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Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Monte Carlo Masters Tennis Picks 2018 (April 17th)

I only found one pick that I was comfortable with on Monday at the Monte Carlo Masters, but unfortunately Aljaz Bedene could not put his foot on the pedal when leading by a set and a break in his match against Mirza Basic.

Bedene had chances for a double break, but couldn't quite get into a position to convert and that allowed Basic to stick around long enough to cover the number. It was still a comfortable win for Bedene to set up a huge test for himself against Rafael Nadal, while the majority of the First Round matches were completed on Monday.

There are still a few more to be played on Tuesday when the Second Round also begins at the tournament. That means there is a lot Tennis to be played through the day as the first Masters on the clay courts continues.

Richard Gasquet - 1.5 games v Jeremy Chardy: It has only been a few weeks since Jeremy Chardy beat Richard Gasquet on the Tour for the first time when seeing him off at the Miami Masters in straight sets. That win came during a very productive portion of the season for Chardy who played well in Indian Wells and Miami, but now heads into arguably one of the weaker portions of the season for him.

The slower clay courts certainly don't favour Chardy, but he may have earned some real confidence by winning a couple of Qualifiers to get into the main draw here. Both matches were won in dominant fashion, but neither of his opponents reach the level that Richard Gasquet can on this surface.

Gasquet has won a title in 2018, but he hadn't looked completely at ease following an injury. That was until he reached the Semi Final in Marrakech last week and Gasquet has some very strong numbers on the clay courts.

Where Gasquet has really excelled is in the returning side of the game and he had some very strong break point conversion numbers in 2017 and in the tournament in Marrakech last week. He has to serve better than he managed in Marrakech because he is facing a competent server in Chardy who can still earn a few cheap points even on the slower clay courts, but Gasquet has to believe he can get into the Chardy service games too.

While Gasquet has strong return numbers, Chardy's are not so impressive on the clay and that could effectively be the difference despite the two players looking like they may match up well. Gasquet having reached the Semi Final in Marrakech could have sapped some energy, but he hasn't played since Saturday and it isn't a long trip to Monte Carlo from Morocco so I am not expecting to hear any excuses.

It could take three sets to separate these two on the day, but I think Gasquet will be good enough to win and cover on this surface and earn a measure of revenge for the defeat to Chardy last month.

Kyle Edmund - 2.5 games v Andreas Seppi: Sunday has to feel like a lost opportunity for Kyle Edmund who was a big favourite to beat Pablo Andujar and win his first ATP Title in Marrakech. Instead it was the veteran Spaniard on the road back from injury who won comfortably and Edmund still waits to underline his potential as a serial winner at this level.

Edmund has all the tools to really take his game to the next level and he showed the heart and desire to be the very best he can in his run at the Australian Open back in January.

And unlike many from Great Britain, Edmund is very comfortable on the clay courts which means he should be excited about the next couple of months. He continues to produce solid numbers on the clay with his serve being very effective and the return capable of putting pressure on any opponent he comes up against.

Tiredness is potentially an issue for Edmund who was playing on Sunday but his opponent had to come through the Qualifiers to reach the main draw. Veteran Andreas Seppi had a couple of solid wins to make his way into the main draw and he is someone who is very comfortable on the clay courts which could give Edmund a few problems.

However Seppi has always been in possession of a vulnerable looking serve and I think it should be an area that Edmund can exploit. Working hard to protect the serve has had an impact on Seppi's return game against top 50 Ranked players on the clay courts and he is not expected to find it much easier against this Edmund serve.

Again I have to mention the potential fatigue for Edmund, but if I expect him to be ready to go and he can battle past Seppi while covering this number of games too.

MY PICKS: Richard Gasquet - 1.5 Games @ 1.72 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Kyle Edmund - 2.5 Games @ 1.83 Boyle Sports (2 Units)

Monte Carlo Update: 0-1, - 2 Units (2 Units Staked, - 100% Yield)

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