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Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Tennis Picks 2017 (March 1st)

Tuesday was a really busy day of tennis at the various tournaments being played around the world. With the majority of First Round matches being played on Tuesday, it does mean we have to wait for the full matches to be revealed for Wednesday and so I will add any picks from the ATP Sao Paulo, ATP Acapulco and WTA Acapulco tournaments on Wednesday.

I will start with the picks from the ATP Dubai tournament being played and will add any other picks during the day.

Gael Monfils - 3.5 games v Daniel Evans: One of the biggest strengths of Daniel Evans' game is not the power or the variation, but the awkwardness that he brings to the court which can mentally wear down a lot of players. He is working harder than he has perhaps ever done in his career, but I do think Evans is some way short of the best players on the Tour on pure talent and playing shots that opponents are not really expecting to see, and thus find difficult to deal with, has been a key for Evans so far this season.

That awkward style can give Gael Monfils some problems considering the Frenchman can be a player that looks for the flashy shots to entertain the crowds. Those shots are usually low percentage ones and has prevented Monfils really from fulfilling the potential many thought he had.

There are times when Monfils looks more focused and about to really kick on his career, but those have been far too fleeting. He was a comfortable First Round win against an overmatched opponent, but Monfils will know he needs to be better if he is going to get the better of Evans in this Second Round encounter.

You do have to give Monfils the edge when it comes to the serve, but he has to work out that Evans is going to use a lot of slice off his backhand wing and doing that is a key to the match. If Monfils can start bringing himself a little forward, he can force Evans to try and hit through the ball off that wing which can lead to mistakes, while the British players serve is not the biggest on the Tour.

Evans has had some impressive wins in 2017, but I think Monfils gets the better of him in a 7-6, 6-3 win in Dubai as his superior athleticism and bigger serve prove to be a difference maker at critical times.

Tomas Berdych - 4.5 games v Robin Haase: Despite some obvious signs that Tomas Berdych has regressed as a player from the days of being a permanent feature inside the top 10 of the World Rankings, I still think he is good enough to win matches like this one.

Berdych faces Robin Haase in the Second Round in Dubai and there is no doubt the Dutchman has a big game, but one that can see him produce some big errors at time as he gives himself little margin for error. The serve is a solid weapon, but Haase does not always back that up effectively and Berdych can still make enough solid returns to earn a couple of break points in the match.

The Berdych serve is not as strong as it once was, but he should still enjoy plenty of short balls coming back from Haase as well as his fair share of unreturnable serves. That should keep the pressure on Haase to match Berdych and I do think will lead to a couple of mental collapses at key points of this match.

The last few weeks have seen Haase be very competitive in matches which makes him dangerous to oppose with this number of games. He has pushed played like David Goffin, Alexander Zverev and Richard Gasquet the distance in matches, but I think Berdych may still be a little too solid for Haase.

Even though he is not he player he once was, Berdych has actually won plenty of matches in 2017 by a margin which would cover this number. I am looking for Berdych to come through with a 6-4, 6-3 win in this one and move onto the Thursday Quarter Finals.

Roger Federer - 5.5 games v Evgeny Donskoy: No one expected Roger Federer to really win the Australian Open after the long lay off from the Tour, but he was very good there and has opened his tournament in Dubai with a one-sided win. Federer has enjoyed playing here throughout his career and he should have too much for the Qualifier Evgeny Donskoy in the Second Round.

As well as Donskoy has done to come through three matches in Dubai to reach the Second Round, 2017 has seen him lose some matches in one-sided fashion as he can mentally struggle to stay in a match. While playing the 18 time Grand Slam Champion is going to give Donskoy plenty of motivation to try and challenge Federer, I do wonder if he can stay with the Swiss star.

Federer serves well enough to put the pressure on Donskoy, but he has also looked healthy moving around the court in the First Round win over Benoit Paire. That should mean Federer is able to get into the Donskoy service games and I can see him breaking at least three times over the course of this match which should be enough to cover this number.

There will definitely be enough chances for Federer to break serve that many times and it is about converting those opportunities when they come his way. I do think Federer is able to do that and can come through this match with a 6-1, 6-4 win behind him.

I am adding picks from Acapulco and Sao Paulo in the 'MY PICKS' section after a slightly busier day has meant I can't make full breakdowns today.

MY PICKS: Gael Monfils - 3.5 Games @ 1.83 Boyle Sports (2 Units)
Tomas Berdych - 4.5 Games @ 2.10 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Roger Federer - 5.5 Games @ 1.73 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Federico Delbonis - 3.5 Games @ 1.91 William Hill (2 Units)
Carlos Berlocq - 1.5 Games @ 1.80 Bet Fred (2 Units)
David Goffin - 3.5 Games @ 1.85 William Hill (2 Units)
Marin Cilic - 3.5 Games @ 1.91 William Hill (2 Units)
Steve Johnson - 3.5 Games @ 1.85 Sporting Bet (2 Units)
Dominic Thiem - 4.5 Games @ 2.00 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Jelena Ostapenko - 3.5 Games @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Kirsten Flipkens - 1.5 Games @ 1.91 Coral (2 Units)
Kristina Mladenovic - 3.5 Games @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Mirjana Lucic-Baroni - 1.5 Games @ 1.91 Coral (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 6-7, - 1.96 Units (26 Units Staked, - 7.54% Yield)

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