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Sunday, 31 July 2016

Canadian Masters Tennis Picks 2016 (July 31st)

The Canadian Masters/Premier Event come to an end on Sunday with the Final in Montreal and Toronto played this evening.

Both look like decent Finals on paper and I think it will be a good end to the tournaments this week.

No matter how it goes today, it will be a winning week, but I would love to get a couple more winners to put on the board and make it a strong end which will put in a serious dent on the season totals.

The picks have been in good shape throughout July, but I do want to put another solid week into the books by taking another chunk out of the season totals before we head to the next set of tournaments and the Olympic Games which are played next week.

Simona Halep - 2.5 games v Madison Keys: This looks to be a Final in Montreal contested by the two players who have been in the best form so far this week and that should make it a cracker. As well as Madison Keys has played and as eye-catching as her game is, I think Simona Halep can get the better of her over the course of the match and wear down the American.

There is plenty of power and big shot making that can sway the thinking which comes out of the Keys racquet- when you watch the American in full flow, it is hard to ignore the potential she has to reach the top of the women's game. However there are still some serious inconsistencies there and a player of Halep's standing can expose those if Keys is not quite at the races.

The serve is a big weapon for Keys and that will give her a few cheap points, but Halep should be able to stay with her in the rallies and we saw at Wimbledon that she can turn things around against his opponent. That came on a surface that should have favoured Keys and she actually went into the match as the favourite, but Halep has had considerably more success on the hard courts over the last few seasons.

It will be a tough match with Keys being able to hit through Halep at times, but I think the latter will eventually be able to force enough mistakes out of her opponent. Even if she drops a set, I think Halep will win the match and likely do it while covering this number in a 57, 64, 63 win.

Kei Nishikori + 4.5 games v Novak Djokovic: The World Number 1 described his Semi Final win over Gael Monfils as his best performance of the week in Toronto and Novak Djokovic might be rounding into form and building momentum going into the Olympic Games. A Gold Medal in the Singles would help Djokovic continue building a CV which could be the 'greatest of all time' by the time he finishes his career and this is his best remaining chance of winning that Gold Medal.

The World Ranking is clearly also important for Djokovic who was looking to bounce back from an upset loss at Wimbledon and adding 1000 points here will help in that regard especially as Andy Murray has skipped Toronto. While Djokovic is a clear favourite in this Final, I do think he will be tested by Kei Nishikori who has made the last two matches very competitive against this opponent.

Nishikori's game does not match up that well against Djokovic's as his serve doesn't offer too many cheap points and the latter is the better player when the rallies develop more often than not. That is shown up in the big moments in a match and it is hard to ignore how easily Djokovic has dismissed the Nishikori challenge when they do meet on the hard courts.

It will need a big serving display from Nishikori, bigger than usual, to give himself a chance, but I also think he might have more joy against the Djokovic serve. Despite the easy win on the scoreboard on Saturday, Gael Monfils created chances against the Djokovic serve and Nishikori will follow suit you would imagine while also having a little longer to get rested for the Final.

I am finding it tough to really believe in Nishikori simply because of the poor recent record against Djokovic on the hard courts. Djokovic has covered this number in five straight wins on the hard courts against Nishikori since his surprising Semi Final loss to him at the US Open, but this might be the most vulnerable Djokovic has looked in those matches. I am hoping Nishikori can take his chances against the Djokovic serve which should give him every chance of covering against Djokovic in this match.

MY PICKS: Simona Halep - 2.5 Games @ 1.80 Ladbrokes (2 Units)
Kei Nishikori + 4.5 Games @ 2.10 Bet Fred (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 21-16, + 4 Units (74 Units Staked, + 5.41% Yield)

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