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Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Wimbledon Day 9 Picks- Men's Quarter Finals

Yesterday was a much better day all round as both picks came through and Rafael Nadal confirmed the MRI Scan he received came back negative and he is '1oo per cent' to continue in the tournament.

Maria Sharapova is the firm favourite to take the Women's crown after totally dismantling Dominika Cibulkova, but there is still a couple of tough matches in her path if she wants to make the outright pick a winner.

Before I make my picks for Day 9, the good news is anyone who followed the outright picks will now have a 5.00 quadruple running tomorrow as the top 4 Men's seeds look to move into the Semi Finals. I would be surprised and disappointed if any of those seeds lose.

Now on to Day 9 Picks:

Andy Murray-Feliciano Lopez under 35.5 games: The game handicap looks about right and I found it hard to seperate the players on that front. However, I do think Murray is likely to come through this match in straight sets and that should see this pick home.

Feliciano Lopez is a tough player, but he struggled mightily in the last Round against Lukasz Kubot and I think Murray has the edge in almost all significant departments.

I have to expect the British Number 1 will make enough balls back into play during Lopez' service games to give himself some opportunities to break. One of the sets is likely to go to a tie break but we could see a similar end to the Murray-Gasquet match on Monday where the latter went away after losing a tight first set.

Lopez has lost all 4 meetings with Murray in the past and has won just 1 set.

Rafael Nadal - 5.5 games vs Mardy Fish: Mardy Fish surprised me when he got past Tomas Berdych on Monday, but I am guessing it is more to do with the Czech players state of mind rather than the strong play of Fish.

Now he will face a man who will fight for every point and has a deep belief in his own game. Rafael Nadal will also have been boosted by the news his foot injury is nothing more than shock from the incident happening on Monday and he is good to go.

Fish has lost all 5 meetings with Nadal, the last 2 in Grand Slams, and I am still not convinced his game is perfectly suited to the slower courts at Wimbledon. Nadal will ask plenty of questions of Fish and is likely to make him one too many balls in a number of rallies and that should see the pick home.

They havent played since 2008 and Fish is much improved since then- I just dont believe he has the mental belief he can win this match.

Roger Federer - 5.5 games vs Jo-Wilfried Tsonga: This is the match of the day on paper but I have a feeling it will be a little more one sided than we may all imagine.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga complained about his own mental belief after beating Gregor Dimitrov in the 2nd Round and he will be facing a few more demons in the form of Roger Federer.

Federer has a 4-1 lead in the head to head, winning the last 3 since throwing away the match in Montreal a couple of years ago. Federer has won 7 consecutive sets against Tsonga and is serving very well, while showing the form of the French Open that made him the favourite to win this in many peoples eyes before the tournament began.

Tsonga has moved through the draw but has taken advantage of a section where David Ferrer was the highest seed. He is giving too many looks on his second serve and that could cost him against an aggressive returner like Federer.

Much of Federer's game is working too well right for Tsonga to deal with in my opinion.

Novak Djokovic - 7.5 games vs Bernard Tomic: These two consider one another as friends off the court, but it looks like a bit of a mismatch to me on the court. Novak Djokovic has been on a fantastic run this entire year, while Bernard Tomic is a real surprise at this stage of the draw after beating Robin Soderling in Round 3.

You will hear all about Tomic being the first Qualifier since 1985 to reach this stage and the youngest player to do so since Boris Becker won the tournament (think thats right anyway), but that does not take into account that Tomic is far less experienced than Djokovic.

Tomic is going to become the Number 1 Australian on Monday next week when the new rankings come out, but I cant help noticing what an average year it has been outside of Wimbledon- losses to Gilles Muller and Dudi Sela on the grass in recent weeks are telling results.

Djokovic is unlikely to take things easy here so he can conserve some energy for the latter end of the tournament and I expect he will get through easy enough.

MY PICKS: Novak Djokovic - 7.5 games @ 1.95 BoyleSports (2 Units)
Rafael Nadal - 5.5 games @ 1.91 Coral (2 Units)
Roger Federer - 5.5 games @ 2.00 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Andy Murray-Feliciano Lopez Under 35.5 games @ 2.00 BetFred (2 Units)

TOURNAMENT UPDATE: + 13.99 Units (+ 3.66 Units Day 8)

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