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Monday, 2 April 2012

Tennis Weekly Recap (Indian Wells and Miami)

I decided to recap the two big events in North America together as the time between them was not sufficient enough to do them individually, but there have been some good stories that have come out of the events.

That also concluded the early hard court season and we will be moving onto the clay courts after the Davis Cup ties are played later this week.

Roger Federer continues to close the gap on the top two in the Rankings: Roger Federer has been the most in-form Men's tennis player since the US Open last September and he continued his strong form at Indian Wells which he won for the fourth time.

He might have exited in Miami a little sooner than expected, but he is now just 900 points behind Rafael Nadal in the Rankings. It will be interesting to see how Federer does during this clay court season and what events he will take part in.

The Swiss star reached the Semi Final in Madrid last season, but had an early exit in Rome, while he has already decided not to take part at Monte Carlo this season.

He also has committed to Halle this season during the grass court season so there is a real chance he could be in the World's top 2 by Wimbledon, although he does have a number of points to defend at the French Open.

Victoria Azarenka's defeat at Miami highlights Novak Djokovic's achievement from 2011: Victoria Azarenka won the event at Indian Wells to extend her winning start to the season, but she was beaten at the Quarter Final stage at Miami and that highlights the achievements of Novak Djokovic last season.

I don't think too many people would argue against the Men's game being a lot deeper than the Women's so for Djokovic to go unbeaten until the Semi Final of the French Open was a remarkable achievement.

Victoria Azarenka is still the one to beat in the Women's game this season, but she did prove that the layers were taking no chances by keeping her prices so short in the outright markets, something that did hurt them during Djokovic's run last season.

Andy Murray's biggest problem in winning a Grand Slam: I really do rate Andy Murray as a player, but I think he is more than a little unfortunate to be an era where he would have to beat at least two of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic if he is to win a Grand Slam that he desires so much.

He seems to put things together for a couple of sets, but kind of mentally checks out when things get on top of him in a set and that is not going to work against the very best players in the World.

I still think he has a good chance at either Wimbledon or the US Open to win the tournament as long as he gets the right kind of draw. He may just need a little bit of luck that was afforded to Roger Federer in 2009 when he won the French Open as Rafael Nadal was knocked out early while suffering from a knee injury.

The next couple of months will be important for Murray as he plays on his least favourite surface and a chance to get some confidence before the grass court season and, later, the hard court season begins.

Andy Roddick's win over Roger Federer: A lot of people will see this as a turning point for Andy Roddick this season, but I wouldn't go too far as Federer was clearly exhausted from a long run of matches.

It was a special win for Andy Roddick, but it can't be forgotten that he was completely dismantled by Juan Monaco and now he is coming into the hardest part of the season for the American. He did move up to 29 in the World Rankings, and he will have a chance to improve that Ranking in time for Wimbledon as he only played two clay court tournaments last season and was beaten in the First Round in both.

Roddick has said he feels something good coming along, but it sounds like the same things Michael Owen of Manchester United continues to believe, and I am not sure there is that much left in the tank while there are plenty of players that will feel they are more than capable of beating Roddick.

I still think he could be a danger on grass with his experience, but the next two months are going to be tough for him for sure.

Maria Sharapova cannot get over the hurdle: You don't want to go overboard, but Maria Sharapova must be feeling the pressure as she lost her third Final of the season, this time to Agnieska Radwanska, and has finished as the Runner Up at Indian Wells and Miami as well as at the Australian Open.

She has not won a tournament since Cincinnati last August and she is now moving on to the clay courts, a surface she has made it clear is not her favourite in the past.

Sharapova was a little disappointing in both Finals recently, as well as in Australia, and I don't know how much of that is down to the expectations she is putting on herself. She will need to get over this hump sooner rather than later I feel, as these things can manifest into something far larger if a player is not careful.

Indian Wells: - 2.21 Units (42 Units Staked)

Miami: + 7.91 Units (38 Units Staked)

2012 Season Update: + 29.35 Units (298 Units Staked, + 7.93% Yield)
2011 Season: + 82.02 Units

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