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Sunday, 11 March 2018

Indian Wells Masters Tennis Picks 2018 (March 11th)

The Indian Wells Masters Tennis tournament continues on Sunday with the Third Round of the WTA event and the conclusion of the Second Round of the ATP event scheduled for the day.

Saturday proved to be a better day with four of the six picks returning as winners, but I have to say the Sunday slate of matches look much tougher to read.

In fact I can only find two picks that I am satisfied in making from a difficult day of tennis after ruling out a couple of others that could have been of interest.

Gael Monfils - 1.5 games v John Isner: Opposing John Isner is never an easy decision because of the huge serve he possesses and the ability to use that serve to build mental pressure on his opponents.

However the early part of 2018 has seen the slightest deterioration in the Isner serve which has seen him lost five of the six matches he has played on the main Tour on the hard courts. For an American player, losing so many hard court matches have to hurt the confidence and Isner is also facing an opponent who has beaten him in four of the last five matches they have had against one another.

One of those came here in Indian Wells last season when Monfils dominated Isner in a straight sets win and the Frenchman is playing well enough in 2018 to think he can win this match too. There is room for improvement from the serving aspect, but Monfils may feel that doesn't need to come against a limited returner like Isner, while his return game has been very strong to open 2018.

Of course breaking the Isner serve is never an easy task and he is still holding close to 90% of the time which shows even this number can be a difficult one for an opponent to cover against him. However Isner has struggled under the pressure of protecting break points and I think Monfils can make use of those limited moments to win this match and find a cover.

Monfils has created 47 break points in his last six matches against Isner- he has taken 11 of those opportunities and I think the Frenchman will be able to look after serve well enough against this kind of returner to win this match and cover the number.

Sam Querrey - 3.5 games v Mischa Zverev: I am opposing one huge serving American, but I am backing another in Sam Querrey who takes on Mischa Zverev in the Second Round.

You can back Querrey to cover what looks a big number of games at odds against and that has been appealing here. The big server has really been getting a tune out of his serve in 2018 and that has put a lot of pressure on his opponents and I like Querrey to overcome the older Zverev brother even in the slower conditions of Indian Wells.

Those conditions won't aid Zverev much with his serve-volley game and the lefty has really been having a difficult time in 2018. He had a good win in the First Round which will make him feel better, but Zverev has some really poor numbers in 2018 which have contributed to his seven losses from ten matches played.

Zverev is not serving as well as he would have liked with only 66% of games being held and that has exposed what has been a limited return game throughout his career. Getting up to the net to put some pressure on Querrey may help, but I think the additional time that the American will have in the slower conditions should mean he can set up his passes.

The Querrey return has not been as good as it could be, but there is room for improvement for him on that side of his game. With his own serve likely to put him in a position to hold onto the majority of those games, I think Querrey will find enough opportunities to earn a couple of breaks of the Zverev serve which may be enough to earn the cover in this one.

MY PICKS: Gael Monfils - 1.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Sam Querrey - 3.5 Games @ 2.05 Boyle Sports (2 Units)

Indian Wells Update: 12-15, - 8.58 Units (54 Units Staked, - 15.89% Yield)

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