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Monday, 5 June 2017

French Open Tennis Day 10 Picks 2017 (June 6th)

The first four Quarter Finals are scheduled to be played on Tuesday as the French Open begins to reach its conclusion for the 2017 tournament.

It looks like being a potentially stop-start day for the players who have been scheduled on the courts on Tuesday with a lot of rain expected throughout the day. The conditions are going to be tough for the players and I am sure one or two of them will be hoping the rain prevents them having to play in what could be cold and windy conditions.

It continues to be a good week for the tennis picks which produced another positive return on Day 9.

The French Open looks like it will be a positive tournament, but I am looking to end the tournament with a flourish to get this season back on track. After this week we will be moving onto the grass courts and the run up to Wimbledon which begins in less than a month and taking some momentum into the third Grand Slam of the season is important.

Kristina Mladenovic v Timea Bacsinszky: A tough road has been walked by Kristina Mladenovic who needed all of the help of the home crowd to break the resistance of the defending Champion Garbine Muguruza in the Fourth Round. That was the third match out of four that Mladenovic has needed to win a deciding set, although at least she wasn't forced into the stresses of a fourteen game or a sixteen game third set as she has been earlier in the tournament.

You can't help but feel that all this tennis, including playing in the Doubles, is going to hurt Mladenovic's chances of becoming the first French winner here since 2000. And there is not doubt that Mladenovic is going to have to dig deep again when facing Timea Bacsinszky who is a former Semi Finalist here and has been very comfortable through the draw.

While Mladenovic has been working hard to come through her matches, Bacsinszky has only dropped one set so far and that is the only set in which an opponent has secured more than two games. The run of players in her section have not been the most taxing though and this is clearly the most difficult match Bacsinszky will have played in the 2017 edition of Roland Garros.

Bacsinszky has all of the touch and feel on the clay courts which makes her a very tough opponent to deal with, but Mladenovic is no slouch on the surface. The latter also hits a much bigger ball than the Swiss player and that penetration has proven to be a winning play against Bacsinszky who has lost to the likes of Karolina Pliskova and Kiki Bertens on this surface over the last few weeks.

The conditions may make it more difficult for Mladenovic to hit through the court as she would like, but she has plenty of touch of her own with the drop shot employed. Mladenovic will also be comfortable trying to get to the net and close down the chips and angles Bacsinszky will want to use and she can earn some revenge for a Fed Cup loss to this opponent earlier this year.

That loss came on the hard courts and it was in a very tight match. I am anticipating another tight one here which is going to ebb and flow, but I think the crowd may just inspire Mladenovic to another victory. The amount of tennis she has had to play has to be a concern with the accumulated fatigue an issue, but Mladenovic can use the experiences of the past week to help her to a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 win thanks to the crowd really playing their part in affecting what Bacsinszky wants to do.

Jelena Ostapenko v Caroline Wozniacki: The women's tournament in Roland Garros might be the best chance Caroline Wozniacki has to breaking her Grand Slam duck and finally winning one of the big tournaments. Even though this tournament is played on her worst surface, the chance is there for Wozniacki after showing some considerable form in coming through to the Quarter Final.

The layers have her down as the narrow favourite in this Quarter Final match, and Wozniacki will be coming with some confidence from the added aggression she has been playing with. However, Jelena Ostapenko has already beaten Wozniacki twice on the clay courts in 2017 and the young Latvian is ready to make a real statement on the Tour.

You have to enjoy the aggressive play of Ostapenko and sometimes she can cross the line which has seen opponents criticise her actions on the court. Ostapenko won't care and she showed real confidence to come from a set behind to beat Strasbourg Champion Sam Stosur in the Fourth Round.

It has been the return games played by Ostapenko which have helped her through the draw, but she will recognise that she needs to improve her service games too if she is going to reach the Semi Final. In saying that, Ostapenko is going to feel she can really get on top of the Wozniacki service games even though she is likely to be put under pressure in her own games too.

No one can doubt that Wozniacki holds the experience edge, but they have both been playing well in this event and you can't ignore the fact that Ostapenko has won all three previous head to heads. The fact two of those have come on the clay in recent weeks is another mental edge for the youngster who seems to play without fear and I think Ostapenko can earn the upset here.

Wozniacki has managed to hold serve slightly more effectively than Ostapenko during this event, but I think the aggressiveness and consistency of the youngster will definitely worry her. I won't be surprised if we need three sets in this one to determine the winner, but I am backing the odds against underdog to be that player in a fascinating Quarter Final.

