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Friday, 27 May 2016

French Open Tennis Day 6 Picks 2016 (May 27th)

After a pretty slow start to the tournament which opened with a 0-2 day, the picks are back on the right track thanks to a couple of very good days. Thursday the picks went 6-0 thanks to David Ferrer completing the sweep with a come from behind four set win and that has put the tournament in a very good position.

There are still plenty of days to go at the French Open so this isn't the time to patting myself on the back for a solid start because ultimately it is only a solid start.

Making sure I keep making the right picks is the key to keeping this going and the research into the Third Round matches to be played on Friday will hopefully pay dividends. The weather was supposed to be erratic on Thursday, but Paris managed to avoid the thunderstorms that were expected to be in the area and they will be hoping to push through all the Third Round matches scheduled for Friday before the rain comes down.

Kei Nishikori - 6.5 games v Fernando Verdasco: It has been 'easy' for both Kei Nishikori and Fernando Verdasco in the first two Rounds at Roland Garros, but this should be a much bigger test for both. Nishikori has to consider himself as a real dark horse to go all the way in Paris like his mentor Michael Chang did, but he can't overlook Verdasco who has the power game suited for the clay courts as well as being vastly experienced.

Both players will feel they have had very solid clay court campaigns heading into the French Open, although Verdasco has struggled for consistency. He is back up the World Rankings thanks to a title win in Bucharest, but early losses in three tournaments following that win shows the inconsistencies that have hit the veteran Verdasco.

He is still a dangerous customer with his lefty serve and powerful groundstrokes making him a threat through a best of five set match. Nishikori has to be aware of the potential Verdasco has coming at him from the other side of the court and he will have to deal with some sticky moments if he is perhaps not as serving as effectively as he can.

However ultimately I think Nishikori is the better player and he is capable of covering a big number even in a four set win. I can see the top ten player being able to record a couple of breaks of serve in a single set which should see him still able to cover in a 46, 64, 63, 62 win.

John Isner - 1.5 sets v Teymuraz Gabashvili: Anyone who has seen Teymuraz Gabashvili play in the past will tell you this is a player that has a wide spectrum of ability- there are some days when he looks like a top 20 player and others when it is barely understandable how Gabashvili is a professional tennis player.

So far this week in Roland Garros we have seen the best of Gabashvili who upset Benoit Paire in the Second Round. This is off the back of a really poor clay court season where Gabashvili had lost seven of eight matches during the European portion of the Tour.

Even with that in mind, the layers are not expecting this to be an easy match for the Seeded John Isner with the form that Gabashvili has shown this week. The clay courts might be the least favoured surface for Isner who hasn't spent a lot of time on the court in recent weeks, but he did have a couple of solid wins so far this week.

The serve remains a big weapon and John Isner is capable of making enough returns to give himself a chance to break serve in this one. However it is likely to come down to tie-breakers and I do think Isner is the stronger player on the court even if he was beaten on the Houston clay courts when these two players met last season.

I do think Isner can cause enough scoreboard pressure to put Gabashvili in a tough position and I like him to come through in three or four sets.

Richard Gasquet v Nick Kyrgios: This does look the pick of the Third Round matches as Richard Gasquet and Nick Kyrgios meet at the French Open after two previous memorable encounters at Wimbledon. Both of those matches at Wimbledon were memorable for showing the good and bad of Nick Kyrgios although I am not ashamed to say I am a fan and think he will be in and around the top ten for much of his career going forward.

The faster surfaces may suit his game better than the clay courts, but Kyrgios has shown he is still a very capable player on this surface too. His serve makes him dangerous and the Australian crushed Gasquet when they last met on the indoor courts of Marseille earlier this season.

However it is Gasquet who has gotten the better of Kyrgios more often than not with four wins compared to two and the Frenchman has also won both previous matches on the clay against him. He will have the home fans firmly behind him and Gasquet has shown some good form in his two wins so far this week.

This has all the makings of one of the best matches of the Third Round and I think it will likely be a close one. I do think Gasquet has the game to make enough returns against Kyrgios to give his opponent something to think about and I do think the home support might just rally Gasquet to the win as the underdog in this one.

Gilles Simon - 4.5 games v Victor Troicki: I will open up by saying I don't really have a lot of faith in either Gilles Simon or Victor Troicki and find both players can be a little untrustworthy when it comes to backing them. However there is enough evidence to think Gilles Simon can see off his opponent and become another Frenchman to reach the Fourth Round here as the home fans are desperate for a Men's winner in the main draw.

It is Simon who has won all six previous matches against Troicki and he is yet to drop a set in that time- that includes a fairly routine win over the Serb in Monte Carlo earlier in the season.

You do have to take into account that a lot of those matches took place at least five years ago and both players are much more experienced these days. However I do think Simon can expose any inconsistencies in the Troicki groundstrokes with his ability to make him play one more ball, although the fear is how much Simon's Second Round five set win has taken out of him.

I don't think either player has had a lot of success on the clay courts this season, but I think Simon can use his superior fitness and movement to cause problems for Troicki throughout. While the latter can win his first set against Simon, I do think the Frenchman can win this one 63, 64, 46, 64.

