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Monday, 30 May 2016

French Open Tennis Day 9 Picks 2016 (May 30th)

The last few days have been very frustrating when it comes to the picks as I haven't really had a lot of luck on my side and mixing that with bad picks equals a difficult time.

We now get into the second week at the French Open and I am hoping I can get some better results behind me after the last few days have knocked the tournament into a losing position which is not where I want to be at this Grand Slam.

The next few days might be heavily affected by the rain in Paris though and I am not sure how many of the remaining Fourth Round matches will be played on Monday when the rain is expected to settle in through the day. We still have two Fourth Round matches to be completed in the Women's draw that the organisers will be under pressure to get completed to ensure those four women are not put in a really difficult position when it comes to trying to win the title here.

I will be looking for a better day from the picks that had a rough outing on Sunday as I look to get back into a strong position for the week. The Fourth Round matches on Monday look very interesting and it should be a fun day of tennis for the fans in attendance if the weather does allow for some play to be commence.

David Goffin Win 3-1 v Ernests Gulbis: The first match on the Philippe-Chatrier Court will see David Goffin and Ernests Gulbis meet after differing Third Round matches. Both won the first two matches in Paris in straight sets but Goffin had to dig deep to beat Nicolas Almagro in five sets, while Gulbis was the beneficiary of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga's retirement before the first set was completed.

The big question here is whether Goffin has had something taken out of the tank against what should be a physically fit Gulbis. We have seen some players affected by their long matches despite having a day rest between matches and there might even be some hope in the Goffin camp for some rain to offer him a little more rest.

I am not convinced that Goffin should not be ready to play anyway because the match with Almagro was not one that went deep into the sets and so I do expect the best from the Belgian. This is a tough match for him with Gulbis talking about feeling like he is getting back to his best, but I do think Goffin can wear him down although I wouldn't be surprised if he was to drop another set here.

This should be quite a good watch when it comes to the tennis being played by the two players, but I will have a small interest on Goffin coming through this one in four sets. He looks the better player, but his serve can be a weakness at times and Gulbis can put together some strong moments to take a set, although ultimately I think Goffin will wear him down in those four sets.

Dominic Thiem - 6.5 games v Marcel Granollers: When Rafael Nadal withdrew from the tournament, it gave someone like Dominic Thiem the chance to really prove he is ready to take the next step in his career. His opponent in the Fourth Round is Marcel Granollers who has won one match when his opponent retired and was the beneficiary of Nadal's withdrawal prior to their Third Round match.

It is Thiem who has won all three previous matches between these players and all of those wins have come on the clay courts in 2014. Since then the Austrian looks a much improved player and I think Granollers is going to need all of his clay court experience to give himself a chance in this one.

The Spaniard can't be underestimated having reached the Quarter Final in the Monte Carlo Masters, although it has to be said that Granollers is a better Doubles player than a Singles one these days. My one concern for Thiem has to be the amount of tennis he has had to play over the last couple of weeks as he won the title in Nice in the week prior to the beginning of the French Open.

However he has shown some real strength in his wins so far this week as Thiem has twice dropped the first set in matches but then gone on to take control of those matches. I think the first set could be tight in this one too as Thiem tries to get used to the heavy conditions that are likely to be around in Paris, but I can then see him taking control of proceedings with Granollers' serve vulnerable.

That should lead to Thiem coming through this one with a 75, 63, 63 kind of win.

Novak Djokovic - 9.5 games v Roberto Bautista Agut: The poor weather in Paris saw Novak Djokovic rushing through his Third Round match in double time and I can see him looking to get on the front foot in this one. The match up with Roberto Bautista Agut is one that some of the top players have enjoyed and Novak Djokovic is no different having won all four previous matches between the two.

What makes the Bautista Agut game one that the top players enjoy? The Spaniard is a solid competitor but he simply doesn't have the firepower to compete with those at the top and his serve is vulnerable, while Bautista Agut has to work hard for every point he earns.

The match at the US Open last year was a very tight one but Novak Djokovic has plenty of 6-1 and 6-2 sets under his belt against Bautista Agut including a crushing win at the Madrid Masters. The US Open match saw Djokovic struggling to impose his serve on proceedings, but the two matches around that one has seen Djokovic secure a large percentage of the points on serve which has helped him move clear of Bautista Agut.

With the weather as it is, I am expecting a focused Djokovic to come out and prove too good for Bautista Agut and cover a big number behind a 61, 64, 63 win.

David Ferrer-Tomas Berdych Under 40.5 Total Games: David Ferrer and Tomas Berdych have met thirteen times in the past and it is the Spaniard who leads 7-6, although Berdych has won three of the last four including on the clay in Madrid earlier this month. Surprisingly that means Berdych leads Ferrer 3-2 on the clay courts, although the player from the Czech Republic is a fairly significant underdog in this Fourth Round match.

After parting ways with his Coach, Berdych has flown under the radar in Paris with not a lot of people having faith in him going all the way. He did have an impressive win over Pablo Cuevas in the Third Round and Berdych will believe he can get the better of Ferrer who has been a little up and down in his form in recent weeks.

Even here in Paris Ferrer has perhaps not been as strong behind his serve as he would have liked and the Spaniard has to be careful in this match against the big serving Berdych. Ferrer has only dropped one set so far this week, but he has had to battle back in some of those sets he has won to come through to take them.

I do think this match is likely to go four sets, but I still can't help thinking that this is too many games in the 'total games' market. The lack of confidence in the Berdych game and Ferrer's vulnerable serve could lead to a couple of sets being split between them by wide margins and it would likely need this match going to five sets to cover this number.

