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Monday, 25 February 2013

Tennis Outright Picks (February 25-March 3)

This is the final week of tournaments before the first Masters events of the season which take place at Indian Wells and Miami back to back.

However, that doesn't mean that this week is one where the biggest names in the game will be resting, particularly when it comes to the ATP. The tournaments in Dubai and Acapulco are both considered ATP 500 events so it is no surprise to see all the players in the top eight, bar Andy Murray in action across those two tournaments.

It is the tournament in Dubai that will get most of the attention with both Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer in action and it was interesting to hear Federer talking about his up coming schedule- he has admitted that he will play here and Indian Wells, but will then take a month of to spend time with his family and may not take part in the early clay court season either.

I don't know what to make of that except the fact that Federer is taking even more care of his fitness these days and is perhaps thinking about getting into shape for a big assault on the three remaining Grand Slam tournaments this season. It also makes sense for Federer to spend more time with his family after putting in a big effort to reach the World Number 1 Ranking last season, but that could also see him lose his World Number 2 spot in the near future as he does have a fair few points to defend in the next three weeks.

Last week proved to be a very good week for the tennis picks with the daily picks working out to big profits and it all wrapped up very well on Sunday as both Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and David Ferrer won their respective tournaments in Marseille and Buenos Aires.

Tsonga was very fortunate to win as he was a set down and somehow managed to take the second set despite winning just 4 points off the Tomas Berdych serve and that gave the Frenchman the momentum to win his first tournament of the season. David Ferrer also needed three sets to once again win in Buenos Aires and pick up his second title of the season so it was a very good week with all things considered.

ATP Acapulco
This is another tournament where the main headline will be Rafael Nadal, but I also feel this is the first tournament he has entered since his return where there are some serious tests ahead of him.

It is funny to see, but Nadal is actually the Number 2 seed here in Mexico so heads up the bottom half of the draw. I expect Nadal to come through to the Semi Final with relative ease, but he then will likely face either Horacio Zeballos or Nicolas Almagro.

Zeballos beat Nadal in the Final at Vina Del Mar in the first tournament that Nadal played on his comeback, but I wouldn't expect him to repeat that feat as he has been struggling for form since that tournament win and I don't think he makes the Semi Final.

On the other hand, Nicolas Almagro has shown plenty of form in the last couple of clay courts events and certainly has the game to cause Nadal some level of problems, especially if the knee is not feeling great at the moment. This represents the best chance for Almagro to get the better of Nadal and he has at least made the last couple of matches against him closer, although I don't fully know if he has the 'mentality' to beat Nadal.

While I am not sure about Almagro, David Ferrer is the Number 1 seed here and the defending Champion and he certainly won't be worried about seeing Nadal in the draw. Ferrer may not have beaten Nadal on a clay court before, but he has the consistency to cause plenty of problems and the draw has been fairly kind to him.

Ferrer is likely to have a tough Semi Final against Stanislas Wawrinka, the player he beat last week in Buenos Aires to take the title home, and I do think the Number 1 Spaniard, at the moment at least, could upset Nadal and take the title home here again.

I haven't made any picks from Dubai or from the other tournaments for a couple of reasons. I do like Novak Djokovic's chances of winning in Dubai, but he looked a little short to me although I don't think there is another player in the draw that I would prefer as an alternative.

Over in Delray Beach, it looks like an extremely open draw and I also believe that if Ernests Gulbis qualifies, he would prove to be extremely dangerous to either half of the draw. That uncertainty makes me a little wary of picking anyone to win that event.

Over in Brazil and Malaysia, the WTA has two short priced favourites to win those respective tournaments, two players that I can't really look beyond. Therefore, it'll just be the one pick this week.

MY PICKS: David Ferrer @ 3.75 Coral (1 Unit)

Daily Picks: 16-9, + 13.84 Units (49 Units Staked, + 28.24% Yield)
Outright Picks: 2-1, + 5.70 Units (4 Units Staked, + 142.5% Yield)

Season 2013+ 36.47 Units (249 Units Staked, + 14.65% Yield)

Season 2012+ 49.21 Units (855 Units Staked, 5.76% Yield)
Season 2011+ 82.02 Units

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