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Saturday, 21 January 2012

Australian Open Day 7 Picks

It was a tough day yesterday for picks as far as I was concerned before the day's play, and for a while I thought it was going to be a 0-2 day as Vera Zvonareva was getting massacred by Ekaterina Makarova, while David Ferrer made a horrendous start to go down 0-4 in the opening set against Juan Ignacio Chela.

It was telling that Ferrer went on to win 19 of 23 games to come through 7-5, 6-2, 6-1 and split the Picks.

On the outright front, we have reached Round 4 with all 6 players still in the competition. Novak Djokovic has barely been tested so far, while Serena Williams is looking solid but is yet to face a true challenge like Makarova should give her in the next Round.

Hopefully, all 4 players in action on Day 7 will force their way into the Quarter Finals.

Kim Clijsters - 2.5 games vs Na Li: I have picked Kim Clijsters as one of my outright picks and I think she will be good enough to beat Na Li in this Round to go through to the Quarter Finals in a repeat of the Final from 12 months ago.

Clijsters has looked healthy and has played well in the first 3 Rounds here, including an impressive win over Daniela Hantuchova in the last Round.

Na Li has made a strong start to the new season after really struggling following her win at the French Open in May and I think she is finally showing the form she is capable of. However, it could be a tough ask to match with Clijsters who loves playing here in Australia where she has been accepted as one of their own and is a huge fan favourite.

Clijsters has picked up 5 wins from the 7 meetings against Li, including a 3 set win in the Final here last year. The spread is low enough that she should have a chance to cover even if this one goes the distance, something that I feel is very possible with the way Li has been playing.

However, I am looking at Clijsters to come through 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.

Roger Federer - 7.5 game vs Bernard Tomic: Bernard Tomic has really caught the imagination of the Australian public with his run to the 4th Round, but I still think he has a little way to go before he is beating the likes of Roger Federer in a Grand Slam.

Federer has looked very much in control as he has progressed through the draw, and he would have learnt a lot from playing Tomic on the grass in a Davis Cup tie last season. Tomic's style of play can bamboozle opponents who have not seen it before, but I think it will play into the hands of the former World Number 1 who should be allowed the time to dominate using his forehand.

I also think Federer holds a clear edge when it comes to serving and should be a lot fresher than Tomic who has been forced to a 5th set in 2 of the first 3 Rounds already this year.

I just feel Tomic was a little fortunate to come through the last Round against Alexandr Dolgopolov, and he showed some vulnerabilities that Federer should be able to exploit.

Tomic shouldn't be overawed as he played Rafael Nadal in the 3rd Round here last season and was beaten in straight sets, 6-2, 7-5, 6-3.

Personally, I see this ending 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 to the Swiss player.

Juan Martin Del Potro win 3-1 in sets vs Philipp Kohlschreiber: This should be a close contest between players that have had tough contests against one another in the past and I think the German can at least grab a set off of Del Potro, while probably not being consistent enough to come through the Round.

Del Potro has only dropped 1 set so far in the first 3 Rounds in the tournament, but this is the toughest test he will have faced all week as he looks to get back to the form that carried him to the US Open title in 2009.

Kohlschreiber is a tough test as he has a lot of the shot making ability that can take the racquet out of an opponent's hands when he gets hot. However, I think his serve can be inconsistent and that is what makes it tough for him to beat the very best players in the World.

Del Potro has won all 4 previous meetings with Kohlschreiber, but they have all been tough matches with 2 of those going the distance.

They met last season with Del Potro winning 7-6, 7-6 in Indian Wells and 6-7, 6-4, 7-5 in Miami and I think we will see the Argentine coming through in 4 close contests tonight.

Tomas Berdych to win 3-1 in sets vs Nicolas Almagro: This is another contest between two players that seem to match up well when looking at results against one another, and I think Almagro can make a contest of it on the slower hard courts we have seen this year.

Berdych has won 4 of the 6 meetings against one another, but they did split their 2 matches last year and the Czech player has been solid, yet unspectacular so far in the tournament.

Almagro has done well in recovering from a 1-2 deficit in sets against Grigor Dimitrov to win that in 5 and then beat Stanislas Wawrinka in straight sets and I think he will feel he can have an impact in this match behind his heavy groundstrokes and decent serve.

However, I think Berdych will eventually be able to wear down Almagro with his own power.

I imagine this will be keenly contested for 3 sets before Berdych pulls away in the 4th to record the 3-1 win in sets.

MY PICKS: Kim Clijsters - 2.5 Games @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Roger Federer - 7.5 Games @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)

Juan Martin Del Potro win 3-1 in sets @ 3.75 Paddy Power (1 Unit)
Tomas Berdych win 3-1 in sets @ 3.80 Sporting Bet (1 Unit)

Australian Open Update: 9-8, + 2.30 Units

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