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Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Tennis Picks (January 2nd)

I have made a slow start to the new season as you can't always try and second guess how some players have come off their break- a lot of them haven't played for a couple of months now and it is understandable that there will be some surprise results in the next two weeks.

Most of the 'big name' players are already pretty much focused on getting themselves ready for the Australian Open that begins on January 14th and that has already seen the likes of Rafael Nadal out of the event, while Maria Sharapova is a potential big name player out of the Woman's draw.

Yesterday, Tatsuma Ito didn't get the job done against John Millman- Ito actually let 3-2 in the first set with a break of serve, but almost nothing went right from him going on from that point and he lost 10 of the next 12 games to fall to a comfortable loss. That means I am still up for the first couple of days, although the 100% record for the picks is finished on the first day of the calender year and second day of the tennis season.

I only jest of course, show me someone who gets 100% picks right and I'll show you a liar!!

With the way the tournaments are being played this week, I will make my picks from the tournaments in New Zealand, Australia, China and India early, and I will update if there are any additions from the tournament in the Middle East. I hate having to do things this way as it can look like 'chasing' if early picks are unsuccessful, but unfortunately the layers don't keep up and the proper markets are down until the morning for Doha, while the other tournaments are priced up 'a day early' with the timezone difference.

Victoria Azarenka - 5.5 games v Sabine Lisicki: Victoria Azarenka is the official Woman's Number 1 as Serena Williams just doesn't play enough tournaments to take that off of her, but she is not like Caroline Wozniaki... Azarenka is the second best player in the Woman's game in my opinion and she is a real threat to win any of the Grand Slam tournaments this season, especially if she can avoid playing Williams.

With that in mind, I think Azarenka will be far too consistent for Sabine Lisicki, a player that I would consider as under-achieving in her career so far. They met towards the back end of last season and Azarenka had considerable success on the Lisicki serve and anything like that here will see her have a chance to cover.

My biggest concern is that this is Azarenka's first match of the new season, but memories of her incredibly fast start to last season is still fresh in my mind and I like her chances in this one to win with a 6-2, 6-4 scoreline.

Mikhail Youzhny v Nikolay Davydenko: Both of these players will know each other very well and both are now coming towards the back end of their respective careers.

Mikhail Youznhy and Nikolay Davydenko have been priced as a pick 'em contest for the most part, but I think Youzhny is the tougher player mentally and is less likely to give the match away if things are not going his way.

Last season, it quickly became clear that Davydenko's consistency, which had helped him reach the heights of the ATP Tour, was no longer as devastating as it once was and he makes far too many mistakes these days. I think Youzhny now will be able to hold his own on the ground and I think it is telling that he has won the last two meetings between these players on the Tour.

I feel Youzhny will make it a hat-trick of wins in a row against Davydenko in this one.

Gael Monfils v Philipp Kohlschreiber: I do get frustrated watching Gael Monfils sometimes as he looks like a player that has all the talent in the World but doesn't want to put in the long hours to get everything possible out of his own potential.

However, with all that said, I really missed seeing the Frenchman on the Tour for much of last season and it was good to see him playing in a couple of tournaments at the end of last season in anticipation of this year.

I am surprised that the layers have set him as the underdog in this one considering Monfils has said that he is 100% fine and has set himself a goal of reaching the top ten. I am hoping his enforced lay off will make him appreciate what he gets to do as a 'job' and may also build the fire to improve within him.

Philipp Kohlschreiber is a tough opponent, but Monfils has beaten him in 7 of their 8 professional matches, while the Frenchman also took care of him in his first tournament back in action after a 6 month lay off. Monfils shouldn't be the underdog and I'll back him to win this one.

MY PICKS: Victoria Azarenka - 5.5 Games @ 1.92 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Mikhail Youzhny @ 2.00 Bet 365 (2 Units)
Gael Monfils @ 2.20 Pinnacle (2 Units)

Weekly Update2-1, + 2.06 (4 Units Staked, + 51.5% Yield)

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