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Monday, 12 June 2017

Tennis Picks 2017 (June 12th)

It was a very good few weeks for Rafael Nadal which culminated with the Spaniard winning his tenth French Open title, a remarkable achievement for a player that many felt had seen his best days.

Instead that looks far from being the case for Nadal who is in a very strong position to end the year as the World Number 1, even if we are now entering the second half of the Tour when the tournaments are perhaps played on surfaces that he doesn't appreciate as much as the clay and slower hard courts.

Nadal has won four Grand Slams at Wimbledon and the US Open combined, but recent seasons have been more difficult for him in those events. On the other hand, Nadal's confidence has to be at a really high level and he might be ready to produce some of his vintage tennis at the remaining two Grand Slams to be played this season.

The Tour moves onto the grass court events just a day after the Roland Garros Final and the preparation for Wimbledon will be underway for many players. While most of the big names will likely sit out until the top events which begin in seven days time, one who will be back this week is Roger Federer who decided to skip the clay court season.

Federer is a clear favourite to win the title in Stuttgart which is one of three different venues for the grass court events this week. Everything has been geared up for Federer to have a real chance to win the remaining two Grand Slam events being played in 2017 and he will go into Wimbledon as the second favourite, although his Ranking could mean having to face someone like Andy Murray very early in the draw.

I don't think it will bother Federer having won the Australian Open despite having what looked a very difficult draw on paper, but the next couple of weeks is important to get the winning feeling back having been out of action since winning the title in Miami at the beginning of April.

The 2017 season for the tennis picks looked in a very difficult position after a really poor Indian Wells tournament which saw me take a few weeks off from the picks. I wanted the clay court season to try and turn things around and it has been a positive few weeks which culminated in a very strong showing at the French Open.

It has taken away some of the really poor efforts in the middle of the season and I am looking to keep the momentum going during the next month heading towards Wimbledon.

There is still work to do to turn this season into a positive one, but the last few weeks have proved to be very important to just put this year back into a manageable position and also justified the decision to take a break before the clay court season began.

Mischa Zverev - 3.5 games v Malek Jaziri: You don't want to be guilty of over-rating Mischa Zverev who had that memorable run at the Australian Open and I do acknowledge that the oddsmakers will tend to do that with players who make surprising runs in events.

With that in mind, I do think Zverev can be too good for Malek Jaziri who has regularly been a player who has struggled on the grass courts. Jaziri struggles to protect his serve and I think that is not going to be helpful when looking to win grass court matches where one break of serve can prove to be costly in a whole match.

He does produce sloppy service games on the grass and someone like Zverev can take advantage as he will look to pressure Jaziri by rushing to the net as much as possible. Forcing someone who is uncomfortable on the grass to hit passing shot after passing shot is likely to be a successful game plan for Zverev.

The German's own serve is not likely to give away as much as Jaziri's and I think that is going to be the key for helping Zverev come through in this one. I can see him having enough for a 6-4, 6-4 kind of win as he moves through to the Second Round.

Nicolas Mahut - 3.5 games v Dennis Novikov: The last two ATP tournaments in Hertogenbosch have both been won by Nicolas Mahut who comes alive at this time of the year. The veteran has not been having a good season and will likely be tested by Dennis Novikov, but he loves the grass and clearly holds this tournament very dear to his heart.

Mahut tends to play some of his best tennis on the grass courts with this serve-volley game perfectly suited to the surface, He is also very comfortable on a surface where so many other players tend to struggle and I won't be surprised if the Frenchman puts the wins together in the coming weeks.

He will have to respect his opponent who has had a number of matches on the grass courts already. Novikov has won a couple of Qualifiers to get into the main draw and was also involved in the tournament in Surbiton last week and that could give him an edge against an opponent who is making his bow on the grass in the 2017 season.

However I think Novikov may struggle under the pressure Mahut will try and put on him by forcing him to pass at the net. As I said in the Zverev-Jaziri match above, I do think that is the kind of pressure that can wear down players who either don't like the grass or are inexperienced on the surface and that is where I think Mahut will prove too good.

The lack of wins is a problem for Mahut, but he has bounced back in Hertogenbosch and I will look for him to find a 7-6, 6-3 win out of this one.

I've added two picks from the women's matches scheduled for Monday below.

MY PICKS: Mischa Zverev - 3.5 Games @ 1.91 William Hill (2 Units)
Nicolas Mahut - 3.5 Games @ 1.91 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Oceane Dodin - 2.5 Games @ 1.80 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Elise Mertens - 1.5 Games @ 1.73 Paddy Power (2 Units)

Season 2017- 18.82 Units (1046 Units Staked, - 1.80% Yield)
Season 2016- 5.64 Units (2013 Units Staked, - 0.00% Yield)
Season 2015- 21.81 Units (1812 Units Staked, - 1% Yield)
Season 2014+ 45.05 Units (1586.5 Units Staked, + 2.84% Yield)
Season 2013+ 21.74 Units (1251.5 Units Staked, + 1.73% Yield)
Season 2012+ 49.21 Units (855 Units Staked, + 5.76% Yield)

Season 2011+ 82.02 Units

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