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Wednesday, 31 August 2011

US Open Day 3 Picks

Yesterday looked like it was going to develop into a tough day when Sabine Lisicki won by 6 games (I had picked her - 6.5 games) and David Ferrer won by 7 games (I had picked him - 7.5 games), but fortunately the other 4 picks I made came up trumps and provided further profit to ensure a solid start to the tournament.

We also saw David Ferrer move forward as my pick to win Quarter 4 and also a big outright price, and I was given further confidence by Rafael Nadal's struggles in the night game. The Spaniard may have won in straight sets, but should have lost sets 2 and 3 and I am glad I have backed against him with Andy Murray and Ferrer in this half of the draw.

Serena Williams also underlined the fact she is the favourite in the Women's draw with a commanding win last night. The only problem for Williams is the fact she is seeded low and will face a tough 3rd round match with Victoria Azarenka.

Day 3 is a little fractured due to the Hurricane warnings at the start of the week. Usually we would have seen a couple of Men's 2nd Round matches scheduled on this day, but instead we complete the 1st Round draw and the 2nd Round will begin tomorrow.

That has limited our choices a little, but I think I have found some profitable plays:

Andy Murray - 9.5 games vs Somdev Devvarman: Andy Murray is the last of the big 4 players in the Men's game to play his 1st Round match and also means he will have to win 7 matches in 12 days if he wants to win the tournament.

He plays an opponent that will look to chase down balls all day, but I think that is what will cost him in this match. Somdev Devvarman is essentially Andy Murray without any real weapons to cause an opponent too many problems. The Indian player will win against a lot of players due to their unforced errors, but I expect Murray's consistency will break him down today.

It is a big spread, but I think the way the two players play could see Murray win a set 6-1 and that may be enough to ensure he covers. I expect the British player to be fully focused knowing he needs to spend as little time on court as possible at this stage of the tournament.


John Isner win 3-1 in sets vs Marcos Baghdatis: These two players meet for the 3rd time in a little over a month, and it is John Isner who has won the two previous meetings over the Summer to increase the head to head 3-0 in his favour.

Marcos Baghdatis is not the same player who reached the Australian Open Final in 2005 with his flamboyant style and he is making far too many errors these days. He has a new coach in Miles Maclagen, but it may take some time for their styles to mesh and we may not see a better Baghdatis until the 2012 season.

Isner should win enough free points on his own serve to keep the Cypriot frustrated, although I think the enigmatic Baghdatis will win a set especially with the likelihood of a couple of tie breaks needed to separate the players.


Robin Soderling - 8.5 games vs Louk Sorensen: One Irish player exited the tournament in unfortunate circumstances yesterday, and I feel his compatriot will go the same way tonight although I do have a couple of concerns on Soderling's fitness.

Soderling has not played since winning a tournament in his home country a couple of weeks after Wimbledon because he has had a few wrist issues. He was dominant in that tournament in Bastad, including beat Tomas Berdych for the loss of 1 game, and I think he can be far too strong for Sorensen if he is good to go.

The lack of hard court tennis over the Summer is a concern, but last year he was beaten early in Toronto and Cincinnati before reaching the Quarter Final here.

Sorensen will be nervous as he is playing in only his 2nd Grand Slam after qualifying here. I expect Soderling may start slowly, and then slowly take control of the match and record a 7-5, 6-3, 6-2 win to cover the spread.


Yanina Wickmayer - 4.5 games vs Alla Kudryavtseva: Wickmayer holds a 2-1 head to head record against Kudryavtseva, including a comfortable win here in the 1st Round in 2010.

Wickmayer had a comfortable 1st Round win this year and I think she will be too good for an opponent that has lost 7 of her last 10 matches, failing to win a set in any of those losses and losing comfortably.

The Belgian can be a little hit and miss with her style of play, but her 2 easy wins over Kudryavtseva should stand her in good stead to come through with a 6-2, 6-4 scoreline.


MY PICKS: Andy Murray - 9.5 games @ 2.00 Ladbrokes (2 Units)
John Isner win 3-1 in sets @ 3.75 Bodog (1 Unit)
Robin Soderling - 8.5 games @ 1.80 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Yanina Wickmayer - 4.5 games @ 1.83 Paddy Power (2 Units)


US OPEN UPDATE: 7-2, + 8.88 Units

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Things Learned from the Weekend Football (August 27-28)

A bit later than usual due to my covering of the US Open outright picks and daily picks, but these are my thoughts from the weekend football:

1)Where else to start but Manchester United 8-2 Arsenal: This looks more like a baseball score than it does a football match as United completely and utterly destroyed the Gunners.


I think there is much more to say about Arsenal than there is to say about United. The goals scored by Wayne Rooney and Ashley Young were very good, but the defending of the away side would have looked embarrassing on the Hackney Marshes on a Sunday morning.


The most apt comment I heard following the match from a fellow United fan was 'how could Arsene Wenger allow the Invincibles to become this'- when looking back at that team that remained unbeaten, it was hard to imagine ANY of the starting XI on Sunday being able to break into it.


I know Arsenal have had injuries, but since selling both Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri I don't think it is reasonable to say they were missing enough players to justify the scoreline from Sunday. Alex Song, Thomas Vermaelan and Bacary Sagna would have made a difference, but it has been clear to most Arsenal fans throughout the Summer that they needed reinforcements.


Wenger tried to be clever with the media in suggesting both Fabregas and Nasri were not going to be sold, but did anyone really believe that? And if we didn't believe that, HOW have Arsenal not had replacements lined up?


It seems it will be a busy couple of days in the transfer market for Wenger, and this could be the ultimate test of his management at the club- get these wrong, and it would not be a great surprise if Arsenal decide to move on without him next Summer.


I personally think Wenger deserves a chance to get things right at the club, but his stubbornness may already have cost the club a place in the Champions League next season.




2) It is far too early to put Liverpool down as potential Champions, but they are going the right way: I don't think Liverpool are ready to break their 21 year run without winning the League this season, although I was more than a little impressed with their performance in the win over Bolton at the weekend. The team looks to be settling down nicely for Kopites, but I think the game against Sunderland at the start of the season is more an indication of why they will not win the League this season.


In all honesty, I think Kenny Dalglish's aim this year was to return to the Champions League and Arsenal's problems suggest there will be a chance to grab the 4th place available for English sides.


Luis Suarez looks a handful and Steven Gerrard is yet to play a game this season. However, I still think they need defensive reinforcements although the signing of Sebastien Coates looks a decent one.




3) Chelsea should break the bank to get Luka Modric: Once again, the Chelsea midfield looks pedestrian at best against a side that should not cause too many problems and it was only the introduction of Juan Mata that gave the side an additional cutting edge.


I have no doubt the attackers will get the goals IF they are given the service and so I would do everything to buy Luka Modric, a player that will keep the midfield ticking along. The likes of Ramires and Frank Lampard just do not have the capabilities that a Modric will give the team, especially if Roman Abramhovic has real ambitions of winning one of the two top prizes this season.


With Modric and Mata, Chelsea can prevent a Manchester duopoly- without, I can't see them being creative enough to win the title or the Champions League.




4) Manchester City are the real deal: I was very impressed with the ruthlessness of City at the weekend as they literally took every chance they created in dismantling Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane.


The fluid, interchanging football of David Silva, Samir Nasri and Sergio Aguero will cause most teams plenty of problems, while Edin Dzeko looks like the striker that couldn't stop scoring at Wolfsburg.


They still have other options like Adam Johnson, James Milner, Mario Balotelli and Carlos Tevez and look more than set to go close in both the Premier League and Champions League this season.


Personally, I cannot wait for October 23rd.




5) Blackburn look in a bit of trouble: If Saturday represents the type of luck Blackburn will enjoy this season, they are worth punting on to be relegated.


After missing not one but TWO penalties, Everton were controversially handed one of their own to somehow steal all 3 points at Ewood Park.


Steve Kean may be looking for a new job sooner than later considering the owners expectations of a European berth.




With August drawing to a close, I will not be making any more punts on the football until September so below is the end of month results:

AUGUST FOOTBALL PROFIT/LOSS: 31-29, + 7.94 Units

Give Heather Watson a chance to shine

It has been a significant overreaction from those involved in the British media following Heather Watson's performance against Maria Sharapova in the 1st Round of the US Open last night.

I would like to begin by saying Watson played solid tennis, but she was helped significantly by a very poor Sharapova performance, yet the British teenager could not finish off the 2nd favourite for the tournament.

There is no shame in that, but to tout her as a potential top 20 player on ONE performance is unbelievably sensationalist.

Personally I would warn Watson that there is still a lot of hard work ahead of her if she wants to progress up the rankings. She is a hustler on the court, but with no real weapons to hurt opponents so it is no real surprise to see her ranked outside of the top 100.

Watson will not be the first teenager to have an standout match at Grand Slam level against a top 20 player to lose her way and disappear of the map. I would not want to happen, but it does and she cannot believe the hype around one performance.

It was only last week she was being dismantled by Petra Cetkovska while winning only 2 games in a heavy straight sets defeat.

For further warnings, she should only look at the American 19 year old, Melanie Oudin, who had a much greater impact at this event in 2009 and was touted as the next big thing but who is now ranked lower than Watson.