Petra Kvitova - 4.5 games v Shelby Rogers: The clay courts might not be the most favoured surface for Petra Kvitova and she might have been in inconsistent form through 2016, but I do like the match up for her in this Third Round. She faces the young American Shelby Rogers who is Ranked outside the World top 100 and who has had a pretty average clay court campaign heading into Roland Garros.

That takes nothing away from the fact that Rogers has come through two Rounds here in big upsets, but the level certainly goes up again when she meets Kvitova.

The power coming from Kvitova's side of the court can be tough to deal with, especially if she is able to keep control the unforced errors that can blight her game. She should have every chance of attacking the Rogers serve and forcing a number of break points, but covering this number will be all about Kvitova looking after her own serve.

Kvitova has still had some struggles in finding some consistent results as I have mentioned, but I do think she will be a little too good in this one. After a tight first set, I can see Kvitova taking control as she did in her Second Round win and I like Kvitova to come through with a 63, 64 win.

Lucie Safarova - 3.5 games v Sam Stosur: 2016 has been a tough season for Lucie Safarova who has been recovering from injury but her title win in Prague might be the confidence boost she needs. The tournaments in Madrid and Rome did not go to plan but Safarova was a very strong winner in the first two Rounds and she has previous of performing strongly in Paris.

There is also a feeling she likes the match up with Sam Stosur having won eleven of their previous fourteen matches including in the Final in Prague. Some of those matches have been competitive with both Safarova and Stosur owners of solid serves and being able to use that shot to set up the points for themselves, but ultimately Safarova has proved too good the majority of the time.

The lefty serve should give her an edge on the clay courts and she has to find a way to take the kicker out of Stosur's weaponry, but I do think Safarova is going to be good enough to win this match. The chances might be limited in the match which means the pressure will be on the server at those moments and I do think Safarova will have the better of those chances as the more effective returner.

I can see this being a tight match with not a lot to separate the players, but I feel Safarova can find the two more breaks needed to help her through for a 64, 64 win and a place in the Fourth Round.

Svetlana Kuznetsova - 4.5 games v Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova: This is an all-Russian encounter in the Third Round in Paris and it is Svetlana Kuznetsova who is favoured. I can't argue with that considering the form that Kuznetsova has been showing while Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova has had a difficult season.

A former winner of the French Open, Kuznetsova has been showing some very strong form on the way to Roland Garros and many are tipping her as a dark horse for the title. It is an open tournament for the Women involved in Roland Garros, although beating Serena Williams is likely to be the key, something Kuznetsova has done already this season.

It won't be an easy match against Pavlyuchenkova who has some power behind her and can be difficult to stop once she gets a roll behind her. The key for Kuznetsova is to get her opponent on the move where the consistency comes down and I think she is capable of doing that if she continues playing at the level she has been.

A strong head to head for Kuznetsova over Pavlyuchenkova should also keep her in this match mentally even when things are perhaps not going her way. All four of her wins from their five previous matches have come while covering this number and I think Kuznetsova is able to do that in this one.

Sloane Stephens - 4.5 games v Tsvetana Pironkova: A win in Charleston would have given Sloane Stephens some confidence as she has begun to win titles on the WTA Tour, but the European clay is a different story. The American has not had the best time in Madrid and Rome, although she has looked strong so far this week in Paris.

Now she faces Tsvetana Pironkova in the Third Round and it is a surprise to see the Bulgarian in this Round considering she usually reserves her best form for the grass court season. This is already the first time the Bulgarian will have a winning record on the clay courts since 2008 and the win over Sara Errani in the First Round shows Pironkova is not to be discounted easily.

However she had struggled in Qualifier losses in Madrid and Rome and was beaten comfortably in those while Pironkova has lost all three previous matches against Stephens. That includes two defeats on the clay courts including a comprehensive one last year at Roland Garros when Pironkova won just five games and two of their three previous matches have seen Stephens win by a margin that covers this number of games.

The American has to serve well to give herself a chance in this one as Pironkova is a confidence based player that might be difficult to stop if she has the momentum behind her. If Stephens does serve well, I think she can come through a difficult first set before breaking through and moving away in the second set and I like Stephens to cover.

MY PICKS: Kei Nishikori - 6.5 Games @ 1.83 Sporting Bet (2 Units)
John Isner - 1.5 Sets @ 1.95 Sporting Bet (2 Units)
Richard Gasquet @ 2.10 Coral (2 Units)
Gilles Simon - 4.5 Games @ 1.80 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Petra Kvitova - 4.5 Games @ 1.83 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Lucie Safarova - 3.5 Games @ 2.10 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Svetlana Kuznetsova - 4.5 Games @ 2.10 William Hill (2 Units)
Sloane Stephens - 4.5 Games @ 2.10 Betway (2 Units)

French Open Update: 12-6, + 9.22 Units (36 Units Staked, + 25.61% Yield)

1 comment:

  1. great job yesterday dav. I love this blog. Keep up the good work