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Monday, 6 June 2016

Tennis Picks 2016 (June 6th)

The 2016 French Open might not have been the most memorable of Grand Slam events, but the tournament will go down in the history books as the place where Novak Djokovic became just the third player to ever hold all four Slam titles at the same time.

The dream Djokovic has always had of becoming a Champion here in Paris came true for the World Number 1 in a dominant win over Andy Murray as he took complete control after the first set was completed. The best player in the World now has won all four majors and he can win the calendar Grand Slam having won the first two Slams of the season.

It was refreshing to hear how honestly Novak Djokovic was talking when he was asked about the calendar Grand Slam- most athletes would have downplayed their chances, but Djokovic looked confident of his ability to win Wimbledon at the US Open to complete the Grand Slam.

Right now it is tough to see who will beat him as Djokovic looks ahead of all his rivals, but the likes of Roger Federer and Andy Murray are likely to be his closest challengers over the next few weeks. Djokovic also has the chance to make added history by winning the Olympic Gold Medal in the same year as the four majors which would be unprecedented and I am struggling to see a reason why he can't do that as long as he stays healthy.


For Andy Murray it was a big tournament too and he has to be proud of his clay court campaign. Coming up short in the French Open Final to Novak Djokovic is no disgrace and now Murray can take a few days to get himself mentally and physically prepared for the grass court season which will begin for him on Monday 13th June at Queens.

He is the World Number 2 and Murray has to consider himself a big threat at his two favourite tournaments at Wimbledon and the US Open and I think there are some exciting times ahead in Men's tennis.


The grass court season has begun at the Challenger level, but this is the first week of main Tour events on the surface. There are some big names in action, but none more so than the returning Roger Federer who has taken a place in the tournament in Stuttgart where Rafael Nadal won the title last season.

Sadly Nadal looks set to have some time on the sidelines and is unlikely to play in the forthcoming weeks heading into Wimbledon and is almost certainly missing that event too. Hopefully the Spaniard can soon return to the court and I am also hopeful that we can begin to see a healthy Roger Federer who missed the French Open with a lingering back issue.


Nicolas Mahut - 3.5 games v Lukas Lacko: The beginning of the grass court season can be tough for some players to make the adjustment coming off the clay, but that has never been an issue for Nicolas Mahut. One of the few remaining serve-volley players, Mahut has loved playing on the grass and has a very good record at this tournament having won the title here in 2013 and last season.

The defending Champion will be expecting to get off to a good start against the Qualifier Lukas Lacko although I have to credit the latter for winning two matches here already this week. Lacko's career has not taken the trajectory I would have expected as injury and a loss of form has seen him come off the main Tour and focus on Challenger events.

There is talent in the Lacko racquet that can pose problems for players when he is in top form, but the confidence is perhaps not in the very best place. His second serve will likely be attacked by Mahut who will try and force Lacko to make the passes to win the points and that can be difficult under the type of pressure the Frenchman will put him.

Mahut has won the two previous matches between these players, but those came a long time ago and are less relevant now. However I do think Mahut is the superior player on grass who clearly enjoys playing at this tournament and I fancy he will get his grass court season off to a good start with a 64, 64 win.


Sam Querrey - 2.5 games v Benjamin Becker: The clay courts are never going to see the best of Sam Querrey and I think the second half of the season might be more to his liking. The American is not always the most reliable player to back, but his serve and forehand combination has worked well on the grass courts in the past and Querrey is a dangerous player on this surface.

More so than Benjamin Becker who was beaten early in a Challenger event on grass last week and who is looking more and more like a player at the back end of his career. Becker has reached the Final at this event just a couple of years ago so can't be dismissed easily, especially if the first serve is firing against an opponent whose return is limited to say the least.


However I think there are too many occasions when Becker throws away his serve with a poor game and that can be critical against someone like Querrey on this kind of surface. Querrey can be guilty of quitting on his own serve at times, especially if someone can force him into five shots or more to try and win a point and not allow the American to dictate behind a big serve and then big forehand combination.


The head to head is leaning towards Querrey which will give him a mental edge too and having won the last three matches between these players, I am looking for Querrey to have enough to record a 76, 64 win in this one.


MY PICKS: Nicolas Mahut - 3.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Sam Querrey - 2.5 Games @ 1.73 William Hill (2 Units)

Season 2016- 28.72 Units (811 Units Staked, - 3.54% Yield)
Season 2015- 21.81 Units (1812 Units Staked, - 1% Yield)
Season 2014+ 45.05 Units (1586.5 Units Staked, + 2.84% Yield)
Season 2013+ 21.74 Units (1251.5 Units Staked, + 1.73% Yield)
Season 2012+ 49.21 Units (855 Units Staked, + 5.76% Yield)
Season 2011+ 82.02 Units

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