In 2009, Oudin reached the Quarter Final here as a 17 year old, beating Sharapova as well as Elena Dementieva and Nadia Petrova before falling to Caroline Wozniacki.

She actually fought back from a 1 set deficit to defeat all 3 of the ladies I mentioned, but her career has been on a downward spiral since then as the weight of expectation has been heavy on her young shoulders. Oudin's best efforts at Grand Slam level since that Summer of 2009 has been to reach the 2nd round at Australia and in this event in 2010.

While Watson is enjoying the limelight, she has to be aware of what is in front of her in terms of hard work if she doesn't want her career to follow the path that Oudin's has taken- the American was exiting the tournament at the first stage on Monday night as a warning to young players what can happen once the limelight is no longer shining as brightly on your prospects.

US Open Day 2 Picks

Day 1 turned out to be a very solid start to the tournament for followers of the picks as all 3 came in for a profit.

We also saw Petra Kvitova become the biggest casualty as she was beaten in straight sets in her match, while there were plenty of questions raised about Maria Sharapova who struggled in her 3 set win over Heather Watson.

On to Day 2 Picks:

Sabine Lisicki - 6.5 games vs Alona Bondarenko: This is a fairly big spread to cover, but I think the German who made such an impact at Wimbledon will be able to do so on her current form.

Lisicki won in Dallas last week and she didn't lose more than 3 games in any of her 5 straight set victories. She even beat Kateryna Bondarenka, Alona's sister during that run.

Alona Bondarenko missed a large chunk of the early part of the season, and she has not been in the best of form recently with easy defeats at the hands of Serena Williams and Marion Bartoli.

Bondarenko won their only previous meeting her at the US Open in 2008 but if Lisicki is in form off the bat, I can see her coming through this match with a 6-3, 6-1 scoreline and cover the spread.


Double; Svetlana Kuznetsova vs Sara Errani and Elena Baltacha vs Jamie Hampton: Svetlana Kuznetsova is a former US Open Champion, but she has not been in the greatest form having lost early in Toronto and New Haven during the Summer tournaments. However, she plays an opponent who has lost 4 of her last 5 matches and has lost all 3 previous meetings against the Russian.

Elena Baltacha faces a young opponent and should still have enough to see her off for the 2nd time in a Grand Slam this season. The British player is not the most reliable of players to back, especially considering she has a losing record on the year, but she did reach the 2nd round here in 2010 and faces an inexperienced player.

Hampton has played a couple of tournaments since the French Open, losing in a Final of a Challenger event held in Vancouver and being knocked out at the qualifying stage for Dallas last week. She will receive plenty of support from the crowd being an American, but I think Baltacha may be just a little too consistent and could win this in 3 sets, as she did in Australia.


Double; Juan Ignacio Chela vs Marinko Matosevic and Nicolas Mahut vs Robert Farah: Juan Ignacio Chela is in the twilight of his career but I still think he should be good enough to see off his Australian challenger today.

Chela does come into this match on a 3 match losing run, but he already beat Matosevic at Wimbledon in June and does play an opponent that has won just 3 of his 12 hard court matches at this level in 2 seasons.

Matosevic has not played since losing in the qualifiers for Montreal, but defeats to the likes of Alex Bogomolov, Yen-Hsun Lu and Clement Reix in recent weeks suggest Chela should be too strong.

Nicolas Mahut should get plenty of support as he is a well known figure in the States after THAT match with John Isner at Wimbledon 2010. He is another player that is coming to the end of his career, but his serve-volley style could cause plenty of problems for his opponent.

Robert Farah may have an edge considering he qualified for this event, but this will be only his 2nd match at this level and he has not pulled up trees on the Challenger circuit so I think Mahut will be too good for him, even if it takes 4 or 5 sets.


Ernests Gulbis vs Mikhail Youzhny: I am picking the underdog in this match because I think the odds are the wrong way around.

Ernests Gulbis is one of the most talented, yet underachieving, players on the tour, but his recent win in LA had him pushing for more. Losses to Mardy Fish in Montreal and Ivan Dodig in Cincinnati can be forgiven (although the latter a lot less so), but he has a real chance against Mikhail Youzhny who has been struggling.

Youzhny has lost both his matches played on the hard courts this Summer, although he overcame similar form when reaching the US Open Semi Final last year.

Gulbis may have a mental edge in the match too, winning their last 2 meetings and I think that mental edge may help him win this match.


Fernando Verdasco to win 3-1 in sets vs Jarkko Nieminen: This is a pick I am making because while I think Verdasco will win the match, his mental lapses in recent matches makes me think he will drop at least one set against a player that will fight for every point.

Verdasco has talked about how much he enjoys the best of 5 set matches as it gives players more time to recover losing situations- I took that as meaning he can recover when he throws in one of his weird sets of tennis as he is prone to do.

Including last seasons US Open tournament, Verdasco has gone 10-4 in Grand Slam events; of those wins, Verdasco has only won 3 in straight sets.

Nieminen is not the player of the past, but he is still capable of playing some inspired tennis and pushing opponents in matches. He has lost in 4 sets in 2 of the 3 Grand Slams he played this season.

The players are 2-2 in previous meetings, but it is Verdasco who has won the last 2 they have played.


David Ferrer - 7.5 games vs Igor Andreev: I have already picked David Ferrer to come out of this section of the draw, but I do think he is worth chancing on the spread considering his recent record against Andreev.

Ferrer has won their last 3 meetings, taking 7 sets and losing 1, including two big wins on a hard court in Dubai and a clay court in Buenos Aires.

Igor Andreev is a better player than his ranking suggests, but he doesn't seem to have the heart for the game and can quickly lose focus and belief when falling behind.

That kind of mentality is the last thing you would want to do against an opponent like Ferrer who will play every point like it is the last of the match and I think the Spaniard will first break his heart and then win with a bit to spare.


MY PICKS: Sabine Lisicki - 6.5 games @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Double; Svetlana Kuznetsova and Elena Baltacha @ 2.25 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Double; Juan Ignacio Chela and Nicolas Mahut @ 2.46 BetFred (1 Unit)
Ernests Gulbis @ 2.14 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Fernando Verdasco @ 3.75 Sporting Bet (1 Unit)
David Ferrer - 7.5 games @ 1.91 Pinnacle (2 Units)


US Open Update: 3-0, + 5.99 Units

Monday, 29 August 2011

US Open Day 1 Picks

The schedule for Day 1 of the US Open was revised on Sunday evening as the effects of Hurricane Irena are still being felt up and down the East Coast.

Now on to the Day 1 Picks as the final Grand Slam of the year gets underway:

Marin Cilic - 4.5 games vs Ryan Harrison: Marin Cilic had one of his best Grand Slam performances at this tournament when reaching the Quarter Final in 2009, but he has not progressed as much as he would have liked since then yet I do fancy him to get his US Open campaign off to a strong start against the young American.

Harrison has shown some real promise over the Summer by reaching Semi Finals in LA and Atlanta, but a heavy defeat at the hands of Mardy Fish and Victor Troicki suggest he still has some work to do against the bigger guns.

Harrison did surprise Ivan Ljubicic at this stage last year, but I think Cilic will be too strong and should cover the spread even if it takes 4 sets to win the match.


Richard Gasquet - 6.5 games vs Sergiy Stakhovsky: Richard Gasquet is having a decent season on the tour and has shown his class against the lesser opponents he has faced and I feel he will be able to do the same thing here.

Stakhovsky has not had a great season and his serve is erratic and can let him down in sets. He has been beaten in straight sets when exiting the last 2 Grand Slam events, although finished as a 3rd Round loser here last year.

Gasquet should have too much all around game for Stakhovsky and I expect him to come through in 3 sets with a break in the first 2 before running away with the 3rd to cover the handicap.


Treble; Michael Llodra vs Victor Hanescu, Ivo Karlovic vs Fernando Gonzalez and Radek Stepanek vs Philipp Kohlschreiber: Ivo Karlovic and Radek Stepanek have strong records against their opponents and have also been in stronger form than them.

Michael Llodra and Stepanek have also won matches against their respective opponents in the US Open and the treble looks value at over 2-1.


MY PICKS: Marin Cilic - 4.5 games @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Richard Gasquet - 6.5 games @ 1.91 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Treble; Michael Llodra, Ivo Karlovic and Radek Stepanek @ 3.17 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)

Sunday, 28 August 2011

US Open Tennis Outright Picks (Women's Tournament)

All those affected on the East Coast of the US by Hurricane Irena, please keep yourselves and your families safe.


I decided to split my Men's outright picks and Women's outright picks into two different posts as the length may have been a little too long and I hope this makes it easier reading. The Men's tournament looks like being the more interesting one as to how it will develop, but I still think there could be something to find from the Women's draw.


Women's Tournament
I don't think I was close to being the only person whose first thought when the draw was released was to find where the favourite, and Number 28 seed, Serena Williams had landed. After a year out of the game, her ranking plummeted to 175 after her exit at Wimbledon, but she has played nothing short of being the best female player on the planet as she won back to back tournaments in Stanford and Toronto.

That meant she pushed herself up to one of the 32 seeded places, but her lower ranking meant there was going to be a couple of unfortunate players that would have to meet Williams far earlier than they would have wanted.