I am leaning towards Berdych perhaps surprising Ferrer here, but my overriding feeling is that this will go three or four sets and we won't see this total games number covered.

Serena Williams - 5.5 games v Elina Svitolina: After two very easy wins, Serena Williams was pushed all the way in the Third Round against Kristina Mladenovic. It was only the battling heart and the talent Williams has that prevented her from dropping the first set in that match and all of the difficulties that would have brought her in trying to come back from a set down.

Coming through difficult matches during a Grand Slam is a part of the two weeks that any player spends at this level and Williams has been through many of those moments and then gone on to win the title. There is a feeling that Williams will suffer from some nerves in trying to get to 22 Grand Slam titles, but I think she will put in a better performance in this Fourth Round against Elina Svitolina.

Not many would have picked Svitolina to come through the draw to be the opponent Serena needs to face at this Stage, but she has played well so far in Paris. Playing well is good enough to beat many players, but Svitolina will need to raise her levels if she is going to upset Serena who has won all three previous matches between them.

The surprise that Svitolina has reached this Stage also comes from a poor clay court season with some heavy losses in Madrid and Rome. Playing the defending Champion looks a big test for Svitolina and I think it will be hard for her to keep this one competitive if she drops the first set. I believe Serena Williams will come through this Fourth Round match with a 64, 62 win as she wears down Svitolina.

Venus Williams + 3.5 games v Timea Bacsinszky: I am not surprised that the layers saw this as a very close match considering that the clay courts probably give Timea Bacsinszky the edge against Venus Williams. Even with that in mind, I was surprised to see Venus Williams as a significant underdog in this one and I like the American with the games in this one.

The clay courts might not suit Venus Williams, but she is still able to put together some very strong periods on the surface which could make this a lot of games for Bacsinszky to cover. The latter is the better overall performer on the surface, but she does offer chances on her serve and a big serving display from the American will give the veteran a chance of securing an upset.

It most definitely gives Venus Williams a chance to win a set although my concern remains that she drops a set with a couple of breaks of serve being handed over to Bacsinszky. We saw that against Alize Cornet in the second set of their match before Venus Williams regained control of the match, but that won't be as easy against someone like Bacsinszky who has had success at the French Open in the past.

The heavier conditions that could be in play on Monday would make it a little more difficult for Venus Williams, but I think she has played well enough this week to keep this one competitive. I won't rule out the upset even if the conditions are not quite to her liking, but I will take the games here and look for a tight three setter between these players at the least.

Yulia Putintseva + 3.5 games v Carla Suarez Navarro: This has already been a very good week for Yulia Putintseva, but I don't believe it is definitely coming to an end in this Fourth Round against Carla Suarez Navarro. Putintseva has been in very good form so far in Paris and she has come through her three matches while dropping just eight games and has the firepower to make life very uncomfortable for Suarez Navarro.

This has not been the best clay court season for Putintseva but she does have a couple of Quarter Final appearances to her name, although failure to Qualify for Rome was a disappointment. The young player will need to use all of her power and shot making ability to get into this one and anything less than her best will mean Suarez Navarro is the big favourite to progress.

However Putintseva can win a set in this one at the least if she is at her best although Suarez Navarro is playing on her favoured surface and has previous strong results at the French Open. Suarez Navarro has needed three sets to get through two of her three matches so far in the tournament while it was a relatively disappointing clay court season for her too.

The Suarez Navarro serve is definitely vulnerable to the power that Putintseva has on her side of the court, but the heavier conditions might mean she is pushing to attack the lines and leads to unforced errors. Keeping in control of her game is very important, but doing that will give Putintseva the chance to keep this close and make this number of games appealing to have in the bank.

Madison Keys - 3.5 games v Kiki Bertens: The Third Round saw Kiki Bertens have to play eighteen games in the final set to earn her place in the Fourth Round and the question has to be about how much she has left in the tank. She won the title last week in Nuremberg after coming through the Qualifiers and having a ten match winning run behind her means there has to be some type of physical toll that has been taken on her.

With a day of rest, Bertens might be hoping the expected rain does come down on Monday to give her a little more time to get physically ready for the test that Madison Keys will present. A strong run in Rome has shown Keys she is more than capable of playing on the clay courts even if her game looks more suited to the faster surfaces.

If the American is serving well, she will put Bertens under pressure as mental and physical exhaustion begins to take its toll on the young Dutch player who will be making a significant move up the World Rankings next week. This has been a tremendous clay court season for Bertens, but I can't help think that she might have left something on the court in her win over Daria Kasatkina and that may show up here.

At times Bertens will hold her own, but I think eventually she might struggle to deal with the power Keys brings to the court. With the physical effort she has already put in to the last two weeks, Bertens' best chance may be hoping for rain and this match to be suspended until Tuesday, but I still believe Keys will have too much and come through 64, 63.

MY PICKS: David Goffin Win 3-1 @ 3.80 Sky Bet (1 Unit)
Dominic Thiem - 6.5 Games @ 1.83 Boyle Sports (2 Units)
Novak Djokovic - 9.5 Games @ 1.95 Betfair Sportsbook (2 Units)
David Ferrer-Tomas Berdych Under 40.5 Total Games @ 1.91 Boyle Sports (2 Units)
Serena Williams - 5.5 Games @ 1.80 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Venus Williams + 3.5 Games @ 2.10 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Yulia Putintseva + 3.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Madison Keys - 3.5 Games @ 1.91 Ladbrokes (2 Units)

French Open Update: 16-19, - 8.72 Units (70 Units Staked, - 12.46% Yield)

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