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Thursday, 8 June 2017

French Open Tennis Day 12 Picks 2017 (June 8th)

For most of the people in the United Kingdom, June 8th is very much the day when the focus will be on the General Election and seeing the results come in from that during the day to see who will govern the country for the next few years.

However, for tennis fans the initial interest may be turned to Paris and seeing the women's Semi Finals as we get down to the final four players who are all looking for a maiden Grand Slam title.

All four players will have their supporters and it should be three decent matches remaining at the second Grand Slam of the season before we get our winner on Saturday afternoon.


The biggest story from Day 11 will likely have been about a player that hasn't made the last four in either the women's or men's draw as Novak Djokovic exited the French Open with a whimper. It was shocking to see Djokovic capitulate in the manner he did in the third set against Dominic Thiem and highlights how far away he is from reaching the standards that saw him dominate men's tennis.

That defeat has knocked him out of the top two in the World Rankings for the first time in six years and Djokovic himself admitted that he doesn't know whether he needs a prolonged break from tennis. It was a really surprising suggestion from the former World Number 1 who will now have at least three and a half weeks before he is back in competitive action at Wimbledon, assuming Djokovic is going to take part in the third Slam of the season.

Most people will now have to accept that Djokovic is perhaps going to need some time before he can restore his confidence and aura back onto the tennis court, that is if he can restore it at all. We have seen the likes of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer reinvigorate what were seen as flagging careers, but I think those two players also had special shots in their arsenal whereas Djokovic was always just very good at everything without having the really outstanding shot.

It might make it more difficult for him to recover the standards he once had, and there is no doubt the amount of work he has to do.


It was a decent day for the tennis picks on Day 11 with a 3-2 return meaning addition to the profit from this tournament. On Day 12 the focus will be on the women's Semi Finals before Day 13 is reserved for the men's Semi Finals.


Jelena Ostapenko + 2.5 games v Timea Bacsinszky: Backing Jelena Ostapenko to beat Caroline Wozniacki paid off in the Quarter Final as the young Latvian beat the former World Number 1 for the fourth time in less than twelve months. There is clearly a lot of talent in the Ostapenko racquet and she was able to bludgeon Wozniacki into submission, although that is going to be a more difficult task against someone like Timea Bacsinszky.

This is a tournament that is clearly very close to Bacsinszky's heart and her best results at the Grand Slams have come here at Roland Garros. The Swiss player has reached the Quarter Final here three years in a row (only has a single Quarter Final appearance in any other Slam) and Bacsinszky has the experience of having played a Semi Final here before.

Her variation and movement makes her a very dangerous clay court player with every chance of her injecting a lot of pace off the ground as well as playing stunning drop shots and volleys at the net. That variation can bamboozle opponents and Bacsinszky has only dropped a single set so far in Paris over the last couple of weeks.

The win over Kristina Mladenovic was a solid one, but Ostapenko may look at the way Venus Williams was able to take a set off of Bacsinszky for encouragement. Williams took the racquet away from Bacsinszky from 5-1 down in the first set and that helped her win six games in a row to take the set.

Have no doubt that Ostapenko is going to try and do the same here although she has to work out when to really take the game to Bacsinszky. Where Wozniacki gave Ostapenko a good rhythm, that is not going to be the case in this match and she has to be aware of all the crafty work Bacsinszky will do on the court.

I do think Ostapenko will be able to deliver some big returns to put the Swiss player under pressure and big hitting players have had success against Bacsisnzky over the last three seasons. The defeats on the clay courts since 2015 have come against the following list of players.

Maria Sharapova, Daria Gavrilova, Serena Williams, Simona Halep, Garbine Muguruza, Kiki Bertens (three times), Catherine Bellis and Karolina Pliskova.

Almost every one of those is an aggressive player that will hit the ball very big to hurt Bacsinszky and I think Ostapenko can do the same as long as she contains the nerves that will occur having reached her first Grand Slam Semi Final. The young Latvian has played with a lot of confidence and I actually don't worry about nerves as much as you would imagine as she has shown she will continue going out looking for the big winners where she can.

I respect how well Bacsinszky has played this week too, but I actually think the upset could be on in this one. I will take the games though because there is a chance we see a tight three setter and having those games could be crucial even if Ostapenko is unable to win the match outright.

As long as Ostapenko doesn't let all the slicing and dicing of Bacsinszky bother her, she can win this match but I will back her on the handicap.


Simona Halep - 4.5 games v Karolina Pliskova: I've made a point about Simona Halep failing to control her nerves at the business end of Grand Slam tournaments too which has led to some poor losses. At 3-6, 1-5 on Wednesday, it very much looked like Halep was going to add another really disappointing loss in the Quarter Final or Semi Final of a Grand Slam to her list.

However she was able to turn around the match against Elina Svitolina to win in three sets and Halep may just have come through her most difficult hurdle in trying to win her maiden Grand Slam title. The casual tennis fan may be less sure about that with Karolina Pliskova next up on the list for Halep, but the surface is not exactly the one where she should be favoured to win her own first Grand Slam title.

Pliskova looks have worked her way through the draw which has opened up for her and she would have been favoured to win all of those matches. The only player you would consider a pure clay court specialist gave Pliskova a lot of problems in the Fourth Round and it took three sets for the top ten player to work her way through that match.

Halep has reached the Quarter Final in all four Grand Slams so she is more than a specialist for this surface, but I would argue that she is at her best on the clay. The French Open has provided her best Grand Slam results and Halep will have the superior movement around the clay court which can give her the edge.

The serve can be vulnerable as we saw Svitolina really take advantage of that, but Pliskova isn't someone who will hit a lot of clean winners off the serve and I do think Halep is going to be able to defend the initial strikes before turning the rally in her favour.

It is Halep who has also won four of the five previous matches against Pliskova and those have come on the faster surfaces where you would think the latter would have the edge. They have rarely been easy matches for Halep, but she has had the edge and I think that can be magnified on the clay courts in this Semi Final.

She can't start as badly as she did against Svitolina as I am not sure Pliskova will let Halep off the hook as the Ukrainian ended up doing so. However I also think Svitolina had the comfort of movement on the clay courts to stay with Halep in the longer rallies and I am not so sure Pliskova will have the same patience nor ability to do that on this surface.

Once the shots get to five or six in the rally, you would imagine Halep has a significant advantage and I expect that is going to show up here. I think she has had the blip that has affected her performances at the business end of Grand Slams and I am going to look for Halep to work her way through to the Final on Saturday with a cover of what might look a lot of games on paper.

MY PICKS: Jelena Ostapenko + 2.5 Games @ 1.91 Sky Bet (2 Units)
Simona Halep - 4.5 Games @ 2.00 Bet Fred (2 Units)

French Open Update: 56-37, + 31.72 Units (185 Units Staked, + 17.15% Yield)

3 comments:

  1. Hi! Dav, Just stumbled on your little blog. Warwrinka vs Murray should be interesting. Looks 50/50 to me. What do you think?

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  2. Hello... I will have a post for the men's Semi Final matches tomorrow, but initial thoughts it that it is going to close. Initial feeling was a lean towards Wawrinka on current form, but I agree with you in that it will be very close

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  3. Well i think it will be mostly on Stan's racket. Would taking a look at what happened last year really give a better picture? I think Murray will somehow find a way, but he will have to soak up an assault for at least a couple of hours first. Murray in 5

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