Serena landed in the 2nd quarter of the draw and her unfortunate 3rd round opponent will be Victoria Azarenka, a player that would have been considered one of the favourites before the draw. Azarenka was beaten comfortably when they met in Toronto a couple of weeks ago and she has lost 5 of the 6 times she has met Williams and I cannot see that changing.

A potential match with Ana Ivanovic in the 4th round would hold no fears for Williams if she does overcome Azarenka, although Ivanovic's fellow Serb, Jelena Jankovic, is a potential Quarter Final opponent for Williams.

Williams and Jankovic are 4-4 in their previous 8 meetings, although Williams did win when they met in the Final here in 2008. Jankovic has been in good form having reached the Final in Cincinnati last time out, but she is so inconsistent and there is a chance she will not make it through to an awkward Quarter Final for Williams.

The top half of Williams' section is where the Number 1 seed Caroline Wozniacki sits, but there is no way I can back the Danish player to have enough to beat Serena in a Semi Final and there may even be enough to suggest she doesn't make it out of the quarter.

Na Li is also in this section, but she has not been the same player since winning the French Open as expectations have increased on her and opponents have been raising their games against her. The likes of Andrea Petkovic, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Daniela Hantuchova may all have an impact in this part of the draw, but I don't trust too many of those players so will move on.

The Number 2 seed in the draw is Vera Zvonareva and she will be hoping to go one better than last year when she lost in the Final against Kim Clijsters. I expect the Russian to get through the first 3 rounds, but things definitely get murkier for her there.

Players she can meet in the 4th round include Venus Williams, Dominika Cibulkova or Sabine Lisicki- all 3 of those players have doubts surrounding their ability to reach that stage. Williams has been suffering with a viral infection meaning she has not played since Wimbledon, and could be vulnerable in her potential 2nd round match with Lisicki.

Lisicki has played a lot of tennis recently having won in Dallas last week so it could be interesting to see how she goes. However, she has lost all 3 meetings with Zvonareva so last year's runner up could be in line to make her way through to the Quarter Final.

There is enough doubt about Zvonareva, even though she has pretty well over the Summer US hard court swing and the prices are plenty short on her chances that I would suggest avoiding her.

The final section of the draw has 3 top players that could go deep in the draw- Petra Kvitova, Maria Sharapova and Agnieska Radwanska.

Kvitova has not been the same player since her maiden Grand Slam win at Wimbledon in July and she has not performed that well over the last couple of tournaments that suggests Lucie Safarova could cause plenty of problems for her in the 3rd round.

One player who could take advantage of that is Agnieska Radwanska, as long as she can beat her sister in the 1st round. Radwanska has proven her ability to perform on the hard courts by reaching the Semi Final in Toronto and winning in San Diego and I am not too concerned with her early exit at New Haven last week.

Radwanska will face a tough 3rd round match with Yanina Wickmayer, but the Belgian has not been in great form and lost her last match against Radwanska. The 4th round match with Kvitova/Safarova is one I think the consistent Radwanska could win and then she would have to face a big Quarter Final against Maria Sharapova.

Sharapova has won 6 matches in a row against Radwanska and would be the big favourite in the contest, but I think the odds are just on the side of the Pole in the outright market to take advantage if Sharapova exits the tournament early.


It is hard to look beyond Serena Williams for the tournament and I will make her my big outright pick. She looked far and away the best player when winning in Stanford and Toronto and I don't think her early opponents are capable of stopping her.

Victoria Azarenka may be one who could surprise her, but she was easily beaten in Toronto by Williams and I can't see things changing too much over the next 2 weeks.

The other player I will pick is a small interest on Agnieska Radwanska who has looked in fine form in recent weeks and could be the latest surprise finalist in the Women's tournaments at Grand Slam level. She is ultra-consistent, but lacks the weapon that can hurt opponents and I fear for her match with Maria Sharapova if she reaches that stage.

In saying that, the odds in the outright market look a little wrong and I think the Pole is worth chancing.


MY PICKS: Serena Williams @ 2.63 Paddy Power (5 Units)
Agnieska Radwanska @ 41.00 BetFred (0.5 Unit e/w) E/W pays out at 0.5 the odds if Radwanska reaches the Final

US Open Tennis Outright Picks (Men's Tournament)

The final Grand Slam of the 2011 tennis season is due to start on Monday 29th August, but firstly I would I hope all those readers who live on the East Coast are safe from Hurricane Irene that has hit the coast over the last 24 hours.

Keep yourselves and your families safe.




With all the bad weather in the area, it is still not clear whether the tournament will open at the correct time, or whether Monday will be called off short, but there is much clearer skies forecast for Tuesday onwards, including far less windy conditions as we saw for much of the first 10 days of the tournament last season.

I was going to put both the Men's and Women's outright picks in the same post but realised how long it would be so have split them into two posts.

Men's Tournament
There isn't a much better place to start than in saying I will be very surprised if one of the top 4 players in the World do not win this tournament, even though there are some issues to address.


Novak Djokovic is the Number 1 seed and understandably the favourite to win the event considering he has lost 2 matches all year and holds 2 of the last Grand Slams in his locker. There was some concerns about his fitness following his retirement in Cincinnati, but he has said he needed a couple of days of rest and feels fine, and that is understandable considering the amount of tennis he had played in Montreal and Cinci in the 2 weeks before the injury.


Even if there are a few concerns, he has been handed a very comfortable opening couple of rounds, meaning he will not have to expend too much energy, in my opinion, moving through the early stages. The first 3 rounds pose him few problems, and I would expect him to get the better of Richard Gasquet in a potential 4th round match up.

The Quarter Final could see Djokovic meet Gael Monfils for the 3rd time in the last 3 tournaments, and the ease in which he dispatched him in Montreal following his mental ability to get through a tough match with him at Cincinnati means I would be more than surprised if Djokovic is not one of the Semi Finalists.

The bottom half of his section is headed by Roger Federer, playing his first Grand Slam in his 30's. The Swiss former World Number 1 is not the same player of yesteryear, but he still has the ability to go deep in tournaments regardless of his early exits in Montreal and Cincinnati. He has a very strong record at Flushing Meadows, having won 5 titles here in a row between 2004-2008, and it took a super effort from Djokovic to beat him last year in the Semi Finals.

Defeats to Tomas Berdych and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are troubling, especially considering the latter beat Federer from 2 sets down at Wimbledon. Tsonga is in the same quarter as Federer, but it is no guarantee that the enigmatic Frenchman reaches the Quarter Final to oppose Federer considering he too had been suffering slightly with an injury in the last 2 tournaments.

Tsonga will have to beat Fernando Verdasco in the 3rd round, a player that saves his best tennis for Grand Slams these days, and then faces a tough encounter with Mardy Fish in the 4th round.

That could all pave the way for Federer to reach the Semi Final as I think his path through to the Quarter Final seems straightforward and he could have plenty more in his tank than his opponent at that stage.

Fish remains the dark horse in this section as the top ranked American is not a household name and so can be overlooked by people studying the outright markets. However, the layers have cottoned on to the fact that Fish has performed exceptionally during this Summer swing and he looks a little short.

The bottom half of the draw is headed by defending Champion Rafael Nadal- the Spaniard has looked more than rusty in the last couple of tournaments, losing early in Montreal and looking a shadow of himself when struggling through to the Quarter Final in Cincinnati before being beaten by Fish.

He looked like a player to take on in the tournament, but the draw has given him so few problems that it is hard to see who will be the player to beat him in the early rounds. Ivan Ljubicic could cause a few problems in the 3rd round if his serve is on top form, but his lack of tennis over the Summer is a concern and so Nadal will be the big favourite.

Nadal is seeded to meet Mikhail Youzhny in the 4th round, but the Russian is not the same player that lost 1 game in 2 sets to Nadal in Chennai in 2008 and was comfortably beaten in the Semi Final last year by Nadal.

Andy Roddick and David Ferrer are potential Quarter Final opponents, and I believe it is the latter that may cause the most problems for his compatriot Nadal. Ferrer beat him in Australia at this stage in the first Grand Slam of the season and can also point at a 2007 4th Round win over Nadal as indications to his capability of producing a shock, especially if Nadal is still struggling as he was in Cincinnati.

Ferrer has a tough looking match with James Blake in the 2nd round, but I would fancy him to get through that as well as a likely 4th round meeting with Roddick or Nicolas Almagro.

Looking at this section, Ferrer looks the most likely player that can take advantage of any Nadal fitness/mental concerns and perhaps shock a few people by reaching his 2nd Grand Slam Semi Final of the year.

The final section of the draw looks one for Andy Murray to make a real impact and he has shown he is form by coming through the draw to win Cincinnati.

There are a couple of tricky early matches against the likes of Robin Haase and Feliciano Lopez in rounds 2 and 3 respectively, but I think both lack the balance of power and consistency required to beat the British Number 1 over 5 sets and his biggest threat to reaching the Quarter Final could come in the 4th round where he is seeded to meet Stanislas Wawrinka.

Murray fans will remember the name of the Swiss Number 2 as he was the man to end Murray's interest here in Flushing Meadows in 2010. However, Wawrinka has been in some really poor form over the last few months and he is ripe to be surprised by someone like Donald Young who he can meet in round 2.

