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Monday, 18 February 2013

Tennis Picks (February 18th)

This is the start of a new week of tournaments from around the World, although the Monday is usually one of the quieter days as this is usually a day when the qualifying matches are completed and there aren't a lot of matches scheduled.

However, the events in Dubai, Buenos Aires and Memphis are pretty loaded so they have had to schedule more matches and these are the opening picks of the week.

You can read my outright previews of the tournaments and the picks I have made here.

Ana Ivanovic - 4.5 games v Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova: Ana Ivanovic may be a top 15 player on the WTA Tour, but her inconsistencies continue to keep her out of the top 10 and she can be a tough player to back as you just don't always know what you are going to get from her.

Ivanovic should be plenty confident having won all 4 matches against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova on the Tour and I still don't feel the latter has got out of the slump that saw her fall down the Rankings in 2012.

Both players have a similar game in that they are looking to get the first bite of the cherry when it comes to big shots in the rallies, but I do think Ivanovic has the better movement and is a little more consistent in that regard. That could prove to be the difference between the players yet again and I am going to back Ivanovic to come through with a likely 6-3, 6-3 win.

Nicolas Almagro - 5.5 games v Guido Pella: At first glance, this certainly looks like a big spread to cover, but I think Nicolas Almagro is going to be a little too solid and consistent for his young opponent and I do like the Spaniard to come through with a 6-4, 6-2 scoreline.

It was a little surprise to see Almagro lose so early in Brazil last week as he looked to defend his title from last season, but the change in venue and the conditions of the court weren't exactly up to scratch and that may have been playing on his mind. Almagro also faced David Nalbandian, a player with a strong record against him, and that is another reason I can provide for his poor performance and I expect him to be a lot more comfortable this week.

Guido Pella will be receiving the home support and he has been scheduled to play as the final match of the night session so that is a tough environment for Almagro to play in. However, he did beat Federico Delbonis here comfortably last season, another young Argentinian player, and I think Almagro has enough big match experience to be able to deal with the atmosphere and come through with some room to spare.

MY PICKS: Ana Ivanovic - 4.5 Games @ 1.95 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Nicolas Almagro - 5.5 Games @ 2.30 Pinnacle (2 Units)

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