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Saturday, 28 May 2016

French Open Tennis Day 7 Picks 2016 (May 28th)

What a truly dreadful Friday with some really poor picks coupled in with those that didn't receive the luck to get through.

Petra Kvitova, Gilles Simon and Sloane Stephens just go in the rubbish pile.

Lucie Safarova just couldn't find the way to break through Sam Stosur despite being in a strong position in the second set, while John Isner had to go 2-1 down in sets before coming back and losing just six games in the final two sets to come through in five sets.

Isner was another who missed big opportunities to move into a 2-0 lead in sets, and the other let down was Kei Nishikori who was up 2-0 in sets and cruising before suddenly losing his arm and failing to hold serve for much of the next two sets.

Brutal day, but hopefully it won't get much worse than that and I have hit the bottom of the barrel.

With Saturday scheduled for another load of Third Round matches, I am hoping for much better than what was produced on Friday.

Dominic Thiem - 5.5 games v Alexander Zverev: With Rafael Nadal exiting the draw with an injury, there is a chance for one of the young guns on the Tour to make a big impact at Grand Slam level. Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev are part of the next generation and perhaps even the stand out talents of their generation and the winner of this Third Round match will believe they are favourites to at least reach the Quarter Final in Roland Garros.

The edge has to be given to Thiem who is a very comfortable clay court player and who has won titles on this surface. This has been a very strong clay court season for Zverev too, but it can't be ignored that two of his tournaments have been ended by Thiem including in the Final last week in Nice.

That Final did go the distance as did their first match in Munich, and I do think this match will follow a similar pattern although I am not expecting it to go five sets. The way Thiem likes to play his points means he can be a little loose with his points at time and that has allowed Zverev to get into the match early but eventually Thiem proves the difference in consistency and takes control of the match.

Out of the two players I am looking for Thiem to have more success when it comes to winning points against serve and that should help him come through in four sets. He can wear down Zverev in this one and that should be enough to see him cover this spread in a 46, 64, 64, 62 win.

David Ferrer - 5.5 games v Feliciano Lopez: Two veteran players in the Third Round of a major might consider that they don't have too many better opportunities to get into the second week of a Grand Slam. However both David Ferrer and Feliciano Lopez are not your usual veterans and the two Spaniards will have some big goals even once the French Open is completed.

The edge here has to be given to Ferrer who is much more comfortable on the clay courts than his compatriot Lopez who prefers the faster surfaces. The Lopez lefty serve will give him a chance to get through some games, but Ferrer will feel he can win the baseline rallies and make it difficult for Lopez to attack the net.

I don't think there would be too many surprised faces out there if you heard that Ferrer has won all five previous matches between these players on clay, including here at the French Open a the same Round three years ago. Four of the five matches on clay have been routine wins for Ferrer and he has also beaten Lopez six times in a row which should give him the confidence to enjoy the match up he faces on Saturday.

Ferrer has been a little loose with the way he has played behind serve, but I think he wears down Lopez in this one. While I think one of the sets will be tight when Lopez finds a groove behind serve, I think Ferrer will eventually come through with a 63, 76, 64 win.

David Goffin - 1.5 sets v Nicolas Almagro: The head to head between David Goffin and Nicolas Almagro reads 0-3 in favour of  the Spaniard, but I think Goffin is a much improved player since they last met in 2013. At the same time I also think Almagro has lost a little speed in his game although the clay courts remain his favoured domain.

That has shown up in his first two wins in Paris this week as Almagro has dominated his opponents and dropped just a single set. However he will need to raise his game when facing David Goffin who has won two matches in a row in straight sets and who has had a couple of solid runs on the clay courts in preparation for the French Open.

Almagro has a definite edge in the power game with a bigger serve than Goffin and a little more on the groundstrokes on both wings. The key for Goffin is to get the Spaniard moving around the court and trying to use his consistency to wear down Almagro and this is a tight match as the layers are expecting.

I can see Almagro having his backers after two solid wins, but I think he is still trying to find his consistency after injury and that should make life difficult against someone like Goffin. I wouldn't be surprised if Almagro gets 'hot' and takes a set, but ultimately I think Goffin can wear him down and beat him for the first time in his career in three or four sets.

Ana Ivanovic - 2.5 games v Elina Svitolina: We all know the inconsistencies that exist in Ana Ivanovic's game these days, but Elina Svitolina hasn't done a lot on the clay courts this season to think she can change history. That history says Ivanovic has won all seven previous matches against Svitolina and she has only dropped one set in that time.

Their last match was played last year here at Roland Garros with Ivanovic coming through very comfortably and this is the third year in a row Svitolina will try and beat the former Champion at the French Open.

I won't take anything away from the two performances that Svitolina has had in the tournament so far, but Ivanovic has also looked fairly solid and I do give the Serb the edge. If she is looking after her serve as she has for the most part this week, Ivanovic will find her chances on the return and so looks the more likely winner again.

The layers have lost some faith in Ivanovic but I do think her belief will be strengthened by her previous results against Svitolina. I like Ivanovic to cover this small looking number and move into the Fourth Round with another solid win behind her.

Serena Williams - 6.5 games v Kristina Mladenovic: The home crowd will be firmly behind Kristina Mladenovic, but the Paris crowd is no longer as anti-Serena Williams as they once were.

The World Number 1 has been very good in the first two Rounds here following on from her title win in Rome and Serena Williams should have too much for Mladenovic. The latter has some power behind her, but she has been on the wrong end of some heavy losses on the clay courts over the last few weeks.

I am not convinced that Mladenovic has the best movement right now and someone like Serena Williams will be able to get her on the move straight off the return of serve. If Serena is serving as well as she can, the pressure will be on Mladenovic to find a way to hit the winners with first strike tennis which is tough to do on a consistent basis.

I can see Serena Williams finding a couple of breaks of serve in a single set which should set her up to cover this number and I think the American will entertain the home crowd with another interview in French as she moves into the Fourth Round.

Venus Williams - 4.5 games v Alize Cornet: There was some controversy in Alize Cornet's win over Tatjana Maria in the Second Round as she battled through cramp to win that match. Some people suggested her dramatics affected her opponent, but Cornet won't be able to rely on that against the experienced Venus Williams in this Third Round match.

The previous meetings between these players suggest it will already be a big task for Cornet who has yet to win a set against Venus Williams in ten attempts. Those five matches have all resulted in easy wins for the American although only one of those have come on the clay courts where Williams is at her weakest.

It has been a tough clay court season for Cornet, but Venus Williams has hardly pulled up any trees during that portion of the season too. However she has had a couple of solid wins this week and I think Cornet's fitness has to be a concern even if she made out she was much worse than she actually was in the Second Round.

I don't think it will always been straight forward for Venus Williams, but I think she can get the better of a player she has dominated through their careers. After some rough moments, I think Venus Williams wins this one 64, 63.

MY PICKS: Dominic Thiem - 5.5 Games @ 2.10 Paddy Power (2 Units)
David Ferrer - 5.5 Games @ 1.73 Betfair Sportsbook (2 Units)
David Goffin - 1.5 Sets @ 1.95 Sporting Bet (2 Units)
Ana Ivanovic - 2.5 Games @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Serena Williams - 6.5 Games @ 1.80 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Venus Williams - 4.5 Games @ 1.83 Paddy Power (2 Units)

French Open Update: 14-12, + 1.62 Units (52 Units Staked, + 3.12% Yield)

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