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Thursday, 22 March 2012

Tennis Picks March 22nd (Miami)

We get to finish the First Round of the Men's Tournament today, while the bigger seeds in the Women's draw will begin their campaign today including Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki.

Due to being very busy at work for most of the day, I am not going to go into my reasons for my picks, but suffice to say I have done my research as I would normally.

Gilles Muller win 2-0 in sets v Alex Bogomolov: Muller has won all 3 previous meetings between the two players, including in Atlanta last season, and he has also won all 6 sets they have competed against one another.

Bogomolov has not been in good form to open 2012 and I think last season will represent a peak for the veteran, while Muller can at least point to a Quarter Final run in Dallas last week (a tournament that saw Bogomolov lose in the First Round).

With his big serve, I think Muller will find it a little easier to hold and force the pressure on his opponent and hopefully continue his run of never dropping a set against Bogomolov.

Frank Dancevic v Jeremy Chardy: This has been set as a pick 'em contest, but I like the Canadian to earn his way into the Second Round here as he looks in better form than Jeremy Chardy.

Dancevic has won 8 matches in a row after qualifying for the Challenger event in Dallas and going on to win that, including wins over the likes of Marin Cilic and Igor Andreev. It is clear his form has not deserted him just yet as he won a couple of qualifying matches to take part in the main draw here in Miami too.

Chardy was beaten in the First Round at Indian Wells, albeit against a tough Marcos Baghdatis, but that means he has lost his last TEN matches on a hard court on the main Tour, so I think the Canadian may come through with confidence more likely on his side.

Yen-Hsun Lu v Jarkko Nieminen: I am going with the underdog here as I think Jarkko Nieminen blows hot and cold enough for Yen-Hsun Lu to at least push him to a third set and then it could go either way.

Lu won a Challenger event in Asia recently and was beaten in Dallas last week by the eventual winner Frank Dancevic, although that match did need a third set to separate the two players.

Nieminen's confidence is likely to be a little low as he has now lost 4 of his last 5 matches, while Lu has won the last two meetings between the players, enough for me to take a chance on the dog to bark loud and proud.

Donald Young v David Goffin: This is going against some of my principles which has led me to taking the first three picks as I am taking the out of form Donald Young in this match, another that has been set as a pick 'em.

Young has lost 3 matches in a row, and 5 of his last 6, but I think his experience on the North American hard courts will be the difference between himself and David Goffin tonight.

Goffin has done well to get through a couple of qualifying rounds to reach the First Round proper, but these are his first matches in the United States this year, while he had not played for three weeks before these qualifiers.

Young has generally lost to players at a higher level than the 21 year old Goffin, and I am taking a chance that his experience will see him through here.

MY PICKS: Gilles Muller win 2-0 in sets @ 2.75 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
Frank Dancevic @ 1.92 Paddy Power (1 Unit)
Yen-Hsun Lu @ 2.25 Stan James (1 Unit)
Donald Young @ 1.90 188Bet (1 Unit)

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