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Saturday, 24 March 2012

Tennis Picks March 24th (Miami)

How good is it to see Venus Williams back and winning tennis matches again? After suffering an illness last year that has kept her off the court for over six months, I didn't think she would come back at the level we are used to considering she is also the wrong side of 30.

However, the desire shown by both Williams sisters to come back from long lay offs is staggering and it was an impressive Venus win over the Wimbledon Champion Petra Kvitova.

Don't get me wrong, Kvitova has not been in great nick recently, coming back from an injury of her own and not showing the form that some would have expected, but it is still a big win for Venus and one she really seemed to enjoy according to all the reports.

The one pick I had yesterday was successful as Janko Tipsarevic got his revenge over David Nalbandian for the defeat at Indian Wells. Today, I have a few more picks as we finally get some TV coverage of the second Masters event of the season.


Fernando Verdasco - 4 games v Bjorn Phau: I am a little surprised that Fernando Verdasco is being a little under-rated in this match as I really think he could be in line for a big week here in Miami with the conditions likely to suit his game very well.

Verdasco has shown some signs that he is recovering his form in the last couple of tournaments, pushing Juan Martin Del Potro at Indian Wells and reaching the Final at Acapulco.

Bjorn Phau is a veteran of the Tour and really shows his best stuff on the Challenger Tour these days so I expect the challenge of Verdasco to be too strong for him today.

Nicolas Almagro - 4.5 games v David Goffin: Nicolas Almagro reached the Quarter Final at Indian Wells last time out to continue a very solid start to 2012.

He has won one tournament this season, reached the Final of another and his 'worst' showing so far is reaching the Fourth Round at the Australian Open. This kind of form could see Almagro breaking into the top 10 of the World Rankings sooner rather than later and the conditions in Miami should favour a player that is adept at playing on the hard courts.

David Goffin beat Donald Young in the last Round, but it was a match full of breaks of serve and he won't have so much joy against the Almagro serve which is fairly solid.

It just feels to me that the win over Young has been over-rated by the layers here and I can see Almagro finding a couple of breaks of serve per set and that should be enough to bring in the cover.

Na Li - 4.5 games v Iveta Benesova: I am going to back the World Number 8 here against an opponent she has beaten in 4 straight encounters and one that she would have covered this spread against in 3 of those wins.

Li was playing better at Indian Wells after recently returning from an injury, although she hasn't reached the heights that took her to her first Grand Slam last year at the French Open. However, she should have full confidence that she can win this match with her head to head record against Benesova.

Benesova has regularly lost to the best players on the Tour over the last year and I don't foresee too much changing here for her.


MY PICKS: Fernando Verdasco - 4 games @ 2.00 188Bet (2 Units)
Nicolas Almagro - 4.5 games @ 1.90 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Na Li - 4.5 games @ 1.92 Bet365 (2 Units)


Weekly Update: 3-2, + 1.17 Units (5 Units Staked)

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