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Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Australian Open Day 10 Picks 2013 (January 23rd)

It's been a bad tournament for me, there is no escaping that fact, but sometimes you do have to scratch your head at the way the breaks fall.

Agnieszka Radwanska and David Ferrer both had their chances, but faced inspired opposition on Quarter Finals day- Radwanksa served for the first set before completely crumbling in the face of the pressure brought by Na Li, while Ferrer was dominated for the first couple of sets by Nicolas Almagro.

However, Ferrer still had some chances although perhaps fortunate to still be in the tournament with Almagro having three service games to book his place in the Semi Final. In all honesty, it wasn't a great performance from Ferrer and anything similar to that in the Semi Final against Novak Djokovic will see him beaten comfortably in my opinion.

Speaking of Djokovic, he was absolutely dominant in his performance against Tomas Berdych and I still believe he will be in better physical shape than the winner of the bottom half of the draw where it seems inevitable that Andy Murray will meet Roger Federer in the Semi Final.

It has been a pretty uneventful Grand Slam for the most part to be fair, although I think we could see some really good matches in the next six days to close the event.

Victoria Azarenka - 5.5 games v Svetlana Kuznetsova: Svetlana Kuznetsova still holds a winning record against Victoria Azarenka, but I do expect that to be squared in this Quarter Final.

Azarenka has come through her matches fairly easily, barring a tough encounter with Jamie Hampton, while Kuznetsova has shown some real toughness to win her last two matches.

Both should be feeling comfortable on the court now, but I think Azarenka's going to be the fresher of the two players and I think she has far more power and control than Caroline Wozniacki who couldn't quite get over the line against Kuznetsova in the last Round.

The last four matches between the pair have all been fairly close, although there was one comfortable win for Azarenka thrown in. This is likely to be a close match for a while, but I do think Azarenka will win more of the bigger points and possibly end up with a 6-3, 6-2 win.

Roger Federer - 6.5 games v Jo-Wilfried Tsonga: I am taking the larger spread in this one as I feel it is actually under-estimating how well Roger Federer is playing at the moment and the fact that I believe Jo-Wilfried Tsonga may need a bit more mental work before he is ready for this one.

Tsonga has started working with Roger Rasheed, but I don't think the full effects of that will be seen until the French Open or Wimbledon later in the season. The biggest problem for the Frenchman is not his ability, but the stuff between the ears and whether he really believes he can beat Federer with the way the former World Number 1 is playing right now.

I wasn't sure Federer was being ruthless enough on the big points early in the tournament, but the way he played against Milos Raonic was very impressive. I also think the slower conditions in the evening may just favour Federer all the more in this one.

Surprisingly, they haven't met for a couple of seasons on the main Tour, although they will be familiar with one another having played in some exhibitions with one another during the off-season.

Federer beat Tsonga by 7 games at the US Open when they last met at a Grand Slam, while he was an even more comfortable winner in the 2010 Semi Final here at the Australian Open. I believe we could see another 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 win for Federer in this one and the chance to see a classic Semi Final between him and Andy Murray in a couple of days time.

Serena Williams - 7.5 games v Sloane Stephens: These two players met a couple of weeks ago in a match that Serena Williams won 6-4, 6-3, but that was the first time she would have seen Sloane Stephens' game and I think it could be a lot more comprehensive this time.

I was foolish enough to think Maria Kirilenko could keep it close against Serena in the last Round, but I won't make that mistake again- there is little doubt in my mind that Serena is fully on her game at the moment and I expect her to put a lot of pressure on Stephens for much of the match and that should lead to a fairly routine win.

I have been impressed with the way Stephens has played so far in the tournament, but she was pushed to the limit in the last Round and it is a big ask for her in her first Quarter Final at Grand Slam level. It is all the tougher when you know she is going to be facing Serena Williams and I think the latter will have seen Maria Sharapova's performance on Monday and will look to match, or improve, on that.

We will need a bit of luck for this one as I can imagine a couple of the games coming down a to a couple of key points, but I will look for Serena to record a 6-2, 6-2 win in this one.

MY PICKS: Victoria Azarenka - 5.5 Games @ 1.90 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Roger Federer - 6.5 Games @ 2.40 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Serena Williams - 7.5 Games @ 2.14 Pinnacle (2 Units)

Australian Open Update: 13-22, - 12.06 Units (62 Units Staked, - 19.5% Yield)

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