IF Wawrinka does get through his early rounds, he has shown he can cause problems for Murray, their last 2 matches being at Wimbledon and the US Open last year, with both winning 1 match apiece and Wawrinka pushing Murray to 5 sets at Wimbledon.

The top half of the Quarter could be interesting with the likes of Robin Soderling, John Isner, Gilles Simon and another defending Champion Juan Martin Del Potro all involved. Del Potro is a very short price considering his early losses in Montreal and Cincinnati and I don't see how he can be backed as short as he is.

Soderling has had a couple of niggles meaning he has not played since winning on the clay at Bastad and that could cost him in his 3rd round match with, most likely, John Isner. The big serving American won at Winston Salem in the final tournament before this, and I think he may be ready to make a real impact in the tournament, although his fitness is always something that causes concern.

Del Potro may come through the Quarter Final as he has been handed a very straightforward start to the tournament and I expect him to be too strong for Simon as he was at Wimbledon.

Overall though, the Quarter looks like one that will belong to Andy Murray.


With the analysis of the draw completed above, I think there are a couple of plays worth making in the outright market. I am going to go against Novak Djokovic here as I think his price is far too short considering the issues he had with his shoulder and I think the person that will benefit the most is Roger Federer, a player who has shown how much he enjoys playing on the American hard courts at Flushing Meadows.

With the lack of truly big hitters in his section, Federer will feel confident about his ability to reach a Semi Final with Djokovic, and he is mentally in a strong place when he faces the Serb. It could be a Semi Final classic to rival the one they played in 2010 at the same stage.

Other picks that look worth chancing are Andy Murray and I don't think he could have too many complaints about his potential path to a Semi Final with my other pick, a surprising David Ferrer.

I think Ferrer could really make his mark in this tournament considering the draw and I think he has been underrated by the layers considering his efforts in beating Mardy Fish and Andy Roddick while playing for Spain in the Davis Cup in the week after Wimbledon.

Ferrer has shown he has the ability to beat the best, as shown when beating Nadal in Australia (Nadal had a few physical problems then too) and he looks grossly overpriced.

I will also back Ferrer to win his Quarter, and he does look vastly underrated at the prices there too.


MEN'S OUTRIGHT PICKS: Roger Federer @ 7.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Andy Murray @ 6.00 BetFred (2 Units)
David Ferrer to win Quarter 4 @ 13.00 Stan James (1 Unit)
David Ferrer @ 176.00 Paddy Power (0.5 Units E/W) Pays at 0.5 odds if David Ferrer reaches the Final

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Sunday 28th August English and Scottish Football Picks and Previews

It was a very strong Saturday for the picks, with a huge part played by Juan Mata's late late goal against Norwich for Chelsea.

The following picks and previews come from the Sunday coupon:

Newcastle United v Fulham (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-11472-Newcastle-United-v-Fulham.htm)

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-11466-Tottenham-Hotspur-v-Manchester-City.htm)

West Brom v Stoke City (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-11465-West-Brom-v-Stoke-City.htm)

Manchester United v Arsenal (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-11464-Manchester-United-v-Arsenal.htm)

Nottingham Forest v West Ham United (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-11474-Nottingham-Forest-v-West-Ham-United.htm)

Rangers v Aberdeen (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-11476-Rangers-v-Aberdeen.htm)


MY PICKS: Newcastle United-Fulham Both NOT to score @ 1.92 Paddy Power (1 Unit)
Tottenham Hotspur @ 3.00 BetFred (1 Unit)
Stoke Draw No Bet @ 2.63 Victor Chandler (2 Units)
Manchester United win to nil @ 2.60 Paddy Power (2 Units)

Nottingham Forest-West Ham United Over 2.5 Goals @ 2.05 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Rangers - 1.5 Asian Handicap @ 1.90 Ladbrokes (2 Units)




AUGUST FOOTBALL PICKS PROFIT/LOSS: 28-26, + 5.83 Units

Friday, 26 August 2011

Saturday 27th August Football Picks and Preview

It is going to be a busy day for me as August comes close to an end. I have a few plays from the Saturday football coupon and I am hoping to begin putting together my Sunday picks soon too so I can dedicate enough time to writing down my outright preview for the US Open Tennis which starts on Monday (Hurricane Irene permitting).

With United taking on Arsenal on Sunday afternoon, it means my time is a little limited so I will hopefully have the tennis previews posted by Sunday evening, plenty of time before the first matches take place.

At the bottom of my post you can find my picks for Saturday, but I have provided links to my full previews if you want to get inside my head (kind of) and understand WHY I have picked what I have. Good luck to one and all:

Aston Villa v Wolves (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-11438-Aston-Villa-v-Wolves.htm)

Wigan v QPR (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-11441-Wigan-v-QPR.htm)

Swansea v Sunderland (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-11442-Swansea-v-Sunderland.htm)

Chelsea v Norwich (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-11440-Chelsea-v-Norwich.htm)

Liverpool v Bolton (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-11439-Liverpool-v-Bolton.htm)

Doncaster Rovers v Bristol City (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-11452-Doncaster-Rovers-v-Bristol-City.htm)

Leicester City v Southampton (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-11460-Leicester-City-v-Southampton.htm)

Portsmouth v Cardiff (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-11461-Portsmouth-v-Cardiff.htm)


MY PICKS: Aston Villa @ 2.14 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Wigan @ 2.38 Victor Chandler (1 Unit)
Swansea-Sunderland Both NOT to Score @ 1.92 Paddy Power (1 Unit)
Chelsea - 1.75 Asian Handicap @ 1.92 Pinnacle (4 Units) Full winner if Chelsea win by 3 goals, half stake winner and half stake returned if Chelsea win by 2, and loser if Chelsea win by 1 or fail to win
Liverpool - 1.25 Asian Handicap @ 2.00 Pinnacle (3 Units) Full winner if Liverpool win by 2, half stake loser and half stake returned if Liverpool win by 1 goal, and loser if Liverpool fail to win
Doncaster Rovers-Bristol City Under 2.5 Goals @ 1.80 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Leicester City-Southampton Over 2.5 Goals @ 1.92 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
Portsmouth @ 2.60 Pinnacle (1 Unit)




AUGUST FOOTBALL PROFIT/LOSS: 22-24, - 0.03 Units

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Champions League Group Stage Draw Reaction

I know it sounds silly, but I love watching the Champions League Group Stage draw, even though it rarely throws up that much excitement with the vast difference between the sides in pots 1 and 2 and those in the last 2 pots.

However, this year was a little different with the likes of Manchester City, Napoli, Borussia Dortmund and Zenit St Petersburg being potential banana skins for the big teams.

Group A: Bayern Munich, Villarreal, Manchester City and Napoli- This looks an interesting group and all 4 teams must fancy their chances of Qualifying.


Manchester City have some tough away games in that group, but they have got together a squad that has plenty of Champions League experience and I think they will be good enough to join Bayern Munich in the next stage.


Trips to Villarreal and Napoli will cause problems, but I think those two teams will not travel so well and that's what will let them down.




Group B: Inter, CSKA Moscow, Lille and Trabzonspor- On first glance, I would be extremely surprised if Inter Milan fail to get through the Group and are very likely to finish top.


CSKA Moscow are tough to play in Russia and I think that will make the difference and help them join Inter in the last 16.




Group C: Manchester United, Benfica, Basel and Otelul Galati- Manchester United will be extremely happy with the group they have been given, and it should provide an opportunity for Sir Alex Ferguson to give many of the younger players their first taste of European football. I expect the likes of Phil Jones, Danny Welbeck, Tom Cleverley, Ashley Young, Chris Smalling and David De Gea to play in the majority of these fixtures and give the more experienced players a chance to keep the Premier League run going.


Benfica are the toughest opponents in the group and I think their performances at the Stadium of Light will ensure they get enough points to join United in the next round.




Group D: Real Madrid, Lyon, Ajax and Dinamo Zagreb- Jose Mourinho should be very happy with the draw, especially after helping remove the Lyon curse Real Madrid had last season.


Lyon and Ajax should be fighting for 2nd place and it could come down to how they play at Dinamo Zagreb, a very tough looking away game.


Dinamo may feel they can cause a surprise if they get off to a positive start, but I think Real Madrid will be joined by Lyon's experience in the next stage.




Group E: Chelsea, Valencia, Bayer Leverkusen and Genk- Chelsea should be glad what the draw has offered, with little travelling required during the early part of the season and with opponents that should not have enough for them.


Valencia are not the team of old, having lost a number of key players over the last couple of years including Juan Mata to Chelsea and they may just be surprised by Bayer Leverkusen in getting through.


Genk are easily the weakest team in the group and will likely be satisfied if they can get one win, while enjoying the financial benefits of hosting the sides in the group.




Group F: Arsenal, Marseille, Olympiakos and Borussia Dortmund- At first glance it looks like Arsenal have a decent draw, but a little further digging suggests it may not be as straightforward as it seems.


All 3 away games will be tough, while Borussia Dortmund were the best team in pot 4 and the most difficult opponents for the Gunners.


Marseille showed how tough they can be when pushing Manchester United in the last 16 last season, and also beating Chelsea at home in the group stage, while Olympiakos are a tough ask in Greece.


Arsenal will need to improve their away form if they want to go through, else it could be a shock exit in store for Arsene Wenger's team.




