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Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Tennis Picks 2017 (May 24th)

There won't be any tennis picks on Thursday as I will be away for the Europa League Final until late Thursday evening, but I will look through the schedule for Friday and see if anything stands out.

So far this week there haven't been too many picks as I have not seen a lot of options, but Wednesday looks to be a busier day with the majority of tournaments looking to get their Second Round matches completed so the events can be concluded on Saturday.

The draw for the French Open main draw will also be made on Friday and we should have the schedule of play for Sunday released on Saturday when the outright picks and Day 1 Picks should be ready to go.

Before that I will have a thread for the FA Cup Final and the big boxing night at Bramall Lane where Kell Brook defends his World Welterweight Title against Errol Spence Jr in what looks a cracking fight.

Albert Ramos-Vinolas - 1.5 games v Andrey Kuznetsov: Going into the clay court season, Albert Ramos-Vinolas may have been one of those players people would have picked for a really strong showing. He did reach the Final at the Monte Carlo Masters, but there have been some disappointing early losses too and the Spaniard is going to have to defend a lot of points in Paris next week.

Back to back losses to Diego Sebastian Schwartzman and John Isner would have been matches that Ramos-Vinolas may have expected to win. That has got to have knocked some confidence and there is no doubting the danger that Andrey Kuznetsov brings to the court in this one.

The Russian has talent and has previously enjoyed his time in Geneva with some solid wins behind him. Kuznetsov came from a set down to beat Thomaz Bellucci in the First Round although he has been inconsistent on the clay courts at this level in his career.

There are times Kuznetsov is picking all the right shots and he can be very tough to break with the way he approaches the match. That will give Ramos-Vinolas something to think about, but I do think the Spaniard is the better clay court player and I would expect him to showcase that over the course of the match.

It might need three sets to determine the winner, but I am looking for Ramos-Vinolas to come through with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 kind of win in a topsy-turvy Second Round encounter.

Qiang Wang - 1.5 games v Shelby Rogers: There might be something that I don't know about how Qiang Wang is feeling, but I would have her as a much bigger favourite to win this match than the layers have in this Second Round encounter. Wang has been playing really well over the last few weeks and I think Shelby Rogers might be over-rated for a win over Caroline Wozniacki who had to retire in the second set of their match.

Rogers did play well at the French Open last season but she hasn't had a lot of matches under belt thanks to injury and early losses in a number of tournaments in preparation for Roland Garros this year.

The American is capable on the clay courts with the added time allowing her to power past opponents but I think she is not playing with the consistency or had enough matches for the rhythm that will be needed to beat Wang.

Wang is 9-3 on the clay courts this year, although a few of those have been on the Qualifiers, and that comes at the end of a title win in Zhengzhou on the hard courts which have clearly given her more belief. I think that carries over here and she can beat Rogers in two tight sets which will be enough to cover this number.

Oceane Dodin - 2.5 games v Misaki Doi: There is a lot to like about Oceane Dodin's game and the young Frenchwoman has the chance to put together a strong week in Nuremberg in preparation for the French Open next week. Some inconsistencies still come through, but Dodin is able to hit the ball very hard through the clay courts and can have the patience to win this match.

She will need to be patient against Misaki Doi who is a solid enough defensive player that will look for the mistakes to be made against her. However her lack of real punch off the ground does mean that opponents are able to get the upper hand in rallies and staying in the match from a mental point of view is the key for Dodin in this one.

If she starts getting frustrated with the Doi defences, it is going to lead to more and more unforced errors and that is a surefire way to lose a match. However, Dodin will have the edge in the rallies with the chances she will have the first strike more often than not and her confidence can improve if she is able to restrict those mistakes and ultimately win the points.

It is a match up of contrasting styles, but one where I think the power and aggression of Dodin can see her get the better of Doi in the Second Round. Dodin should be able to get her teeth into the Doi service games and that can lead to a 6-4, 6-4 kind of win for the younger player and a place in the Quarter Final on Thursday.

Tomas Berdych - 2.5 games v Hyeon Chung: There is no doubting that Tomas Berdych is not the player he once was, but he is still a solid enough clay court player to win matches like this. When Berdych has been beaten, he has tended to be beaten fairly comfortably over the last few weeks on the clay courts, but he does have a 6-3 record on the surface.

Only one of his losses might be looked at as one he shouldn't have taken and Berdych would have covered this number of games in all six wins on the clay since April.

Hyeon Chung has to be respected as he has won three matches here in Lyon and this is the first match that Berdych will be playing. The win over Alexander Zverev in Barcelona looks a very good one for the youngster who has yet to really find the consistency to be playing in the biggest events on the Tour having missed out in Madrid and Rome.

Chung also had a strong run in Munich in his last tournament so you can see why the layers don't want to give too much away on the handicap in this one. The wins have been solid enough over the last couple of months, but I think Berdych has been beating those players he should be some comfort and I can see him doing the same on Wednesday.

It won't be easy for Berdych who has to play close to his best level to see off Chung in the Second Round. However I think he can do that in a 7-6, 6-4 win here in Lyon and I will back him to cover the games.

MY PICKS: Albert Ramos-Vinolas - 1.5 Games @ 1.91 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Qiang Wang - 1.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Oceane Dodin - 2.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Tomas Berdych - 2.5 Games @ 1.85 William Hill (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 2-2, - 0.36 Units (8 Units Staked, - 4.5% Yield)

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