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Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Tennis Picks February 29th

I decided to give Dubai a steer clear today as I think a lot of the spreads have been put up a little high, while I also didn't exactly trust the 'weaker' opponents that the likes of Andy Murray, Tomas Berdych and Novak Djokovic were due to play.

Others like Roger Federer and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are playing opponents that will either crumble or serve out of their skins and it is just too much of a risk to take either way.

Yesterday was a poor day as the picks went 1-2, but hopefully things will not be as grim as that today.

Ernests Gulbis - 2.5 games v Steve Darcis: Steve Darcis produced a big surprise yesterday as he beat Victor Troicki, and the Belgian is having a couple of productive weeks on the United States hard courts.

However, I am backing the enigmatic Ernests Gulbis to progress through to the Quarter Final after he looked impressive yesterday. Gulbis also has course and distance form as a former winner at Delray Beach and I have a feeling this is going to be one of his 'big' weeks, ones that come around far too infrequently for someone with the talent this player possesses.

The courts look to be playing pretty fast and that should suit the big groundstrokes and serve that Gulbis likes to dictate play with and I will back him to come through in straight sets.

Nicolas Almagro - 4.5 games v Benoit Paire: Surely the run of matches that Nicolas Almagro has been forced to play will come back and get the better of him sooner rather than later, but I still think he is going to be too strong for Benoit Paire.

While I do think Almagro has played a lot of tennis by winning in Brazil two weeks ago, and then finishing runner up in Argentina last week, he has form for doing this before. Just last season, Almagro won the first two events back to back before reaching the Final here during this South American clay court swing so I will keep faith in him to produce here.

Benoit Paire has shown signs that he can at least progress from his position of World Number 99, but I think his clay court pedigree does not extend to beating someone of the capabilities of Almagro just yet. Paire also has the habit of playing a couple of poor service games per set, and that could be enough to see the Spaniard complete the cover.

Fernando Verdasco v Juan Ignacio Chela: I have avoided backing Fernando Verdasco for the best part of 12 months now as he seems to have reverted to his pre-2009 form when he was a player capable of producing some exceptional tennis, but one that seemed to check out of matches and lose serve at will.

However, I think the layers are under-estimating his chances of beating Juan Ignacio Chela for the 5th time in 6 meetings here. Chela is predominantly a clay court player these days, but he is coming towards the end of his career and is a player that struggles for consistency.

Verdasco has won 3 of their last 4 meetings on a clay court, but I wouldn't be surprised if this one goes the distance. However, I still think the Spaniard is capable of producing enough against a player that could throw in a bunch of errors at any time and I do think he will win this match.

MY PICKS: Ernests Gulbis - 2.5 games @ 2.05 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Nicolas Almagro - 4.5 games @ 1.80 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Fernando Verdasco @ 1.83 Unibet (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 1-2, - 2 Units (6 Units Staked)

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