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Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Tennis Picks February 22nd

It is a little unfortunate that the tournaments are spaced out in the manner they are as that means the layers are taking their time in releasing their markets for all the matches that will be taking place tomorrow.

For that reason, I am going to to make my picks in spurts for this day, but I will update my Twitter page whenever I have updated this thread. I will try and get all my picks out in the morning as I think the earliest scheduled match is 10am in Dubai, before tournaments in Marseille, Buenos Aires and Memphis begin later in the day.

Caroline Wozniacki - 4.5 games vs Simona Halep: Caroline Wozniacki has lost back to back matches on the Tour following her defeat to Lucie Safarova last week in Doha, but that is something that hasn't happened too often in the last couple of seasons and I am looking for her to bounce back today.

Simona Halep has had a couple of productive weeks in the Middle East, reaching the Third Round in Doha last week and following that with 4 victories here in Dubai to Qualify and progress through to this Second Round match.

However, I am not convinced she has the power to punch through Wozniacki on a regular basis and that could be the big difference between the players in this match, the final one on the courts of Dubai.

With that in mind, I would look for Wozniacki to progress with a 6-4, 6-2 scoreline.

Stanislas Wawrinka - 4.5 games v Benoit Paire: Stanislas Wawrinka has seen a downturn in form coincide with fatherhood, but I still think he is too strong for Benoit Paire on a clay court.

Paire was a little fortunate to get through his First Round match against Javier Marti and he could have been beaten in straight sets on another day, while Wawrinka toughed out a win over Horacio Zeballos.

I feel the Swiss Number 2 is still a little too consistent and solid in his overall game for Paire, and he will inspire confidence from thrashing the Frenchman at the Australian Open last month. I expect Wawrinka to create opportunities on the Paire serve, and that should be enough for him to come through 6-4, 6-3 in this one.

Radek Stepanek - 3.5 games v Bobby Reynolds: A couple of seasons ago, I would have felt a lot more comfortable backing Stepanek in this spot, but the Czech Republic player is definitely coming to the end of his career as top 32 player as far as I am concerned.

The bottom line is that Stepanek has a 3-4 record to start 2012 in Singles action although he did win the Doubles Grand Slam at the Australian Open with Leander Paes.

However, Stepanek still competes at a higher level than Bobby Reynolds during the course of a season and he does have a 3-0 head to head record against the American so Reynolds will also be fighting a mental battle in this one.

Reynolds should be happy with the conditions as he qualified for the event, but I just think Stepanek holds the key, even at this stage of his career, and I will chance him to get through.

Andy Roddick - 4 games v Xavier Malisse: Another veteran I will be backing today is Andy Roddick and, much like Stepanek, I would have felt much better backing the American a couple of seasons ago as he is another that looks set to be coming to the end of his career.

A lot of suggestions are that Roddick will call it a day at the end of this season as his Ranking continues to plummet and the American has enough money that he is unlikely to want to compete too much once he drops out of the World's Top 20, a real chance of that happening this season.

However, I think he has a good match up today against an older player than himself who has just not looked right in the early part of the season. Xavier Malisse has lost all 4 matches he has played this season, including a stunning 6-1, 6-2 loss to Robby Ginepri last week in San Jose.

Roddick is not the force of old, but still brings in a 9-0 record against a player low in confidence, so I will look for him to cover this spread in the early hours of the morning.

Michael Llodra - 3.5 games v Marco Chiudinelli: This is a risky pick if I am honest, but I think Michael Llodra is very comfortable playing in front of his home support, perhaps even saving his best tennis for these occasions.

The faster indoor courts also aid the serve-volley game that Llodra enjoys playing and he is a previous winner here as recently as 2010.

Chiudinelli is a player that is more than capable of holding his own on an indoor court and he has won a couple of matches here to qualify for the event so this could be close. He also boasts a 2-1 head to head over Llodra including a win on the indoor hard courts of Rotterdam.

However, I just think the pleasure of playing in front of his home fans (I also believe Llodra's family usually attend this event) means I will back the Frenchman to come through and cover the spread.

MY PICKS: Caroline Wozniacki - 4.5 games @ 1.85 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Stanislas Wawrinka - 4.5 games @ 1.95 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Radek Stepanek - 3.5 games @ 2.05 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Andy Roddick - 4 games @ 1.95 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Michael Llodra - 3.5 games @ 1.90 Pinnacle (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 3-1, + 3.5 Units (8 Units Staked)

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