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Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Tennis Picks (January 9th)

I have had a few days off from the early season picks as there just wasn't much I liked in the last three days so there wasn't any real desire to get involved with the Australian Open fast approaching.

That is not the case on this day when I do like a few matches and these are my picks from Sydney and Auckland.

Fernando Verdasco - 2.5 games v Denis Istomin: This is a bit of a risky pick as Fernando Verdasco hasn't been in great form in the Hopman Cup last week and the Spaniard is now coming up to a 4 year anniversary since his break out performance at the Australian Open.

Verdasco hasn't reached those same heights after 2009, but I think he still has enough in his game to knock off Denis Istomin, a player that can be very tough on his day but also mentally fragile.

Istomin did win their last meeting at Queens in London on a grass court, but Verdasco had won 3 in a row before that. I just think Verdasco will have enough big shots to see off Istomin in this one, although it might be close up until the end in a 6-4, 7-6 win for the Spaniard.

Florian Mayer v Bernard Tomic: I might be in the minority, but I do feel that Bernard Tomic has been a bit of a disappointment over the last couple of seasons and I think Florian Mayer will cause him a lot of problems in this match.

Mayer is a 'grimy' tennis player that will use a lot of spin and variation in his game and it is clearly something that has bothered Tomic in the past.

The young Australian has lost all 3 previous meetings against Mayer, losing all 7 sets they have competed and that includes a couple of defeats last season. Mayer has been set as the underdog in this one and I am going to have a small interest that he wins for the fourth time in a row against Tomic in this one.

Philipp Kohlschreiber - 3.5 games v Alejandro Falla: Philipp Kohlschreiber received a bye in the First Round in Auckland, but I think he will be too strong for Alejandro Falla as long as he isn't suffering from too much jet lag.

I would suggest Kohlschreiber has adjusted to the time having been beaten early in Doha last week and he will be confident in this one having beaten Falla in all 4 previous meetings in the professional ranks.

The German beat Falla in straight sets at the Australian Open last season meaning he has won 6 consecutive sets and all but one of those sets has come with a 6-3 or better ending.

Falla can cause problems on his day, but it clearly seems Kohlschreiber is content with what the Colombian brings to the table and I would expect a break in each set being the difference between the players.

Na Li - 4.5 games v Madison Keys: Na Li is building some real momentum ahead of the first Grand Slam of the season and she has followed her win in Shenzhen by reaching the Quarter Final here in Sydney.

Li has barely been tested so far and I think she is going to too experienced for the young American Madison Keys.

It has been a productive week so far for Keys as she came through qualifying and she has won a couple of big matches against Lucie Safarova and Jie Zheng, but Li is a lot more consistent than anyone Keys has faced this week.

Sometimes these qualifiers can get a lot of momentum behind them, but I think Li will be too strong and a 6-3, 6-4 win is on the cards for the World Number 6.

MY PICKS: Fernando Verdasco - 2.5 Games @ 2.02 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Florian Mayer @ 2.33 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Philipp Kohlschreiber - 3.5 Games @ 1.91 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Na Li - 4.5 Games @ 1.91 Pinnacle (2 Units)

Season 2013: 10-5, + 9.23 Units (27 Units Staked, + 34.2% Yield)

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