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Sunday, 29 May 2016

French Open Tennis Day 8 Picks 2016 (May 29th)

It was a frustrating Saturday for the picks when it is all said and done and that has knocked the way the French Open has gone for me in the first week of the tournament.

I am disappointed that Venus Williams had a bagel to her name but didn't get close to covering because she somehow let Alize Cornet take a 6-1 set to her name. David Goffin had chances to win in three or four sets but had to come through in five sets and backing him to cover the games would have been a winner.

Ana Ivanovic struggled in her loss and the only pick I feel I misread was the Serena Williams one although she had 0-40 on two different occasions without breaking which would have given her the chance to cover.

Hopefully the rest of the tournament is not going to result in as many poor bits of luck as I feel I may have had the last couple of days. The Fourth Round begins on Sunday and I am looking for something of a return to form.

Kei Nishikori - 3.5 games v Richard Gasquet: The big question most of us will have going into this Fourth Round is how much energy did Kei Nishikori exert in seeing off Fernando Verdasco a couple of days ago? Is there enough energy left for Nishikori to recover from that Third Round win and does he have enough to beat Richard Gasquet who will be backed by a passionate home crowd?

On the face of things this would be the kind of match up that Nishikori would seemingly enjoy having beaten Gasquet in Madrid and Rome already this season. However it is the Frenchman who has won six previous matches against Nishikori and this easily looks the pick of the Men's Fourth Round matches to be played on Sunday.

This is going to be a battle with both players likely relying on their ability off the ground to win the points as both have decent first serves and attackable second serves. Nishikori has the edge with those two wins behind him on the clay courts this past month, but he has to have recovered from a tough Third Round match.

The day of rest between matches might have been enough though and I think Gasquet will struggle to bridge the gap that saw him lose all four sets to Nishikori in Madrid and Rome. Those sets were won thanks to Nishikori being the superior player from the back of the court and I think he can end another home favourite's hopes of winning the title in Paris with a comprehensive win.

Svetlana Kuznetsova + 3.5 games v Garbine Muguruza: No one will ever forget the way Garbine Muguruza dismissed Serena Williams here at the French Open and she is a dark horse to win the title. In fact the winner of this Fourth Round match might feel they can go all the way to the Final at the least as Svetlana Kuznetsova has been rolling back the clock on her own form.

Kuznetsova is a former winner at Roland Garros and she has been in very good form in her last two tournaments which makes her another dark horse in what is an open Women's draw. Nothing too much has fazed her this week although it has to be noted that Muguruza is by far the biggest threat she has faced.

The Spaniard has won brutally one sided matches in the last two Rounds although again it has to be said that this is a level upwards in terms of opponents for Muguruza.

Both players will feel that they are in for a tough test in this one and I do think it will be a close match. I do think Kuznetsova has been playing well enough to win a set which should give her a chance of covering this number in this Fourth Round match and I will back the former Champion here to keep this one competitive throughout.

Irina Camelia-Begu - 3.5 games v Shelby Rogers: No matter when this tournament ends for Shelby Rogers, this has already been a successful Slam for the young American. She was completely in control against Petra Kvitova who she handed out two bagels in three sets and Rogers will come in with plenty of confidence.

Even with that in mind, Rogers has yet to really prove she is very comfortable on the clay courts unlike her opponent Irina Camelia-Begu who had a very strong run in Rome in preparation for the French Open. As good as the results have been for the American this week, Rogers will have to step up her game against Begu even if the latter has had to play three sets in all three Rounds in Paris so far.

Every win for Rogers has come as the underdog so she won't mind being placed in that position again, but I do think she has been a special run that has to come to an end. While Rogers does have a big game with the heavy serve and forehand, I think she lacks in consistency and someone like Begu can make life very difficult for her on this surface.

As long as Begu doesn't hand over easy games like Kvitova did, I think she can find her way to a 76, 63 win in this one and move into the Quarter Finals.

Simona Halep - 4.5 games v Sam Stosur: When you look at the last two performances put up by both Simona Halep and Sam Stosur, you may think the Australian should be a lot closer in terms of pricing than she is. Halep had to battle through her Third Round match, while Sam Stosur came through as the underdog, but I still think the Romanian can record a fairly straight-forward win in this one.

For all of the strength Stosur has in the service department, she is not someone Halep will look at being overpowering off the ground as her opponent in the last Round was. The serve is a big weapon for Stosur and can set up some easy points when it is firing, but Halep is a very solid returner and will feel her last three wins over Stosur will give her a mental edge in the contest.

You know Halep will have to work hard to retain serve which makes this a big number for her to cover, but I think she is certainly the better player when it comes to general rallying in this match. Stosur also has to make sure she can put her one-sided hammering in Madrid at the hands of Halep behind her if she is going to be competitive in this one and it could all be a tough task on the day.

When it comes to those rallies, I do think Halep wins more of the points than she loses and that can make a difference. If Stosur brings her very best serving day to the court this could be a tight match, but I think Halep is the stronger player and will find a 64, 63 win from this one.

Agnieszka Radwanska - 5.5 games v Tsvetana Pironkova: I was a little surprised with the way Tsvetana Pironkova beat Sloane Stephens in the Third Round, but a lot of that was down to how poor the latter was. Now the Bulgarian faces a big challenge in Agnieszka Radwanska who has come through the draw with relative ease and is deserving of being a big favourite in this one.

The clay courts have not normally suited the Pironkova game and the slower conditions that should be around on Sunday makes it tougher for her. She hadn't shown a lot of form on the clay courts over the last few weeks before winning three matches her over the last week and I think Pironkova has done well to take advantage of the draw she has been given.

It won't be as easy to do that against Radwanska who has been playing very well this week and dropped just the one set on her way through to the Fourth Round. While the French Open hasn't been as strong an event for the Pole as it may be expected to be, this is a surface that is far more suited to Radwanska than it is to Pironkova.

Radwanska has a very strong record against Pironkova and has won all four previous matches between them on clay. Three of those matches have been fairly one-sided in favour of Radwanska and I think she will have too much on the day in a 64, 62 win that puts her into the Quarter Final.

MY PICKS: Kei Nishikori - 3.5 Games @ 1.80 Sporting Bet (2 Units)
Svetlana Kuznetsova + 3.5 Games @ 1.80 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Irina Camelia-Begu - 3.5 Games @ 1.95 Sporting Bet (2 Units)
Simona Halep - 4.5 Games @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Agnieszka Radwanska - 5.5 Games @ 1.95 Sporting Bet (2 Units)

French Open Update: 16-16, - 2.72 Units (64 Units Staked, - 4.25% Yield)

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