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Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Tennis Picks 2018 (January 3rd)

It feels like only yesterday that we were seeing the end of the 2017 Tennis season, but here we go again at the beginning of another long slog for the players around the world.

This has been a busy time with the festive period meaning spending time with family and that has been the main reason I have not got round to researching any picks so far this week in the opening tournaments of the 2018 season.

That does not mean I have not shown any interest in the matches though.

With the Australian Open beginning in less than two weeks time, this is the time to see how players have gotten through their intense work to get ready for the new season. Of course all of the tournaments in the next two weeks are to prepare mentally for the first Grand Slam of the season although it looks like the men's draw is going to be extremely lopsided with a few big names still struggling with injuries.

All eyes will be on the likes of Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic and wondering if the two players who went into the 2017 season as the top two on the ATP can return and challenge the old guard of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal again.

The other big story will be Serena Williams who has been back on a tennis court for the first time since giving birth to her first child. However the American has yet to commit to the first Slam of the new season and that is likely to leave the women's draw as wide open as it has been since Williams has been absent.

Mischa Zverev - 2.5 games v Michael Mmoh: It was during the Australian swing on the Tour that Mischa Zverev found some form although that does mean he has plenty of Ranking points to defend over the next month. He has made a good start with a straight sets win in the First Round here in Brisbane and Zverev continues to be inspired by younger brother Alexander.

Zverev is favoured to beat Michael Mmoh in the Second Round even though the younger player has come through three matches to reach this stage of the tournament.

However Mmoh is facing his toughest challenge so far in the tournament and the American has not really had a lot of success at this level to this point of his young career. His serve is  decent weapon, but I do wonder how Mmoh will cope with Zverev likely looking to get to the net and force his opponent to make a number of passes throughout the day.

A limited return game will need to be improved if Mmoh is to have a real impact at the main Tour level and it is a tough ask in this match. With Zverev hitting his spots and the lefty serve behind him, Mmoh might find it difficult to find the returns against someone who is also going to get up to the net and look to make his volleys.

The first set could be very close, but I do think Zverev is going to wear down Mmoh mentally in this one which will lead to a couple of loose service games. That is where the German can take advantage and help him win this match and cover the number in a 7-6, 6-4 win in the Second Round.

MY PICKS: Mischa Zverev - 2.5 Games @ 2.00 Ladbrokes (2 Units)

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