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Thursday, 21 February 2013

Tennis Picks (February 21st)

Some of the tournaments have reached their Quarter Final stage, while others are a little behind schedule thanks to the weather. It has been a pretty good week for the picks so far and the likes of David Ferrer, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Milos Raonic are all still involved in their respective tournaments (although Raonic is playing his first match in Memphis after I have finished writing this).

While I have made a fair few picks this week so far, I think this day could be slightly quieter.

Sam Stosur - 2.5 games v Roberta Vinci: This is the opening Quarter Final in Dubai and I am sticking with Sam Stosur who has proved to be a very profitable player to back this week.

I think Stosur holds the clear edge when it comes to the serve in this one and I think that'll prove to be the difference in the match and I do think the Australian will win this match in fairly straightforward fashion.

Roberta Vinci surprised me by beating Angelique Kerber yesterday, but that was as much to do with the German's poor performance as it was with Vinci winning the match. The backhand slice befuddled Kerber who threw in a ridiculous amounts of unforced errors, but I don't think this tactic will fluster Stosur who is very adept at playing the backhand slice herself.

With that weapon taken away from Vinci, the Italian may be forced out of her comfort zone somewhat. Stosur won their only previous meeting comfortably enough on the hard courts in Toronto in 2011 and while Vinci is an improved Singles player since then, Stosur is playing well enough to dispose of her again.

Denis Istomin - 2.5 games v Lleyton Hewitt: Lleyton Hewitt could be considered a little bit fortunate to still be in this tournament after struggling in his First Round match yesterday and I think Denis Istomin is going to prove a little too tough for him in this one.

Istomin is a infuriating player to watch, as I have mentioned before, but he has been playing some good tennis over the last couple of weeks and also holds a win over Hewitt from Brisbane earlier this season.

The problem with Hewitt these days is that he allows his opponents to dictate play and doesn't have the same fitness level of old to chase down all the balls he used to. That makes him a little more vulnerable on serve too and I think that will be the problem for him to overcome in this match if Istomin is serving as he can.

Marin Cilic - 4.5 games v Igor Sijsling: Marin Cilic can take advantage of Jurgen Melzer's exit by beating Igor Sijsling in the Second Round here in Memphis and I think he will be an easy enough winner in this contest.

Marin Cilic has a very under-rated return of serve and I think he can put enough pressure on the Dutchman in this one to earn at least a break of serve in each set and I think Sijsling's comfortable losses to Martin Klizan and Mikhail Youzhny says more about his form than the win over Melzer who has been struggling for form for around 18 months.

I can see the Croatian just being a little too strong in most aspects of this one and his confidence will be high after winning the tournament in Zagreb and coming through a tough opening contest here so I wouldn't be surprised to see Cilic record a 6-3, 6-4 win.

Albert Ramos - 3.5 games v Leonardo Mayer: I don't like going against home players in these smaller tournaments as they can be inspired to put in a big performance, but Leonardo Mayer looks like he will be in for a tough task against Albert Ramos.

Mayer hasn't opened up 2013 in the best form, but he did record a decent win over Filippo Volandri in the First Round here, although it has to be said that Leonardo Mayer has mainly achieved his success on the lower Challenger circuit than on the Main Tour.

The Argentinian is only 10-10 on the clay courts in ATP events over the last three seasons and he is facing a player in Ramos that has achieved his best results on the slower surfaces. That is not surprising with Ramos being a Spaniard, but his also plays at the higher level on a more regular basis than Mayer and he does have a Quarter Final appearance under his belt this season.

I can see Ramos earning a break of serve more in each set to ensure this spread is covered.

MY PICKS: Nicolas Almagro - 4.5 Games @ 1.92 Bet Victor (2 Units) Advised Yesterday
Sam Stosur - 2.5 Games @ 1.83 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Denis Istomin - 2.5 Games @ 1.80 Bet 365 (2 Units)
Marin Cilic - 4.5 Games @ 1.95 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Albert Ramos - 3.5 Games @ 2.05 Pinnacle (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 8-6, + 4.46 Units (27 Units Staked, + 16.52% Yield)

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