Rafael Nadal - 9.5 games v Pablo Carreno Busta: After making the case for Rafael Nadal to cover the big spread in the Fourth Round, I have to say I want to be behind the 'King of Clay' to record another big win over a compatriot in this Quarter Final.

So far Nadal has been playing at an extremely high level at the French Open and he has looked almost unstoppable on his charge towards another title in Paris. No one has been able to take more than eight games in any of the four matches he has played here and Nadal has been making some decent players look very, very ordinary.

The start to the matches has set the tone with Nadal winning the first set in each of his four matches 6-1, 6-1, 6-0 and 6-1. That is a big reason he has been able to cover some big spreads throughout the first nine days in the tournament, although Pablo Carreno Busta may be the player that poses the biggest threat.

Carreno Busta's favourite surface is clay and he has won the title in Estoril as well as pushing Novak Djokovic to three sets in Monte Carlo. Those are impressive performances, but Carreno Busta is going to have to be much better to match what Nadal is going to bring to the court.

The younger Spaniard has played well here in Paris where he has reached his first Grand Slam Quarter Final, but Carreno Busta was pushed all the way to a fourteen game final set against Milos Raonic two days ago. That would have been an emotional win for Carreno Busta, but matching the intensity of Nadal will be difficult if he is feeling any of that tennis in his legs.

His issue is that Nadal does not take a point off and I think it will be a very difficult day all around for Carreno Busta. His own serve has shown vulnerability during the course of the tournament and Nadal has been converting at 45% when he does create break points and has broken at least five times in every match he has played.

Nadal has also been playing well enough to defend his serve having only allowed it to be dropped three times in four matches. I do think Carreno Busta may challenge him a bit more with his own solid clay court talent which he has shown, but the battle on Sunday could see him wear down on Tuesday barring the match being postponed due to the rain.

Even if he does get an extra day, Carreno Busta may struggle to stay with Nadal in close to prime level and I will look for Nadal to cover in a 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 win.

Novak Djokovic - 3.5 games v Dominic Thiem: The best Quarter Final on paper looks to be the one between Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem who might both be hoping that the conditions are not as difficult as forecasted. Everyone knows the Djokovic feelings about the wind, but I think it could make life difficult for Thiem too who takes big swings off both wings and whose timing could be made tougher with a swirling wind.

That is part of the interest in this match, but the other is Thiem trying to breakthrough with a really big Grand Slam win against Djokovic who has not looked quite up to his best. The defending Champion has had to ride out some difficult moments throughout the first four matches he has played in Paris, but the way he took control against Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the Fourth Round has to be encouraging.

This does feel another step up in terms of quality of opponent though as Thiem has yet to drop a set and only three of the twelve sets he has won has seen his opponent win four or more games. The Austrian is clearly at his best on the clay courts having reached the Semi Final here in 2016, but it was Novak Djokovic who crushed him for the loss of just seven games on his way to winning the title.

That is going to have a mental affect on things, but the more recent beating came in the Rome Masters Semi Final when Djokovic crushed Thiem 6-1, 6-0 in what is his best performance of 2017. In fact it may be the best Djokovic performance since winning the title in Paris last year and you cannot ignore the fact that that match, as well as the others against Djokovic, will be playing on Thiem's mind.

Thiem's flashy style definitely gets the crowd onto the edge of their seats, but the steadiness of Djokovic has proved tough for him to break down. That has seen Thiem win one of their twelve sets against one another and all five previous wins for Djokovic have come in very routine fashion.

I think Djokovic has been vulnerable here in Roland Garros so I can see Thiem making this one more competitive than those other matches have been. He is playing well enough to win his second ever set against Djokovic, but I think the Serb is going to have the mental edge which is going to see Thiem perhaps make some critical mistakes at important times throughout this match.

The game handicap for this one says everything about where Djokovic is with his game at the moment as I was expecting him to be a slightly bigger favourite. However I think that is underestimating the 'Indian Sign' he may have over Thiem and I am looking for the defending Champion to put together a 7-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 win to move into what should be the Semi Final we all want against Rafael Nadal.

MY PICKS: Kristina Mladenovic - 1.5 Games @ 1.83 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Jelena Ostapenko @ 2.20 Bet365 (2 Units)
Rafael Nadal - 9.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Novak Djokovic - 3.5 Games @ 1.91 Sky Bet (2 Units)

French Open Update: 52-34, + 30.24 Units (171 Units Staked, + 17.68% Yield)

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