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Saturday, 8 October 2016

Tennis Picks 2016 (October 8th)

The tournaments have reached the Semi Final stage this week and I have to say the last couple of days have been really poor for the tennis picks. Judging by my twitter feed, I am not the only one who has been struggling this week, but I am still in a position to get things turned around before we head to the Shanghai Masters.

This is the time of the season when players begin to focus on the remaining Ranking points in a bid to get into the elite eight of either Tour and a place in the Tour Finals. Things will definitely begin to feel a little clearer on the WTA side of things as their Tour Finals are now a little over two weeks from beginning so there really isn't a lot more places players can turn to earn the points to get into the Singapore tournament.

The Semi Final between Madison Keys and Johanna Konta is going to be huge in that regards on Saturday as the winner could pick up huge points here in Beijing- it is more important for Konta than Keys, but both players will be keen to give their all for a big win.

Saturday should be a very good day of tennis as the tournaments begin to wind down in Beijing and Tokyo.

Madison Keys - 1.5 games v Johanna Konta: The one element that is hard to ignore is the fact that Madison Keys had to spent almost three hours on court to beat the in form Petra Kvitova on Friday. She has less than twenty-four hours to get ready for this very big Semi Final against Johanna Konta who made short work of Shuai Zhang after giving up the first four games of that Quarter Final.

Physical tiredness at this time of the season is an issue after a long year on the Tour and I wonder how much Madison Keys has left after that tough encounter with Kvitova. Winning will have given her a boost in confidence, but Keys still needs a few more points to make sure she can reach Singapore and I like the fact that her serve can make life a little easier for herself.

The big forehand is a huge weapon and she definitely has an edge over Konta in that regards, although the British player has a decent serve of her own and also has the superior backhand. Konta was playing with real aggression towards the end of her match with Zhang in the Quarter Final and that is going to be important for her in this one because she can't give Keys the chance to wind up on her big shots.

I imagine this is going to be a close match, but Konta has shown she can be overpowered at times and Keys is certainly capable of doing that. Tiredness could be a factor after that win over Kvitova, but I think Keys has enough to play for to put together her game and come out with a 63, 57, 64 win.

Agnieszka Radwanska - 4.5 games v Elina Svitolina: I don't really rate Agnieszka Radwanska has some people do because I think she is a little more than a 'pusher' who just tries to outlast players with a little less consistency than she brings. That is the kind of match up that might work against someone like Elina Svitolina who is having a very big week in Beijing with some impressive wins behind her.

Neither player has dropped a set this week and both should be very fresh for this Semi Final having not been spending that long on the court. They have won matches impressively and so it should be a good match that both expect they can win.

I think the real key to the match is the ability Radwanska has to try and outlast players and I am not sure Svitolina can penetrate her defences consistently to break down the Pole. That has been a problem in their previous matches which have all been won by Radwanska and she has not dropped a set in the last couple of matches between them.

Svitolina is playing well enough to give Radwanska problems at times in this one, but I think the latter is capable of coming through those difficult moments. That might be enough for Radwanska to battle through to a 64, 63 win and a place in the Final in Beijing this week.

David Goffin + 2.5 games v Marin Cilic: There is still a chance for either Marin Cilic or David Goffin to get into the mix for a place in the World Tour Finals in London and winning the tournament in Tokyo is a big part of that. The winner of this Semi Final will be keeping their hopes alive before heading to Shanghai next week and this should be a really fascinating match when those motivations are in play.

The layers have tipped up Marin Cilic as the more likely winner and you can understand why they have done that. He is a former Grand Slam Champion who has plenty of aggression and a solid first serve which should give him a chance to win any match, while Cilic's returning game should find some joy from the David Goffin service games.

However you can't easily dismiss the fact that Goffin has won both of their matches played in 2016 and both times as a similar kind of underdog as he is going into this match. His own return game can punish the Cilic second serve while Goffin's movement can force Cilic to hit closer to the lines and force his forehand to break down at big moments.

In all honesty Cilic missed a host of chances in his loss to Goffin at Indian Wells back in March and taking those could see him turn the result around. Even with that in mind though, I do think Goffin can make the games he is being given count and find a way to at least cover in this one even in a losing effort and I am going to back him to do that.

Gael Monfils - 1.5 games v Nick Kyrgios: You are going to be a lucky person if you have a ticket to Semi Final day in Tokyo because I think both matches look like they could be excellent ones to watch. Nick Kyrgios and Gael Monfils are two of the bigger entertainers on the Tour and I think they are going to combine for some fine points when the rallies develop.

Both players will be looking to their first serve to set up the points in this one and the one who serves best is likely going to win the match. However that is where Gael Monfils has shown more consistency in recent months and I think the Frenchman is in a better place mentally which is going to give him the edge.

Monfils is still in a very good position to make the World Tour Finals for the first time in his career and winning this tournament will put him right on the brink of doing that. He will need to find a way to make sure he can frustrate Kyrgios by getting enough balls in play to extract errors and not allow the Australian to dictate behind his big serve.

It has been a good week for Kyrgios and he is dangerous when he is in the form he has displayed. That can see him use the momentum to go all the way to the title but I think Monfils will find a way to blunt his aggression and come through with a win and a cover in this second Semi Final.

MY PICKS: Madison Keys - 1.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Agnieszka Radwanska - 4.5 Games @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)
David Goffin + 2.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet365 (2 Units)
Gael Monfils - 1.5 Games @ 1.83 William Hill (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 10-13, - 6.56 Units (46 Units Staked, - 14.26% Yield)

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