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Thursday, 1 September 2011

US Open Day 4 Picks

Yesterday was a funny day for the picks I had made, with Soderling pulling out before his match started and Yanina Wickmayer retiring in the 2nd set of her match.

Fortunately the Wickmayer pick was placed at Paddy Power, one of the few layers who will only pay out when the match is completed and voids all bets when a retirement occurs.

We took advantage of that even though the tournament directors made Wickmayer play 1 more game when she clearly wanted to retire, a game that would have made the pick a loser in all other places.

Without thinking about the picks, the treatment of Wickmayer was disgusting, saying she could not retire without receiving an injury timeout. The Belgian broke down in a flood of tears as she had to made almost 10 minutes for the trainer to turn up, play 1 more game where she barely moved and then leave the court.

Something tells me a Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic or AN Other top player would not be treated like this. It was horrible to watch and definitely a stain on my favourite tournament of the season.

Back to the picks, we ended up with another small profit on the day to add to the weeks tally as John Isner won his match 3-1 in sets against Marcos Baghdatis.

Andy Murray played some decent stuff in his win over Somdev Devvarman, but will need to go up a level against the dangerous Robin Haase in the next round, while Agnieszka Radwanska fell out of the tournament and was the first of my outright picks to fall, albeit only for a small interest.

Day 4 Picks:

Tomas Berdych - 8.5 games vs Fabio Fognini: Tomas Berdych may not be playing up to the level of the middle of 2010 but I expect him to level his head to head with Fabio Fognini today as these are the types of players he has been very successful against.

Berdych has dispatched his lower ranked opponents for the most part of the year, only struggling when coming up against the top 20 players. His big serve will give him plenty of free points and he hits his groundstrokes much bigger than his Italian opponent.

Fognini's serve can also be a liability and he tends to mentally check out of sets when things are not going his way.

That kind of attitude should allow Berdych to cover, although I expect at least 1 tight set.

Roger Federer - 9.5 games vs Dudi Sela: The quality difference between the two players was underlined in their one previous meeting at the French Open in 2005 where Federer won with little problems.

I expect more of the same tonight from the Swiss player as he will not be faced with the shot making of Santiago Giraldo in the previous round.

Federer should get a look at the majority of service games from Sela, and his return game was in decent nick last time out.

If he serves well, I think he will be able to cover this large spread.

Fernando Verdasco - 7 games vs Marsel Ilhan: Fernando Verdasco started slowly in his 1st round encounter with Jarkko Nieminen, but I expect a better performance today against the Turkish qualifier.

Ilhan relies on his serve to set up his performances, but that shot is very erratic and I expect Verdasco will get plenty of chances to make hay.

The key to the cover could be how Verdasco's state is mentally- he has had the tendency for mental lapses in the last 18 months that have cost him games, sets and matches, but I think the 1st round win will have done a great deal for his confidence and I believe he will be able to win this in straight sets.

As with many of these matches, I expect a tight first set settled by 1 break of serve for the Spaniard, which should break the resistance of Ilhan and allow Verdasco to run away with the match.

Gisela Dulko + 6.5 games vs Victoria Azarenka: Victoria Azarenka has a tendency to demolish opponents in the early rounds of tournaments, but I think we will see a tough encounter for her tonight.

Dulko leads the head to head 3-2, winning the last 3 meetings between the players, and her style clearly gives Azarenka problems.

The Argentine player has been struggling for form of late, losing 4 of her 5 matches during this US Summer swing, but they have been close losses and she has only been blown out once.

A win over Rebecca Marino will give Dulko confidence too. I am doubtful she can beat Azarenka again, but the spread looks a little too big in my opinion.

Petra Cetkovska vs Ana Ivanovic: The former World Number 1, Ana Ivanovic, has been struggling for the form of 2008 for some time and I think she could be beaten for the 2nd successive Grand Slam by Petra Cetkovska.

There is no doubt about Cetkovska's confidence since reaching the 4th round at Wimbledon- she has followed that up with a Semi Final in Palermo on the clay, and also qualified for Cincinnati before losing in the 2nd round, and qualifying for New Haven where she finished as runner-up to Caroline Wozniacki.

Ivanovic has been hit and miss for some time now and was not in great form when winning her 1st round match. She has lost as the favourite in 4 of her last 5 tournaments and I think she may be wrongly judged to be the favourite in this one.

MY PICKS: Tomas Berdych - 8.5 games @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Roger Federer - 9.5 games @ 2.00 Bet365 (2 Units)

Fernando Verdasco - 7 games @ 2.00 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Gisela Dulko + 6.5 games @ 1.83 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Petra Cetkovska @ 2.25 Stan James (2 Units)

US OPEN UPDATE: 8-3, + 9.63 Units

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