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Tuesday, 24 May 2016

French Open Tennis Day 3 Picks 2016 (May 24th)

The first couple of days of the French Open have been very busy for myself, but things have settled down and I should have these posts published earlier in the coming days.

That doesn't mean I haven't been able to look through the schedule and make a few picks from the First Round matches that have been scheduled. The first two picks have not come out the way I expected, but that is thanks to Grigor Dimitrov blowing a 2-1 lead in sets and a break in the fourth set before going down in five sets on Monday.

Hopefully Tuesday will be a better day and things can pick up from the second Grand Slam of the season over the next two weeks.

Venus Williams - 4.5 games v Anett Kontaveit: These two players met last year at the US Open in what ended a very convincing win for Venus Williams, but the clay courts are not really conducive to the way she plays as the hard courts are. The last six months of the season are going to be much more important for Venus Williams as she can have a real impact on the grass at Wimbledon and hard courts at the US Open, but I still think she has too much for Anett Kontaveit in this First Round match.

If you think Venus Williams is not a fan of this surface, Kontaveit might not be that comfortable on the clay either. This will be her first match on the clay courts this season and last year she lost her sole match on the main Tour on the surface, although that was not at the French Open.

It isn't like Williams has had a lot of clay court tennis under her own legs, but she will be more comfortable on the surface knowing what to expect. Kontaveit will be able to have more success against the serve in this one than she did at the US Open, but ultimately I think she is going to come up short again.

There is no doubt this is a big number for someone like Venus Williams to cover on the clay, but I do think she will be able to create a few opportunities to break serve. That should lead to a 64, 62 kind of win and a place in the Second Round for the American.

Julia Goerges + 2.5 games v Johanna Konta: The British Number 1 has been placed as a pretty hefty favourite to win this match against Julia Goerges, but I am not sure that is completely justified. While Johanna Konta has had a wonderful eleven months which has seen her move up the World Rankings, she is not perhaps at her most comfortable on the clay courts.

On the other hand Goerges is very happy playing on this surface and she has the kind of power to give Konta something to think about.

My biggest concern for Goerges has to be the inconsistencies she produces from game to game, but she is the type of player that can win a set by a wide margin which could make these games very helpful when it is all said and done. Konta is the kind of player that can extract those errors from the Goerges game that I am worried about, but I do think that these players are closely matched on this surface.

Actually I thought Goerges might have been the slight favourite going into the match, so I do think the games being given to her have to be worth taking. It should be a close match, one that could easily go into three sets and one that Goerges has every chance of winning outright and so I will back the German in this one with the handicap.

Federico Delbonis - 2.5 games v Pablo Carreno Busta: Thanks to some of the withdrawals in the weeks leading up to Roland Garros, World Number 35 Federico Delbonis has been Seeded at the French Open. He might have hoped for an easier draw than Pablo Carreno Busta who is a very comfortable clay court player, but Delbonis has won all four previous matches against the Spaniard.

In fact Delbonis has won all seven completed sets against Carreno Busta and has to be part of the reason he comes into this one as the favourite. Both players have had some very good results on the clay during the European swing over the last few weeks with Delbonis winning a title and Carreno Busta reaching the Final of an event himself.

There have been some disappointing results too, but both players might have headed into the French Open hoping for a decent run.

This is a tough draw for both players on the form that their opponents have been producing. I do think Delbonis' left handed serve gives him a slight edge as well as the fact he has dominated Carreno Busta in the previous matches including earlier this season in Casablanca. I think that will help him come through this one in four sets and I like the chances of Delbonis being able to cover this number.

Nicolas Almagro + 4.5 games v Philipp Kohlschreiber: This looked like being one of the better matches in the First Round but the layers seem to be convinced that it is only going to go one way. Philipp Kohlschreiber is a fairly healthy favourite to see off Nicolas Almagro, but I am of the belief that the Spaniard can come through and get within this number.

It hasn't been the best clay court season for Almagro, but he did win a title in Estoril. The consistency in his game is yet to return since his injury that curtailed 2015, but Almagro is a very strong clay court player and has to be considered a dangerous and live First Round opponent for the Seeded Kohlschreiber.

Kohlschreiber also had a title win over the last few weeks in Munich and reached the Semi Final in Barcelona. I thought the German might have been losing his way a little as the veteran has hit his 33rd year, but he has shown he is still very comfortable on the clay courts himself.

For me this looks a tight match that Almagro has a chance of winning outright, but certainly being able to keep competitive. It could easily be another that needs five sets to separate the players, while Almagro might take confidence from the fact he has won the last three matches on the clay courts between them, albeit a few years ago now.

If Almagro can bring his best form to the court, this should be a very entertaining First Round match and I will take the games here.

MY PICKS: Venus Williams - 5.5 Games @ 2.00 Bet365 (2 Units)
Julia Goerges + 2.5 Games @ 2.00 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Federico Delbonis - 2.5 Games @ 1.83 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Nicolas Almagro + 4.5 Games @ 1.80 Bet Victor (2 Units)

French Open Update: 0-2, - 4 Units (4 Units Staked, - 100% Yield)

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