Group G: Porto, Shakhtar Donetskk, Zenit St Petersburg and Apoel- This is perhaps the most unappealing group (unless you support one of the sides involved) in terms of viewing. The top 3 sides will feel they can all make it through, while Apoel may be all the better from their previous experience at this stage.


Porto have been weakened by losing their manager and star striker Falcao in the Summer, so I think Shakhtar Donetsk will win the group after reaching the Quarter Finals last season.


Zenit could be the surprise to join them in the last 16 this season, with Porto being the most vulnerable of the Pot 1 clubs.




Group H: Barcelona, AC Milan, BATE Borisov and Viktoria Plzen- It looked like shaping up to be the group of death after the first two teams were put together, but the latter two sides don't look likely to cause too many problems so I do expect Barcelona and AC Milan to move through in that order.




I will make some outright picks before the first group games begin in September, but I think most of the big names will be very glad with what has been put in front of them. I can't see too many surprises, although Arsenal and Manchester City will need to start off well if they don't want to cause too many problems in their qualification.

Porto look the weakest of the top seeds and I think they may be the most likely to go out at this stage.

Teams like Borussia Dortmund, City, Zenit St Petersburg and Bayer Leverkusen look the teams most likely to reach the last 16 after being outside of the top 2 pots in the draw.

Hopefully the layers will have their prices up soon in the outright and group betting markets, and we can find some angles to move forward with.

Thursday 25th August Football Picks (Europa League and Carling Cup)

It's been a good couple of days for the picks from the football, and I have picked out a couple of options from the Thursday coupon:

Birmingham City v Nacional (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-11433-Birmingham-City-v-Nacional.htm)

Scunthorpe v Newcastle United (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-11434-Scunthorpe-v-Newcastle-United.htm)


MY PICKS: Birmingham City-Nacional Both NOT to score @ 1.80 Victor Chandler (1 Unit)
Scunthorpe-Newcastle United Over 2.5 Goals @ 1.80 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)




FOOTBALL AUGUST PROFIT/LOSS: 21-23, + 0.17 Units

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

MLB Picks and Preview August 24th

Got a couple of picks from the MLB tonight after a bad day yesterday with both picks falling down.

The first of these games begins in the early afternoon in the US, the other is an evening game.

Seattle Mariners @ Cleveland Indians (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-11427-Cleveland-Indians-v-Seattle-Mariners.htm)

Boston Red Sox @ Texas Rangers (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-11429-Texas-Rangers-v-Boston-Red-Sox.htm)


MY PICKS: Cleveland Indians-Seattle Mariners Over 7 Runs @ 2.14 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Texas Rangers @ 2.05 Pinnacle (1 Unit)


MLB AUGUST PROFIT/LOSS: 6-6, - 0.93 Units

Tennis Profit/Loss Update August 22nd-28th

After both outright picks fell away to defeats and both of my picks from the coupon also lost from bad positions, I have decided to call it a day for the week and get ready for the US Open.

The draw will be out on Thursday evening at around 6pm British Time, and I should have a preview of the tournament and picks ready on Friday.


DAILY PICKS: - 3 Units


OUTRIGHT PICKS: - 2 Units


OVERALL WEEK UPDATE: - 5 Units




SEASON PROFIT/LOSS UPDATE: + 66.72 Units

Wednesday 24th August Football Picks and Preview (Carling Cup and Champions League)

It was a better day for the picks yesterday, although it could have been so much better if Cardiff had decided to win their game in normal time rather than blow a 2-0 lead and eventually win 5-3 in extra time.

The following are my picks from the Wednesday coupon:

Udinese v Arsenal (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-11418-Udinese-v-Arsenal.htm)

Benfica v Twente (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-11420-Benfica-v-Twente.htm)

Everton v Sheffield United (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-11421-Everton-v-Sheffield-United.htm)

Exeter v Liverpool (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-11422-Exeter-v-Liverpool.htm)


MY PICKS: Udinese @ 2.38 Victor Chandler (1 Unit)
Benfica-Twente Over 3.5 Goals @ 3.00 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
Everton - 1.25 Asian Handicap @ 2.00 Pinnacle (1 Unit) This will be a full payout if Everton win by 2 or more goals, half stake returned if Everton win by 1 goal, and loser if Everton fail to win
Liverpool - 1.5 Asian Handicap @ 2.00 Victor Chandler (1 Unit)




AUGUST FOOTBALL PROFIT/LOSS: 18-22, - 2.83 Units

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Things Learned from the Weekend Football (August 20-22)

So another weekend of football has passed us by and this is a few things I have taken from the weekend:

1) Are only Manchester United players behaviour brought up for the FA to discuss?; Now I am not one to think the FA are biased against all things United, but surely someone has to explain how Raul Meireles of Liverpool has got away with clearly flipping the bird after Liverpool scored their 2nd goal at Arsenal.


It was clearly caught by the Sky TV cameras and even Luis Suarez decided to slap down the offending Meireles hand- however, there was no mention in the media of the act and no witch hunt that this player is setting a bad example to any youngsters watching.


When Wayne Rooney was swearing at the camera last season at West Ham, the FA came down hard while 'Match of the Day' and 'Sky' analysed the incident to death and earned Rooney a 3 match ban.


Now where are these same moral guardians after the Meireles incident? Why isn't the minimum question of WHO was Meireles swearing at being asked?


I wonder if there would be a difference if the next time Wayne Rooney scores he randomly throws out the 'wanker' gesture at any direction, although something tells me a 10 month ban would soon follow.




2) The good old topic of referee inconsistencies shows itself again: So is the one week policy of booking players for diving (ie Gervinho last week at Newcastle) over, or is it English players will not be given cards for the same act as Johnny Foreigner?


The first Chelsea goal against West Brom showed the inconsistency as Frank Lampard's attempted dive in the box was not punished and Nicolas Anelka scored from the move- have a look at the West Brom defenders all demanding something be done for the blatent Lampard dive and forget about defending for a split second that allowed Anelka to get his shot off and equalise.


The issue of diving is so subjective, but the bottom line should be a policy across the board- either decide to book any player the referee thinks is attempting to con them, or don't do it at all... But don't decide one week you will book players, yet the next you will just allow it to happen.




3) Juan Mata is the perfect signing for this Chelsea team: While watching the Chelsea-West Brom game last week, I could not help wondering that they did not have a spark in the midfield which will provide enough goals for a very good forward line. The inability of the likes of Lampard and Mikel to beat players and the inconsistency of Salomon Kalou meant they looked devoid of ideas.


However, when it was announced that Juan Mata will be coming in, I could not be anything but impressed- he has pace, can beat a man, can score goals from midfield and can create for others. His position in the wide areas will also give him more time to adjust to the Premier League as he is not in the hustle and bustle of centre midfielder, the hardest place for a creative talent to make an immediate impact when not playing in the League before in my opinion.


If Chelsea can also persuade Tottenham to part with Luka Modric, they will be a real threat in the Premier League and Champions League.




4) Swansea may struggle for the goals to keep them in the top flight: Swansea have not scored in their first 2 Premier League games and were fortunate to pick up a point against Wigan on Saturday at home, and I have this feeling a lack of goals will cost them their place in the top flight.


They have signed Danny Graham from Watford, but his inexperience at this level may be too much to overcome, and there is a distinct lack of goals in the side.


Defensively they will give the opposition chances, and that is not a good combination for survival.




5) The pressure of playing at home for the Championship favourites could be a problem early in the season: The two Championship favourites at the start of the season were West Ham and Leicester City, yet they are combined 0-1-3 in their home games so far.


It seems the expectation levels are making it harder for the players to perform, particularly as the squads were revamped over the Summer and it may take a little bit of time for them to make an impact in front of their own fans.


It is telling that both of those sides are 3-1-0 away from home, with Leicester conceding a goal in injury time on Saturday to prevent a clean sweep.


With teams travelling to Leicester and West Ham with nothing to lose, they are able to take advantage of any nervousness in the home teams. That could be something to keep an eye on as we move into September and October.

MLB Picks and Preview August 23rd

I have a couple of picks and previews from the MLB tonight:

Oakland A's @ New York Yankees (http://www.goonersguide.com/match_detail.php?matchID=11415)

LA Dodgers @ St Louis Cardinals (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-11416-St-Louis-Cardinals-v-LA-Dodgers.htm)


MY PICKS: New York Yankees - 1.5 Runs @ 2.00 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
St Louis Cardinals @ 2.05 Pinnacle (1 Unit)


MLB AUGUST UPDATE: 6-4, + 1.07 Units

Tennis Picks August 23rd

As I said earlier this week when posting my outright picks, I will not be playing tennis picks every day as the US Open will be beginning next Monday and I am quite happy with the bank we have been building since the French Open.

However, I do trawl through the tennis matches every day to see if I can find an edge and try and make a little bit more profit.

Ryan Harrison and James Blake both moved into the 2nd Round with wins over Victor Hanescu and Mikhail Kukushkin respectively, but they fact tough opponents tonight. If both win, that will mean my outright picks go against one another in the next Round, but that was the hope when the picks were made.

On to the Picks:

Dmitry Tursunov - 3.5 games vs Steve Darcis: I can't help feeling that Tursunov has been underestimated a touch in this match and I actually expected him to be a much stronger favourite.

