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Monday, 22 May 2017

Tennis Picks 2017 (May 22nd)

The final week before any Grand Slam tournament is usually one where the top names decide to skip out and keep the energy fresh for the major event ahead. That is the case for the most part this week with the French Open due to begin next Sunday, although there are still plenty of recognisable names in the events being played across four tournaments this week.

In saying that, it can be the attempt to ride some treacherous seas when negotiating picks through weeks like this and is certainly one of caution for myself.

While I am planning to make picks, I do think there will be the potential for not really seeing anything worth backing with the fact that the French Open is beginning this weekend in my mind. Some of the tournaments have already got into the main draw on Sunday and I didn't have any picks from the events and we will see how it goes over the week.

Oceane Dodin - 1.5 games v Shuai Zhang: It has been a tough battle on the clay courts for Shuai Zhang and confidence is going to have been damaged having lost five in a row on the surface. In general it has been a disappointing season for Zhang so far and this First Round match looks a tough one on paper for her.

Oceane Dodin has yet to really put together the consistency she would like on the WTA Tour but she has improved her World Ranking and looks to be a player capable of fulfilling the potential she clearly has. Playing on the clay courts shouldn't be an issue for a player that has grown up on the surface, although the inconsistency already mentioned makes it tough to really believe in her fully.

However, I do think Dodin has had enough wins over the last few weeks to believe in her game a little more than Zhang does at this moment. It can be argued that Dodin has the more 'respectable' losses on the clay over the last few weeks and I think she can get the better of Zhang even if it takes three sets to get the job done.

Zhang's last eight losses on the clay courts would have failed to see her get within this number and I will look for Dodin to play just big enough to come through with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 win.

Alize Cornet v Shuai Peng: This has been set as a pick 'em contest by the layers and I think that says a lot about the inconsistency that Alize Cornet continues to produce on a week by week basis. Her home Grand Slam is coming up next week and Cornet has to show some form to build momentum to take into the French Open, although failing to reach her standards will give Shuai Peng the edge to win the match.

The clay court season has not been one that Cornet has enjoyed so far, although her loss to Elina Svitolina came in two tough sets last week in Rome against the eventual winner of that Premier Event.

Peng is not really on that level, especially not on the clay courts and I think she may be on the wrong end of another narrow loss. Both of her clay court losses in 2017 have come in three sets against very strong opponents, but Peng may not have the same nous on the clay courts as the Frenchwoman she faces in the First Round.

I have little doubt there will be shifts of momentum during the match on the way to a Cornet win, which is never straightforward. However I do think Cornet should have the superior clay court game compared with Peng and she can win here this week in another three set match.

MY PICKS: Oceane Dodin - 1.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Alize Cornet @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)

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