Delbonis to be able to cover the number in this one.

2016 has not been a very strong season for Delbonis, but the next few months are going to be key for him as the Tour moves onto the clay courts in Europe ahead of the French Open. This should be the time of the season when Delbonis can put together some strong results and move his Ranking in a positive direction and he has to be looking at this tournament as one he can win to build momentum.

His serve is a little more secure than Montanes and I expect Delbonis will have the majority of break point chances in this one. If he can produce his best tennis at those critical moments, I expect Delbonis will win this one 63, 64 to move into the Final.

Borna Coric - 1.5 games v Jiri Vesely: Two younger players on the Tour will be looking to reach a Final at the start of the European clay court season which could help them improve their World Rankings in the coming weeks. Out of the two players, Borna Coric looks the more secure and able to reach his potential than Jiri Vesely who has struggled for consistency at this level.

It has been an 'easy' draw for Coric who has had to win just one match to reach the Semi Final while his opponent has won three matches to join him at this Stage.

That might mean Coric is a little undercooked for the Semi Final, but the other side of the coin is that he should be physically fine to compete. Both players are comfortable on the clay courts, but I think Coric has the better movement and that might give him the edge on this surface.

Vesely is the taller player, but I think he is still trying to find the best way to get more out of his first serve and that can be an issue on the slower surfaces for him. I can see Coric earning more points behind his own first serve and I think it will be a battle to the end with the Croatian player earning his way to a 76, 64 win.

Feliciano Lopez - 1.5 games v Juan Monaco: This has been a good week for both Feliciano Lopez and Juan Monaco with only one set dropped between them in five wins to reach the Semi Final. Both should be familiar with one another as former Doubles partners and veterans of the Tour and both will be looking to win the tournament this week in Houston to put some vital Ranking points on the board.

It is Lopez who has won the majority of their previous meetings which isn't a big surprise to me. While his return game isn't the best, Lopez has a very solid serve and that puts the pressure on Monaco whose own serve can be a weakness and I expect that will be the reason the Spaniard moves into the Final in this one.

The surface in Houston is playing faster than most clay courts and that will only favour Lopez a little more and force Monaco to try and stay with him on the scoreboard. The sliced return should keep Monaco focused at all times if he is to stay with Lopez, but it might also force the pressure onto him when behind on the scoreboard and thus leading to mistakes.

I don't think it will be as comfortable as it was for Lopez on Friday, but I do think he will battle through to a 76, 64 win to make it four straight wins over Monaco.

Sara Errani - 1.5 games v Elena Vesnina: The layers are expecting a tight Semi Final after Elena Vesnina has put together a couple of solid tournaments in a row. I do wonder how much is left in the tank for the Russian having won two Qualifiers to get into the main draw before winning four matches in a row to get into the Semi Final.

One credit that has to be given to Vesnina is she has won all of her matches without dropping a set which should give her plenty of confidence to take into this match. However, Sara Errani is the best clay courter she would have faced and the Italian has shown she is able to build momentum through tournaments having won the title in Dubai in what has been a season littered with early exits otherwise.

Errani has had to dig much deeper than Vesnina to come through the last couple of Rounds, but she has managed to do that to show she is very capable of winning this event. Her serve isn't the biggest, but Errani will move Vesnina around the court and I can see her exposing those movement issues to come through this difficult looking Semi Final.

I can see a number of breaks for both players in this one, but ultimately I think Errani will have enough clay court nous to come through with a 76, 64 win.

MY PICKS: Federico Delbonis - 4.5 Games @ 2.00 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Borna Coric - 1.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Feliciano Lopez - 1.5 Games @ 2.00 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Sara Errani - 1.5 Games @ 2.00 Bet Fred (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 2-2, - 0.40 Units (8 Units Staked, - 5% Yield)

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