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Friday, 20 January 2017

Australian Open Tennis Day 6 Picks 2017 (January 21st)

Do you ever get the feeling that this is not going to be one of your better weeks in what is a long season? Day 5 was a winning day for the Picks, but I seriously believe I have missed a couple of huge opportunities for a really strong day.

Eugenie Bouchard and Ashleigh Barty had all the momentum going into a deciding set that they needed to win to cover- Bouchard was ahead 4-3 and had a game point before being broken back and then missed four break points in the next game to eventually go down.

Barty had all the momentum going into the final set and again needed to just win, but missed early opportunities to put Mona Barthel under immense pressure in another final set loss.

And then Stan Wawrinka had a chance to serve out the match not once, but twice in the fourth set which would have meant a cover. Instead he is broken both times and wins a tie-breaker to miss out by a single game margin.

Those three matches could easily have gone my way which would have meant a 9-2 day and a huge set of results, but instead I had to settle for 6-5 in a day that came close, but not quite close enough for me.

The big names all made their way through the Third Round on Friday and there will be a few more out there on Saturday trying to get into the second week of the Australian Open. There were some big matches on Friday, but the remainder of the Third Round looks just as appealing for the fans and hopefully we see another really good day of tennis.

Time has been of the essence again today so I given a breakdown of a few matches and added the rest to the 'MY PICKS' section below.

David Goffin win 3-1 v Ivo Karlovic: This is a battle between David and Goliath in the Third Round at the Australian Open and like that famous story, I expect David to slay the giant.

It might not be as dramatic as the story, but David Goffin should have too much for Ivo Karlovic despite how dangerous the big Croatian is behind that serve. Goffin has already experienced playing a monster server when beating Reilly Opelka in the First Round, but the experience of Karlovic makes him a much tougher prospect.

The serve puts more pressure on Goffin to make sure his own serve is working well enough to prevent Karlovic having a swing of his racquet to try and break through. I do think Karlovic can have some success with the pressure he builds, but ultimately you have to think Goffin makes enough balls to force Karlovic to protect the serve and eventually break through the defences at the net.

This is a very difficult match for Goffin because a lot depends on how Karlovic is feeling. He is a very good player in the tie-breaker as he will get to the net and force players to make pressure passes, and I would be surprised if he can't take a set. However I ultimately feel Goffin will have a little too much about his game, especially the return game, and I can see him coming through in four sets.

Dominic Thiem - 5.5 games v Benoit Paire: Some of these numbers have been set very well by the layers when it comes to the game handicap and I think this has the potential to be a close one if Benoit Paire brings his best form to the court. That in itself is difficult to predict with Paire one of the biggest underachievers on the Tour despite having a number of attributes you would think would contribute to a successful career.

The problem with Paire is he can be so up and down that he is difficult to trust although he did show some character in beating Fabio Fognini in five sets in the Second Round. However that was against another erratic character and it will be a different sort of match against Dominic Thiem who was an impressive winner in the Second Round against Jordan Thompson.

Thiem will just carry on with his game and he generally has a higher level than Paire which should show up in this match. This is a great chance for Thiem to have another big run at a Grand Slam event with Novak Djokovic out of this quarter of the draw and the Austrian is someone who will bring his consistency to the court and look for that to see him break down the Paire game.

It is Paire who possesses the bigger serve, but he doesn't make full use of the capabilities of that shot and the Frenchman is likely to gift a few breaks of serve away in this one. While he should be able to recover some of those, I think Thiem will be too strong mentally and physically and can come through with a 63, 64, 64 win.

Alexander Zverev-Rafael Nadal over 38.5 total games: This is the Third Round match I am looking forward to the most on Saturday as it is a chance for 'Next Gen' Alexander Zverev to prove he is ready to take the next step in his career. A chance to beat Rafael Nadal, one of the old guard, will add to the belief that Zverev is ready to become one of the top players in the world and he has previous.

He might have lost to Nadal when they met in Indian Wells but it took a final set to separate them and Zverev really did show that he is capable of hanging with the best players. A win over Roger Federer at the Hopman Cup in three tight sets will only have added to the belief that the German is ready to make the next leap in his development and that means adding a big name to those he has defeated at Grand Slam level.

It won't be an easy match by any stretch of the imagination, but I was a little surprised that Zverev is quite a big underdog in the match. I was tempted by the games he is being given on the handicap to at least keep this one close if he is not quite able to overcome Nadal, but I think there is a real chance that Zverev can do that.

I can't imagine Nadal fading away in this one either and he will have his moments when he puts together the kind of tennis that took him to World Number 1 and helped him win multiple Grand Slam titles. This match has all the makings of one that could go into a fourth and perhaps even a fifth set before we get a winner and it makes the total games market the most appealing way to back a winner.

There is every chance we will see at least one tie-breaker and the majority of sets should be contested competitively. It will need at least four sets to get over this number, but these two players can do that and I will look for an intense match to develop.

Roberto Bautista Agut-David Ferrer over 38.5 total games: How times have changed... Go back a few months and there is next to no chance that Roberto Bautista Agut is considered the favourite to outlast David Ferrer but that is where we find ourselves as the Third Round match is set to go.

That says a lot about Ferrer and what most have perceived to be a significant decline in his physical state which allowed him to be so good throughout his career. He simply cannot keep the consistency going nowadays which means he is now losing matches that he would never have thought he would lose even six months ago.

Roberto Bautista Agut won the title in Chennai and has looked in good form at the Australian Open but there are some mental obstacles to overcome in this one. Playing a compatriot who has achieved as much as Ferrer can be difficult to get out of the mind, while Bautista Agut has lost his two previous matches against Ferrer which both came in Grand Slam events.

I do think Bautista Agut is the more likely winner, but those mental issues might mean Ferrer is able to stay in the match and extend it. There will be breaks of serve for both players, but I can see at least four sets being needed to separate these players like there were when these players met at Wimbledon and the US Open in 2013.

This time it might be Bautista Agut who gets the better of things, but these two players can combine for four competitive sets which should be enough to surpass this number of games.

MY PICKS: David Goffin Win 3-1 in Sets @ 4.00 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
Dominic Thiem - 5.5 Games @ 1.83 Ladbrokes (2 Units)
Alexander Zverev-Rafael Nadal Over 38.5 Total Games @ 1.85 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Roberto Bautista Agut-David Ferrer Over 38.5 Total Games @ 1.83 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Milos Raonic - 5.5 Games @ 1.91 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Gael Monfils Win 3-1 in Sets @ 3.80 Sky Bet (1 Unit)
Grigor Dimitrov - 1.5 Sets @ 2.10 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Serena Williams - 6.5 Games @ 1.83 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Johanna Konta - 2.5 Games @ 1.73 Ladbrokes (2 Units)
Daria Gavrilova - 1.5 Games @ 1.80 Bet365 (2 Units)
Karolina Pliskova - 5.5 Games @ 2.00 Ladbrokes (2 Units)

Australian Open Update: 20-25, - 9.38 Units (87 Units Staked, - 10.78% Yield)

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