The Russian has move back up to Number 44 in the World following an injury ravaged 2010, and his big serve and groundstrokes should be ideal for the faster North American surfaces. In saying that, his progress up the rankings has not been as rapid simply because he remains a little inconsistent.

Steve Darcis, on the other hand, played his first hard court match of the Summer when beating Federico Gil in the 1st Round and this is an altogether different test.

In fact, Darcis' win in the 1st Round was his first match on a hard court at main tour level this year, and he has played just 6 matches in Challenger events on the surface too.

Last year he didn't even bother playing in a hard court match during this swing and I think Tursunov should be far too strong for him, winning 6-3, 6-4 as he did in their only previous meeting back in 2005.


Andrey Golubev vs Sergiy Stakhovsky: This is very much a pick against Stakhovsky who should not be a big favourite over anyone considering he has lost 4 of his last 5 matches, while Golubev has at least won a Round here and should have a better feel for the conditions.

Golubev has been awful on the main tour events in the last few months, but he picked up a win over Stanislas Wawrinka last week and must feel he can beat an opponent that has been struggling as much as Stakhovsky.

Golubev has won their only previous meeting, and I will pick him to come through here.


MY PICKS: Dmitry Tursunov - 3.5 games @ 1.99 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Andrey Golubev @ 2.48 Pinnacle (1 Unit)

Tuesday 23rd August Football Picks (Champions League and English Football)

These are my picks from the Tuesday coupon and I am hoping they will bring an upturn in fortunes in August.

The Leeds goal on Sunday, which came in the 91st minute, has given me just over a 3.4 unit turnaround which has skewed the results this month, but that is no excuse.

Remember the Carling Cup games can be a minefield to trawl through considering the team changes made and managers keeping cards close to their chests, but hopefully it will be a good day:


Zurich v Bayern Munich (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-11411-Zurich-v-Bayern-Munich.htm)

Bury v Leicester City (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-11410-Bury-v-Leicester-City.htm)

Cardiff v Huddersfield (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-11412-Cardiff-v-Huddersfield.htm)

Wycombe v Nottingham Forest (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-11413-Wycombe-v-Nottingham-Forest.htm)

QPR v Rochdale (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-11414-QPR-v-Rochdale.htm)


MY PICKS: Bayern Munich win to nil @ 3.00 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
Leicester City @ 1.92 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
Cardiff @ 1.90 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Nottingham Forest @ 2.10 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
QPR - 1 Asian Handicap @ 2.05 Pinnacle (1 Unit) Stake is returned if QPR win by 1 goal exactly


AUGUST PROFIT/LOSS UPDATE: 15-20, - 4.83 Units

Monday, 22 August 2011

Tennis Profit/Loss Update August 15th-21st

Another Masters event is in the books but Novak Djokovic is not the winner for only the 2nd time in 7 events this season.

The tournament also left a few question marks over the top 4 and their ability to win in New York, with Djokovic suffering with a shoulder problem, and Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal struggling for form.

The draw could be all important in deciding the winner in the Men's tournament at Flushing Meadows, but the Women's draw looks like being a procession with Serena Williams being head and shoulders above her competition.

Her price has come in accordingly, but I can't see too many players causing her enough problems and I think Williams will come out on top.

I am not sure how many tennis picks I will have this week outside of my two outright choices in the Winston Salem Open as the next Grand Slam is just around the corner, while some players motivation is definitely questionable at this early stage of the week.


DAILY PICKS AUGUST 15th-21st: + 2.86 Units


OUTRIGHT PICKS AUGUST 15th-21st: + 10 Units


OVERALL WEEKLY PROFIT/LOSS: + 12.86 Units




SEASON PROFIT/LOSS: + 71.72 Units

Monday 22nd August Football Picks (Manchester United v Tottenham)

It was a bad Sunday as late goals and penalty misses end up costing me in what looked like being a decent day... The goal at West Ham for Leeds United with a minute left was the one that left me with a losing day, but football can be so hard to predict at this early stage.

This week will begin with Manchester United's first game at Old Trafford in the new season, and it looks like a tough game to get involved in. I have a pick and preview up below.

After tomorrow, the week is packed with Champions League, Europa League and Carling Cup action before we get back to the Premier League action at the weekend.


Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-11406-Manchester-United-v-Tottenham-Hotspur.htm)


MY PICK: Wayne Rooney to score first @ 5.50 Victor Chandler (1 Unit)


AUGUST FOOTBALL PROFIT/LOSS: 15-19, - 3.83 Units

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Tennis Outright Picks August 22nd-28th

My final profit/loss update from last week will be updated as soon as the Andy Murray-Novak Djokovic match is completed in Cincinnati, but in the meantime I will have a look at next weeks draw in the last tournaments before the US Open.

This can be a little difficult to predict which players will take these last tournaments seriously, especially with 2 weeks of tough tennis ahead of them at Flushing Meadows, so I will look for any outsiders that may be more interested in this tournament knowing they are unlikely to have a real impact in New York.


ATP Winston Salem Open
The Number 1 seed, and favourite to win this event is Andy Roddick, a player that clearly needs the matches under his belt following a long lay off and an early exit in Cincinnati.


The American's run through to the Semi Final does not look to have too many obstacles in front of it, although I am concerned he could pull out after a couple of wins, either withdrawing or not putting in the required effort to win a match. My reason for that is Roddick will want to be at his freshest going into the US Open which will begin the day after this event finishes, and I cannot imagine he wants to be involved in all the tennis required to win this tournament.

 A real potential threat in the bottom half of Roddick's section is John Isner, who actually beat Roddick at the US Open two years ago. Isner has played a lot of tennis this Summer, reaching a Final in Atlanta and Semi Final in Washington, but I also have a few doubts whether he will want to put himself through a gruelling week before a Grand Slam where he must feel he can have an impact.

Players like Marcos Baghdatis and Dmitry Tursunov will feel they may just be able to take advantage if the likes of Roddick and Isner fall out of this section, but both have their own issues and cannot really be backed with any confidence, even at big double figure prices.

Baghdatis has just employed Miles Maclagen, Andy Murray's former coach, but it will take some time before their styles mesh, while Tursunov has failed to really make an impact over the Summer.

The other half of the draw has the same problems with seeded players like Nikolay Davydenko and Jurgen Melzer not to be trusted on current form while others like Kevin Anderson and Alexandr Dolgopolov look too short in the market.

My interest, therefore, in this tournament will instead come in the form of one young player, and one old player.

Both of my picks are American, but I would recommend keeping stakes very small- the first is Ryan Harrison, the other is James Blake.

Ryan Harrison has been in decent nick during the American hard court Summer swing, reaching the Semi Final in both Atlanta and Los Angeles, while being beaten by Novak Djokovic in Cincinnati is not exactly a disgrace.

Harrison has a tough looking match with Kevin Anderson in Round 2 if he progresses, but I think he could cause enough troubles to beat the big serving South African, especially if his serve is not on top form as it was against Andy Murray in Toronto.

He may then be forced into a big match with James Blake in the 3rd Round and I think the winner of that will have a decent chance of going all the way.

Blake has been looking like he is getting back to something like his best, although he is still inconsistent. However, he has won a few Challengers in recent months and it is clear he is trying his best to get back up the Rankings.

The veteran will have a tough 2nd Round match with Robin Haase, but a win in will leave us with a potential match between himself and Harrison.

It's a tough tournament to second guess players, so keep stakes to a minimum.


Prices for the two WTA Events in Texas and New Haven have not been released, I'll check prices when they are released (likely tomorrow at this rate) and will tweet any outrights I have from that market.




MY PICKS: Ryan Harrison @ 26.00 Ladbrokes  (0.5 Units E/W)
James Blake @ 26.00 Ladbrokes (0.5 Units E/W)

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Sunday 21st August English and Scottish Football Picks and Previews

The full previews and reasoning can be found from the links provided:

Wolves v Fulham (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-11395-Wolves-v-Fulham.htm)

Bolton v Manchester City (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-11397-Bolton-v-Manchester-City.htm)

West Ham v Leeds (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-11399-West-Ham-United-v-Leeds-United.htm)

Middlesbrough v Birmingham City (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-11400-Middlesbrough-v-Birmingham-City.htm)

Celtic v St Johnstone (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-11401-Celtic-v-St-Johnstone.htm)


MY PICKS: Wolves @ 2.45 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Bolton-Manchester City Under 2.5 Goals @ 1.95 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
West Ham @ 1.72 Ladbrokes (2 Units)
Middlesbrough @ 2.10 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
Celtic - 1.75 Asian Handicap @ 1.90 Pinnacle (2 Units) This Asian Handicap works where half the stake is considered a winner if Celtic win by 2 goals and the other half is returned; The pick is a full winner if Celtic win by 3 goals, and a loser if Celtic win by less than 2 goals or fail to win.


