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Sunday, 14 August 2016

Olympic Tennis Picks 2016 (August 14th)

The Medal matches in the men's tournament at the Olympic Games in Rio take place on Sunday with the Bronze Medal match followed by the Gold Medal match this afternoon.

We also have the beginning of the Cincinnati Masters on Sunday with that being the last major tournament before the US Open begins on Monday 29th August, although it is an event that will miss Novak Djokovic.

The rest of the top players are in the draw which should make it a very good one, but it is going to be a rude awakening for some of the players that have been playing in the Olympics as the Cincinnati courts will play a lot faster than the ones in Rio. That is going to take some adjustment going forward for those players, which might make the early Rounds a little difficult to make picks from, but hopefully I can make the right choices to keep the momentum behind the picks.

It has been difficult over the last couple of days as the picks have gone 3-6, but the overall weekly record has been strong. That is keeping the positive trend going since Wimbledon and I am looking to end the Olympic Games with a couple of wins to put the exclamation point on a successful week.

Rafael Nadal - 1.5 games v Kei Nishikori: The player trying to get over the bigger disappointment in this Bronze Medal match has to be Rafael Nadal who was beaten in a final set tie-breaker on Saturday. That came after taking the first set against Juan Martin Del Potro, but I am wondering what kind of physical state Kei Nishikori is in after a pretty tame Semi Final performance after a really difficult Quarter Final against Gael Monfils.

It is Nadal who has managed to get the better of Nishikori in their previous matches with nine wins from ten matches between them. That includes two wins in 2016 with one of those coming on the hard courts in Indian Wells as the underdog and I think he does hold the slight edge in this one.

I would always consider Nadal the superior player when it comes to natural fitness, but he is coming off a long lay-off which has to be a concern. Nadal might already have achieved his goals in Rio having won the Gold Medal in the Doubles tournament, but he doesn't strike me as someone who plays any tennis match without putting in every ounce of effort he has in his body and I think that will give him a slight edge in this one.

Nishikori is a tough competitor but he is more likely to have a few physical issues after a long week in Brazil and I think Nadal can win this one in three sets as he comes through 63, 36, 64.

Juan Martin Del Potro-Andy Murray over 36.5 games: Andy Murray has made plenty of history for British tennis having broken the curse of winning Grand Slams as a male player as well as the long wait for a Wimbledon Champion. However he now has the chance to make overall tennis history by becoming the first player to win two Gold Medals at the Olympic Games in the Singles tournament.

That would be an incredible achievement for a player who looks capable of finishing the year as the World Number 1 as he will go into the US Open as arguably the favourite to win. There might not be any Ranking points at stake, but Murray will be desperate to improve his legacy with another Gold Medal, although a rejuvenated Juan Martin Del Potro will hope to add Gold Medal to the Bronze Medal he won in London four years ago.

The run has been a memorable one for Del Potro having beaten World Number 1 Novak Djokovic and then beating Rafael Nadal in the Semi Final. This is maybe a bigger test for Del Potro because the question is can he cover the obvious weaknesses at the backhand wing for long enough to bring that powerhouse forehand in play? Secondly, can that forehand puncture the Murray defences on a court that has played slowly this week?

Murray will also earn cheaper points off the serve than Djokovic and Nadal and I think he is the more likely winner. However Murray hasn't always been at his best this week himself and is dealing with the pressure of making history and I do think Del Potro can at least take a set. Backing the games to be covered in this one looks the best option for the Gold Medal game.

MY PICKS: Rafael Nadal - 1.5 Games @ 1.80 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Juan Martin Del Potro-Andy Murray Over 36.5 Games @ 1.83 Paddy Power (2 Units)

Olympic Games Update: 26-19, + 7.68 Units (88 Units Staked, + 8.73% Yield)

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