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Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Tennis Picks 2019 (April 24th)

Last week was not the best for the Tennis Picks, although I did finish up with a very slight profit from the Monte Carlo Masters.

It was not an easy week to be perfectly honest and the final two players being Dusan Lajovic and Fabio Fognini underlines the point as the likes of Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal were upset earlier in the tournament. With both players losing early there may be some hope for others when the French Open comes around, although I don't think you can make sweeping statements about how tournaments are going to develop from one event.

This week the ATP Tour has moved to two different spots in Barcelona and Budapest, while the WTA Tour is also back with a couple of events in Istanbul and Stuttgart. Those events have begun, but I have not really had time to research the selections before Wednesday as I look to get the week off to a positive start.

The Thursday selections will be made in a much shorter post and likely posted on the morning of those matches because I will be at the Manchester derby on Wednesday evening and then I will be putting up a longer thread for the Friday Quarter Finals.

Grigor Dimitrov - 1.5 games v Fernando Verdasco: Matches between Grigor Dimitrov and Fernando Verdasco have proven to be tight and competitive affairs for the most part, although the veteran Spaniard did crush Dimitrov in straight sets at the French Open last year. To be fair to Dimitrov, it wasn't a one-sided match despite the 3-0 scoreline in sets, but it does mean he has lost two of the three previous matches between these players on the clay courts.

With that in mind it may be something of a surprise I am backing Dimitrov over Verdasco in the Second Round in Barcelona, but I think the superior health of the younger player is going to have an impact in this match. Fernando Verdasco had lost his opening match in Marrakech and Monte Carlo against players he was favoured to beat and I would not want to read too much into his win over fellow veteran and compatriot Feliciano Lopez in the First Round here.

The win will give Verdasco some confidence, but a knee issue has prevented him from taking in some of the tournaments last month and being a new father may have distracted him from putting the time in on the court as he would have liked.

His head to head to with Dimitrov would be a slight concern when opposing him, especially as the Bulgarian is not the most effective on the clay courts. Two wins in Monte Carlo before being defeated by Rafael Nadal will help Dimitrov, but he was not dominating his matches and the last couple of years shows he is someone who will give his opponents a chance of beating him.

In the last couple of years Dimitrov is holding serve at less than 80% of the service games he has played on the clay courts. The return game was in good nick in Monte Carlo though and I expect Dimitrov to at least challenge the Verdasco serve which has seen opponents win 42% of return points against it.

One of the real issues for Verdasco in the last couple of weeks on the clay is the lack of success he has had on the return himself and I think Dimitrov may have the edge in this one. Playing in Spain could be tough with the fans likely to be behind Verdasco, but Grigor Dimitrov might just have the superior fitness on the court which can see him win and just about cover this number over three sets.

MY PICKS: Grigor Dimitrov - 1.5 Games @ 1.80 Bet Fred (2 Units)

Season 2019 Update: + 56.04 Units (593 Units Staked, + 9.45% Yield)

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