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Thursday, 1 March 2012

Tennis Picks March 1st

Seriously, can someone tell me where the first two months of 2012 have gone? It feels like only yesterday that the Australian Open was about to start and now we are close to the first two Masters Events of the season at Indian Wells and Miami.

Before we know it, it will be June with my attention being divided by the Euro 2012 tournament as well as Wimbledon, with work suffering in the process... I really think we should be given a month of during big football tournaments, or maybe given early leave considering the matches are going to start at 4pm British time.

I have already slyly booked off the Monday of the England-France game without most people realising that is the day of the game (insert evil laugh), but I need more so I can at least get my tennis sorted too.

Yesterday was a much better day as two of the three picks were winners, pulling me back up for the week although still in the negative. For the second day in a row, I have avoided the early matches in Dubai although I had come very close to backing Tomas Berdych to beat Andy Murray. Fortunately I avoided that as Berdych did not play well at all this week and it was his service struggles against Benjamin Becker and Lukas Lacko that put me off in the end.

Hopefully that is a good sign and means I will be careful enough to avoid a losing day.

Xavier Malisse-Kevin Anderson Over 22.5 games: Now I have picked this as the courts seem to be playing very fast at Delray Beach at the moment and I feel we may see a couple of tie-breakers between these two players.

Xavier Malisse has been out of form at the beginning of 2012 but he earned his first win of the season last week in Memphis against Andy Roddick, and he has progressed past the First Round here.

Kevin Anderson won't make it easy to break his serve on this quicker court, but we will also need a little bit of luck as we need at least two tight sets if the match is not extended to three sets. The match has all the making of being a tight one, so the 1.95 on offer looks tempting enough.

Juan Martin Del Potro - 1.5 games v Jo-Wilfried Tsonga: I am going to back the Argentine to back up his win over the Frenchman from last week in Marseille and move through to yet another contest against Roger Federer this season.

Juan Martin Del Potro has been playing very well this season as he looks to rediscover his 2009 form that took him to the US Open title. Another confidence boosting win against a player in the Top Ten can only aid his progress as well as building on that title from Marseille last week.

Only Roger Federer and Marcos Baghdatis have beaten him this season, while I think Jo-Wilfried Tsonga goes on too many walkabouts mentally in his matches. I think the Frenchman is more likely to throw in a bad service game and that could be the difference between the two.

I have taken the handicap in the belief that I don't think Tsonga will win a set with a couple of breaks of serve so the handicap should be covered as long as Del Potro wins.

Fernando Verdasco v Nicolas Almagro: There is no need to call the men in white coats just yet, but I am going to back Fernando Verdasco for the second day in a row, this time as the underdog.

I think it is highly unlikely that Verdasco will return to the consistency he seemed to have found back in 2009, but I think he could surprise his higher ranked compatriot who may just be getting a little tired having played for close to three weeks without a break and with a lot of travelling involved.

Nicolas Almagro has already had a couple of tough three setters here in Mexico this week and I think this may just be a step too far against a player that still has the capabilities of taking the racquet out of an opponents hands when he is in form.

After a couple of wins already this week, I guess Verdasco will feel a little better about his game as well as the fact he has won 4 of the 6 meetings against Almagro. The last time they met was around 6 months ago on the clay courts in Switzerland, with Verdasco winning in three tough sets.

MY PICKS: Xavier Malisse-Kevin Anderson Over 22.5 Games @ 1.95 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Juan Martin Del Potro - 1.5 Games @ 1.95 Bet Victor (2 Units)

Fernando Verdasco @ 2.25 Ladbrokes (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 3-3, - 0.24 Units (12 Units Staked)

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