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Monday, 24 April 2017

Tennis Picks 2017 (April 24th)

The first Masters tournament on the clay courts is in the books with a familiar name picking up the title as Rafael Nadal cemented his place as the favourite to win the French Open for many people.

There are still some big events to play prior to Roland Garros this season which could see that opinion changing and this week all of the event have some significance before we move into May where the Madrid and Rome Masters are played and the French Open begins.

Monday is usually a quieter day for the tennis picks at the beginning of a new set of tournaments, but this week we have a pretty solid schedule in Barcelona and I am opposing a couple of British players in that tournament.

Jeremy Chardy v Kyle Edmund: I have to say I am a little bit surprised that Kyle Edmund is coming into this First Round match as a fairly strong favourite to beat Jeremy Chardy. I accept that Chardy has yet to really spark consistently in 2017, but he has had a couple of solid weeks on the clay courts and did beat Kyle Edmund in the Davis Cup Quarter Final on this surface at the beginning of the month.

That did come in a dead Rubber so I wouldn't read too much into that, but Edmund is an inconsistent performer as he is trying to work out the best way to put his game together on the court. There are some nice aspects of his game, but I do think Edmund is still capable of throwing in too many errors at key times of a match and I think he may have been over-rated by his performance against Rafael Nadal last week.

Losses to Chardy and Lucas Pouille at the Davis Cup without winning a set is more concerning and Edmund has had inconsistent performances on the clay courts over the last twelve months.

Chardy is hard to trust, but he is the underdog and I am not sure that is the right way this match should be priced up. He hasn't exactly put together a long stretch of wins on any surface in recent weeks nor has Chardy had a deep run in a clay court tournament over the last twelve months, but I think the Frenchman is comfortable on the surface and he can 'upset' Edmund in this First Round match.

Thiago Monteiro - 2.5 games v Daniel Evans: Coming through the Qualifiers will give Thiago Monteiro some confidence, but the Brazilian has not really pushed on in his career as he may have expected. Monteiro has some power and he should feel at home on the clay courts and I do think that can give him the edge against Daniel Evans.

You have to credit Evans for starting to fulfil his potential on the Tour, but the clay court season is not exactly going to be his favoured part of the season. He looked upset on the surface in his loss to compatriot Kyle Edmund in Monte Carlo and playing a specialist like Monteiro could be another troubling experience for Evans.

I do think Evans can be decent on the clay if he played with a bit more belief, but he can be someone who loses his focus and I do wonder if the British player is already thinking about the grass court season and beyond.

Evans has beaten Monteiro once this season, but that was on the hard courts in Sydney and it was a tougher than expected match for the higher Ranked player. Monteiro has had some disappointing losses on the clay courts this season, but winning back to back Qualifiers will give him a boost in confidence that he can take into the First Round.

After a struggle and a number of breaks of serve, I can see Monteiro coming through with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 win.

MY PICKS: Jeremy Chardy @ 2.37 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Thiago Monteiro - 2.5 Games @ 1.91 Paddy Power (2 Units)

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