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Monday, 22 May 2017

Tennis Picks 2017 (May 23rd)

The four tournaments being played this week move into the Second Round in a few cases as they want to make sure they are completed before the French Open begins on Sunday.

The First Round at Roland Garros is played over the first three days of that event which is the only Grand Slam to begin on a Sunday. That means the pressure is on the events this week to make sure they can complete the tournaments on a Saturday so avoiding poor weather is the key.

It does feel like a very good week for tennis in Europe though which is extending into next week in Paris where the Qualifiers are being played at the moment.


Eugenie Bouchard - 1.5 games v Yulia Putintseva: The tournament in Madrid was an important one for Eugenie Bouchard who has had a couple of really average years on the WTA Tour. I was never as high on the Canadian as some people when she did produce some of her best tennis in the Grand Slams, but that was now back in 2014 and it is not a stretch to say that Bouchard has been nothing better than average in that time.

Her wins in Madrid may give her some confidence in what has been another poor five months on the Tour compared to the press time Bouchard is afforded. Bouchard is just 8-10 on the clay courts since reaching the Semi Final at Roland Garros and I don't think many will be backing her to have a strong run at the French Open next week.

In saying all that, I do think Bouchard can get the better of Yulia Putintseva in this First Round match in Nuremberg, a player who has been underachieving on the clay courts this past six weeks. She has had success in the past, but Putintseva is generally outgunned at this level and it is hard to win matches when fighting so hard to hold onto your own service games.

Someone like Bouchard will throw in some sloppy games of her own though which makes this a tight match and I do think it will likely go into a third set to decide the winner.

However I do think Bouchard can just get the better of Putintseva behind the heavier groundstrokes and with the added confidence of a decent run in Madrid. It could end up with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 kind of win for the Canadian to move through to the Second Round.


Samantha Stosur - 3.5 games v Madison Brengle: It hasn't been a vintage season for Samantha Stosur who simply isn't the player she was a few years ago, but I would still heavily favour her to get the better of Madison Brengle on the clay courts.

It was a decent win for Brengle in the First Round after winning a couple of Qualifiers to get into the main draw in Strasbourg, but she is just 5-11 in main draw clay court matches. Her style of play should not really be one that transfers onto the clay courts that well as she will use a lot of defensive shots that simply sit up on the surface and allow opponents to dominate.

I am not that surprised that she is beaten quite comfortably when she does get beaten on the surface, but Brengle will likely extract some errors from the Stosur game especially when she can force her into backhand to backhand rallies.

The difference here is Stosur's serve should set her up much more effectively than it does for Brengle and I do think that is going to decide the course of the match. While Brengle is likely going to have to dig deep in the majority of her service games to hold, the Stosur serve can set up short returns for the Australian to dominate the rally and effectively hold with much more 'ease' than her opponent.

That should see Stosur have enough to earn a break more in each set of a straights set win and I will back her to cover this number.


Kyle Edmund - 3.5 games v Thiago Monteiro: Late decisions to enter tournaments can sometimes mean a lower Ranked player enters a main draw when the higher Ranked player had come through the Qualifiers. That is the case in Lyon where Kyle Edmund had to win a couple of Qualifiers before entering the main draw where he will be favoured to beat Thiago Monteiro.

I don't think Edmund will mind having to play a couple of Qualifiers just for the additional clay court matches to put under his belt in what has been a mixed portion of the season for him. There have been signs that Edmund can very much produce his best tennis on the clay courts, but he is still very inconsistent with his results which can make it difficult to trust him.

However it should be said that Monteiro does tend to play his best tennis in South America rather than on the European clay courts and he has not exactly been producing the results to build the confidence. The Brazilian has been able to push a couple of opponents, but he didn't play well in a loss to Daniel Evans and will have to be significantly better to beat Edmund.

Even if an inconsistent Edmund shows up, I think he will likely win a close one. However Edmund is 5-4 during this clay court swing heading into the French Open and would have covered this number in all five wins he has had.

I think he can put enough pressure on the Monteiro game to come through with a relatively straight-forward 6-3, 6-4 kind of win in this one and I will back the British player here.

MY PICKS: Eugenie Bouchard - 1.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Samantha Stosur - 3.5 Games @ 1.91 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Kyle Edmund - 3.5 Games @ 1.73 Paddy Power (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 1-1, - 0.18 Units (4 Units Staked, - 4.5% Yield)

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