AUGUST FOOTBALL PROFIT/LOSS: 13-16, - 1.38 Units

Friday, 19 August 2011

Saturday 20th August Football Picks and Preview

Full previews with reasoning can be read from the following links:

Sunderland v Newcastle (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-11389-Sunderland-v-Newcastle-United.htm)

Arsenal v Liverpool (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-11376-Arsenal-v-Liverpool.htm)

Aston Villa v Blackburn Rovers (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-11375-Aston-Villa-v-Blackburn-Rovers.htm)

Chelsea v West Brom (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-11393-Chelsea-v-West-Brom.htm)

Coventry City v Watford (http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-11394-Coventry-City-v-Watford.htm)


MY PICKS: Sunderland-Newcastle United Both to Score @ 1.91 Victor Chandler (1 Unit)
Arsenal-Liverpool Under 2.5 Goals @ 1.80 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Aston Villa @ 1.75 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Chelsea win to nil @ 2.20 William Hill (1 Unit)
Watford @ 2.88 BetFred (1 Unit)


AUGUST PROFIT/LOSS UPDATE: 11-13, - 1.48 Units

Tennis Picks August 19th Cincinnati Quarter Finals

It was a mixed bag in terms of results yesterday, but there was brighter news now Roger Federer and Andy Murray have moved into the Quarter Finals to keep my outright picks intact.

The biggest disappointment for me yesterday was Petra Kvitova and I have accepted the Wimbledon Champion is likely to struggle for the rest of the season as the expectation is far greater than she would have experienced before and it does take a little bit of time to get used to that.

The likes of Ana Ivanovic, Na Li and Svetlana Kuznetsova have all had down periods following their first Grand Slam win and Kvitova looks to be joining those ranks.

As far as the US Open goes, I cannot look beyond Serena Williams at this moment in time in the Women's draw as she looks far and away the best player in the World, even with her withdrawal from this tournament. The American looks to be reaching her best and she will be very difficult to stop.

On to the Picks:

Andy Murray - 4.5 games vs Gilles Simon: Andy Murray was brilliant in the first set yesterday as he dismissed Alex Bogomolov, but he will have to keep concentration up for the duration of this match if he wants to make serene progress into the Semi Finals.

Gilles Simon had his third tough match of the week yesterday and has been struggling with a foot injury that required treatment last night as he struggled to serve in the final set.

The Frenchman has struggled against Murray in their recent meetings, losing 6 in a row against him including twice this season, and the fast hard courts should favour the Scot even more.


Roger Federer - 4.5 games vs Tomas Berdych: One year ago, I would have been all over Tomas Berdych with this headstart, but the Czech player's form has really dropped off this season and I can see Federer winning with a bit to spare.

Federer has played very well so far this week and his easy win over Juan Martin Del Potro has stamped that form, while Berdych has regularly got to this stage of a tournament before falling to the better players he faces.

Berdych could cause problems if he is serving well, but I think he is too mentally fragile at the moment and an early break could see this match going in one direction.


Novak Djokovic - 5.5 games vs Gael Monfils: Novak Djokovic is definitely feeling the pace from playing so much tennis over the last 10 days and looks ready to be taken on, but I don't believe Monfils is the man to do so.

They met last week in Montreal and it led to an extremely easy win for the World Number 1 and I cannot see how things will change this week.

Monfils had an easy win yesterday but that was thanks to a huge assist from Philipp Kohlschreiber who was making far too many unforced errors- this is something Djokovic will not be so generous with.

With the match starting in the evening, Djokovic should be able to prevail with a 6-4, 6-2 scoreline.


Maria Sharapova - 3.5 games vs Sam Stosur: Maria Sharapova has won all 8 meetings with Sam Stosur, the last 4 without losing a set and I think the hard courts favours her game.

Sharapova looked good in beating Kuznetsova yesterday and Sam Stosur has played a lot of tennis recently so fatigue could be an issue.

Sharapova is also losing an average of just over 2 games per set in the last 4 matches they have played against one another and I think she will come through by running away with a 2nd set following a tight 1st.


MY PICKS: Andy Murray - 4.5 games @ 1.95 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Roger Federer - 4.5 games @ 2.00 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Novak Djokovic - 5.5 games @ 1.90 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Maria Sharapova - 3.5 games @ 1.90 Pinnacle (2 Units)




WEEKLY UPDATE: + 3.16 Units

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Thursday 18th August Football Picks and Preview (Europa League)

I have studied through the Europa League coupon today and picked out some games that will be worth a small play and hopefully bring in a profit:

Thun v Stoke City (http://www.goonersguide.com/football-pick-11360-Thun-v-Stoke-City.htm)

Nacional v Birmingham City (http://www.goonersguide.com/football-pick-11361-Nacional-v-Birmingham-City.htm)

Hearts v Tottenham Hotspur (http://www.goonersguide.com/football-pick-11362-Hearts-v-Tottenham-Hotspur.htm)


MY PICKS: Thun @ 3.00 BetFred (1 Unit)
Nacional @ 1.85 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Hearts + 1 Asian Handicap @ 1.90 Victor Chandler (1 Unit)
Double; Athletic Bilbao and Atletico Madrid @ 2.19 Stan James (1 Unit)


AUGUST FOOTBALL PROFIT/LOSS: 11-9, + 2.59 Units

Tennis Picks August 18th Cincinnati

It was another topsy-turvy day yesterday that began terribly, but ended with lot of positives and profits.

Andy Murray looked impressive in dispatching David Nalbandian and that means both outright picks are alive this week. There is still a lot of tennis to be played before anything good comes from the outright picks, but it's been a longer adventure than last week when both exited the tournament at a very early stage.

On to the Picks:

Andy Murray - 4.5 games vs Alex Bogomolov: This is a big chance for Andy Murray to get revenge for an embarrassing loss to Bogomolov earlier this year in Miami.

That loss came during a big slump in form for Murray after the Australian Open, but I think he is in better form now.

Bogomolov recorded another big win this season when beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga yesterday and he is enjoying his time here, coming through 5 Rounds to reach this stage.

I am a little concerned that Murray has too many lapses in his concentration, but I do expect the British Number 1 to move through in straight sets and I can see him pulling away in the second set to cover the spread.


Rafael Nadal - 4.5 games vs Fernando Verdasco: Rafael Nadal has beaten his Spanish compatriot in all 12 previous meetings and I don't think Verdasco is in the form to change that.

The closest Verdasco came to beating Nadal was in Australia in that Semi Final of 2009 when he pushed Nadal to the limits of his game, but Verdasco is far removed from that kind of form and the 2 sets he won that day are part of the 3 sets he has EVER won against Nadal.

I think Rafa is far too consistent for Verdasco, who is capable of throwing in nightmare service games, and I expect him to move through without too much fuss.


David Ferrer - 2.5 games vs Gilles Simon: David Ferrer is the ultimate competitor and I have a lot of respect for his dedication to his craft and his ability to get the absolute best from his ability- personally I think a lot of youngsters playing the game should look at Ferrer as an example of what hard work can reward.

Ferrer's lack of matches on the hard courts is a concern, but he plays Gilles Simon who also has not played too much hard court tennis this Summer.

I think Ferrer holds a big edge in the match up because the two players essentially have the same game, yet it is Ferrer who is just a little better in all departments.

Ferrer has won their 2 previous meetings, albeit back in 2007, and he lost just 5 games combined in winning in straight sets on each occasion... I think he will win in straight sets again tonight.


Gael Monfils - 1.5 games vs Philipp Kohlschreiber: Gael Monfils has a very good record against Philipp Kohlschreiber and I expect he can continue that here.

My biggest concern is the fact that Monfils has been playing a lot of tennis in recent weeks, reaching the Final in Washington and the Quarter Final in Montreal last week, and he may be a little fatigued.

Kohlschreiber is making a surprise appearance at this stage as he was not expected to win his first 2 matches, but he had not been in great form on the hard courts this season and I think Monfils will be just too good for him again.


Daniela Hantuchova vs Marion Bartoli: I am not convinced the layers have this right by making Hantuchova the underdog in this match.

The Slovakian has a 4-1 head to head record against Bartoli and that includes 2 wins on the hard courts of the United States, the latest coming in San Diego last season.

Neither player has been in fantastic form of late, but I think Hantuchova will have the mental edge in the match and can come through, possibly in 3 sets.


Petra Kvitova vs Andrea Petkovic: A quick look at the results from Toronto will show Petkovic beat Kvitova in straight sets last week for the loss of just 3 games, but the match was a lot closer than that and I think the Wimbledon champion can overturn that result.

There has been an overreaction, in my opinion, from that result last week and they are now set as a pick 'em contest or with Kvitova as the slight favourite and I will have a go backing her to win.

The Czech player has not played a lot of tennis of late and struggled a little more against Chanelle Scheepers than I thought she would, but the match is on her racquet and if she can cut out some of the unforced errors, I think she can win.


MY PICKS: Andy Murray - 4.5 games @ 1.91 Bet365 (2 Units)
Rafael Nadal - 4.5 games @ 1.90 Pinnacle (2 Units)
David Ferrer - 2.5 games @ 2.00 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Gael Monfils - 1.5 games @ 1.95 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Daniela Hantuchova @ 2.20 BetFred (2 Units)
Petra Kvitova @ 1.91 Pinnacle (2 Units)


WEEKLY UPDATE: + 3.04 Units

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Tennis Picks August 17th Cincinnati

It was a mixed bag yesterday in terms of the picks, and it leaves us with a slight deficit as we reach Day 3 of the tournament.

Only one of the big 4 has been in action so far, and that was Roger Federer with his impressive win over Juan Martin Del Potro last night.

The former World Number 1 has opened up his section with that win and has shortened considerably in the outright market. Federer was impressive behind serve, one of the elements that let him down against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga last week, and it was clear he enjoys the conditions at this venue.

Today we will see the rest of the top 4 players in action in what looks like another busy day of tennis action:

Andy Murray - 4.5 games vs David Nalbandian: I am going to back the British Number 1 to make a much better start to the week than he did in Montreal and come through with a bit to spare.

Murray will be able to get a much better feel for this match than he did against Kevin Anderson as he won't be getting big bombs served at him and will be involved in many more rallies.

David Nalbandian is not the force of old and looked bad in losses against Stanislas Wawrinka and James Blake over the last couple of weeks. He has won a match here already this week, but I think he will give Murray too many chances and lose 6-3, 6-4.

Some may prefer backing Murray with a - 4 game headstart, but I think the price on - 4.5 games is tempting enough to give it a shot.


Feliciano Lopez - 2 games vs Philipp Kohlschreiber: Barring a bad first service game, Feliciano Lopez showed how effective his serve can be on this surface when beating Juan Carlos Ferrero in 3 sets in the last Round.

He faces a difficult opponent in Kohlschreiber that can be erratic- one match he will look like a top 20 player, in others you struggle to see how he got into the top 100.

Lopez has a 3-0 head to head record against the German and I have a feeling we may see a flat performance from Kohlschreiber following his 3 set win over Andy Roddick in the last Round.


Radek Stepanek - 3.5 games vs Andrey Golubev: Radek Stepanek has shown he is clearly still in decent form, beating John Isner in the last Round and recently winning a hard court event in Washington.

He faces Andrey Golubev who stopped a 15 match losing run on the main tour in the last Round when beating Stanislas Wawrinka. I think Golubev took advantage of the Swiss mans exertions from Montreal and he will not get that luxury against Stepanek who is adept at playing on hard courts and has the variation and character to both frustrate and anger opponents.

Stepanek has a 3-1 head to head record over Golubev and his wins have been relatively straight forward. I think we may see a 6-4, 6-4 win for him tonight.


Gilles Simon - 2.5 games vs Janko Tipsarevic: I am backing Gilles Simon to win this match as he faces an opponent that looked a little fatigued in his win in the 1st Round following a run to the Semi Finals in Montreal last week.

We have seen in the past those players that do well in Canada and then falter in Cincinnati and I think Tipsarevic may be ripe for the taking here.

Simon has the winning mentality recently, albeit in a clay court event, and has beaten Tipsarevic in their 2 career meetings.


Francesca Schiavone - 2.5 games vs Maria Kirilenko: Francesca Schiavone is one of the toughest competitors on the WTA Tour and I feel her ability to chase down a lot of balls (excuse me?!!) gives her the edge to break down the Kirilenko game.

That seems to stand up to the 4-1 head to head record Schiavone holds over Kirilenko and the fact that Kirilenko has had a slight injury in recent weeks will not aid her cause.

Schiavone has won their last 2 meetings without dropping a set, including in Kirilenko's home country, and I think she will prove too strong again.


Serena Williams - 2.5 games vs Sam Stosur: The odds here are clearly much lower because Serena Williams was showing signs of fatigue following her recent successes when beating Lucie Hradecka in the last Round.

However, the best Women's player in the World said in her press conference that she had arrived in Cincinnati the night before and she expects to play better today.

Stosur is another who played a lot of tennis in reaching the Final in Toronto last week but she was easily beaten on that occasion following a tight first set. The Australian has also been suffering with a slight wrist problem, especially when hitting her backhand strokes, and I think Williams will confirm her superiority over her today.


Jelena Jankovic - 2.5 games vs Jie Zheng: I am going to back the former World Number 1, Jelena Jankovic, to come through this test against a player that has fallen from her best level that took her to a Wimbledon Semi Final in 2009.

Jie Zheng has won 3 Rounds here already so she is in form and she did push Serena Williams to 3 sets last week, but Jelena Jankovic has an impressive 4-1 head to head record against her opponent and she has won the last 3 meetings without dropping a set.

Jankovic has not had a good time on the hard courts this Summer so far, but she does adapt well to the faster surfaces and I expect her to come through tonight.


MY PICKS: Andy Murray - 4.5 games @ 2.25 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Feliciano Lopez - 2 games @ 1.95 Bodog (2 Units)
Radek Stepanek - 3.5 games @ 1.80 Bet365 (2 Units)
Gilles Simon - 2.5 games @ 1.80 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Francesca Schiavone - 2.5 games @ 1.83 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Serena Williams - 2.5 games @ 1.91 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Jelena Jankovic - 2.5 games @ 1.91 Bet365 (2 Units)


WEEKLY UPDATE: - 0.48 Units

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

MLB Picks August 16th

I have written one full preview of the games tonight, but that was all I had time for earlier and actually have 3 picks this evening:

http://goonersguide.com/football-pick-11345-Detroit-Tigers-v-Minnesota-Twins.htm


MY PICKS: Detroit Tigers - 1.5 runs @ 1.83 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
Houston Astros-Chicago Cubs Over 7.5 Runs @ 2.00 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Oakland A's @ 1.75 Pinnacle (1 Unit)



AUGUST MLB PROFIT/LOSS: 3-4, - 1.51 Units

Tennis Picks August 16th Cincinnati

A good start to the week as 3 of the 4 picks came up trumps yesterday and the form from the back end of last week has continued. I am hoping to ride this hot hand a little further, as we have a lot of options to choose from today.

On to the Picks:

Florian Mayer vs Ivo Karlovic: This is more a back against Ivo Karlovic than it is a back of Florian Mayer as I don't think the big Croatian should be favoured too often these days.

He has improved his overall game, but the serve is not as potent as it once was and Karlovic's new found belief in his ground game means he is giving more chances for the opponent to win tie breaks against him.

Mayer's awkward style will also aid the German player and he will draw confidence having beaten Karlovic on the hard courts of Miami earlier this season.


Marin Cilic vs Jo-Wilfried Tsonga: Marin Cilic looks to be returning to some sort of form and looked impressive in his straight sets win over Juan Martin Del Potro last week in Montreal.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has really raised his game over the last 3 months and his win over Roger Federer last week will have got people taking notes for the US Open.

However, Tsonga has been suffering with a bicep problem and I can't see him wanting to aggravate that just 2 weeks before Flushing Meadows- he may not be playing at full power and that may just shift the advantage to Cilic.


Janko Tipsarevic - 4.5 games vs Edouard Roger-Vasselin: Janko Tipsarevic had a big week in Montreal last week and while it has been written that those going deep in Canada struggle at this tournament, I can only see one winner here.

Edouard Roger-Vasselin has come through 2 qualifying rounds to get here, but he is far too inconsistent and I can't see him doing enough to trouble Tipsarevic.

Tipsarevic himself is inconsistent else he would be higher in the rankings so there is a concern backing him as a short priced favourite to cover handicaps, but he has beaten Roger-Vasselin twice before with enough comfort to suggest he will do it again.


Tomas Berdych - 4.5 games vs Juan Monaco: Tomas Berdych has already beaten Juan Monaco twice this season, both on the Argentinian's favoured clay courts, and both in straight sets without too many concerns.

Berdych is not at the level of last season when he reached the Semi Final at Roland Garros and the Final at Wimbledon, but it is the better players that remain his issue and I expect him to swat aside this challenge.

The Czech Number 1 has won all 5 previous meetings with Monaco and he does everything Monaco does but only better and I expect a 6th win.


Roger Federer - 3 games vs Juan Martin Del Potro: I know Roger Federer had a hard time in Montreal last week, but he loves this tournament and I think he can restore his confidence with a big win over Juan Martin Del Potro.

The Argentinian is getting better and better since his wrist injury, but he still is a little short of the top 4 and I think we will see that here.

I think the odds have been skewed by Federer's disappointing loss last week, but I expect him to make a mockery of them.


Nadia Petrova - 2 games vs Roberta Vinci: I think the odds here are all wrong because of Vinci's good run in Toronto but Nadia Petrova should be a bigger favourite in my humble opinion.

Petrova was beaten by Vera Zvonareva last week, but there is no shame in that, and she has been in good form by winning in Washington before that.

Vinci lost recently to Jie Zheng and was beaten convincingly by Petrova on the hard courts of Doha earlier this season.


Petra Kvitova - 5.5 games vs Chanelle Scheepers: Petra Kvitova exited the tournament in Toronto in disappointing fashion last week but I expect she can bounce back against her South African opponent, even though Scheepers has done well to win 3 matches here already this week.

However, Scheepers has been comfortably beaten when playing the better players on the tour and was recently routed by Heather Watson of Great Britain, form that will not see her last too long against someone as good as Kvitova.

The Wimbledon Champion has also won easily enough in their 2 previous meetings, winning all 4 sets and not losing more than 6 games in either.


MY PICKS: Florian Mayer @ 2.05 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Marin Cilic @ 2.50 Sporting Bet (1 Unit)
Janko Tipsarevic - 4.5 games @ 2.00 Bet365 (2 Units)
Tomas Berdych - 4.5 games @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Roger Federer - 3 games @ 2.00 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Nadia Petrova - 2 games @ 1.90 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Petra Kvitova - 5.5 games @ 1.80 Bet365 (2 Units)



WEEKLY UPDATE: + 3.52 Units
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