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Friday, 22 February 2013

Tennis Picks (February 22nd)

While the regular daily picks are going pretty well, it looks like being my worst outright picks of the new season as Milos Raonic went out and David Ferrer is in a bit of bother as I writing this (although that is down to David Nalbandian who could make some serious leaps back up the Rankings by knocking out the top seeded Spaniard).

That means that only Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is left and I haven't seen the draw in Marseille open up as I expected with both Tomas Berdych and Juan Martin Del Potro winning tight three set battles to move into the Quarter Finals.

We'll have to see how things develop on that front as the week goes on, but for now these are the latest of my picks.

Sara Errani v Roberta Vinci: Going against Roberta Vinci hasn't been productive for me at all this week, but I am going to try one more time as she faces her close friend Sara Errani in the Semi Final in Dubai.

Errani has won the last 4 matches between these Doubles partners and I do think she has enough game to see off Vinci in this pick 'em contest. The younger Italian also hasn't lost against Vinci since 2010 and I think she will be well prepared to take on someone whose game she will know backwards.

Don't get me wrong though, Vinci has played at a pretty high level this week so under-estimating her would be a bad mistake. She has deserved to win both of the matches when I favoured her opponents, but I think Errani will be tough enough mentally to get through the match.

Petra Kvitova - 2.5 games v Caroline Wozniacki: I said last week that I think there are signs that Petra Kvitova has turned a corner after a number of months of sub-standard performances from the high level she had set herself.

Her form has continued here in Dubai and I think she will have one too many weapons for Caroline Wozniacki, although I have to say I have been a little impressed with the way the Dane has also been playing this week.

However, she hasn't played someone like Kvitova who is capable of taking the racquet completely out of her hands and I think Wozniacki could find herself under some pressure in this one. The way Kvitova broke down Radwanska today would have been a concern for Wozniacki and her fans and I am not that surprised that the Czech player has won 4 of the last 5 matches between these players.

As long as Kvitova keeps her head, she should be able to come through with a 6-4, 6-4 win.

Tomas Berdych - 3.5 games v Jerzy Janowicz: This is a slightly risky spread as Jerzy Janowicz certainly is backed by a serve that can make it tough to break- Tomas Berdych will need to break twice if he is to cover this spread (twice more than Janowicz) and I think he is capable after coming through a really tough match with Ernests Gulbis.

I wasn't sure how Berdych would respond to his wrist injury that kept him out for a couple of weeks, but he looked in good shape against Gulbis and should really have won that match in straight sets.

He is playing an opponent whose game will be heavily backed by the indoor hard court conditions, but I also feel Janowicz is still finding his feet on the main Tour and the pressure that Berdych could exert is possibly going to be too much to handle.

The top ten player will have to take any chances that come his way as I don't think he will have  a lot of break points, but I think Berdych can do so and it may result in a 7-6, 6-3 win.

Nicolas Almagro - 4.5 games v Federico Delbonis: This is a rematch of a meeting these two players had last season here in Buenos Aires and I think Nicolas Almagro will be able to book his place in the Semi Finals.

Almagro has come through his first couple of Rounds fairly comfortably and he is one of the better clay court players in the world and I think that will be enough to take him past Federico Delbonis again.

Last season this ended in a 6-3, 6-2 win for the Spaniard and he was very comfortable returning the serve in that match. Delbonis is an improved player since then so I can see him winning a couple more games, but I would be surprised if this wasn't a fairly routine win for Almagro.

MY PICKS: Sara Errani @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Petra Kvitova - 2.5 Games @ 1.85 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Tomas Berdych - 3.5 Games @ 2.15 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Nicolas Almagro - 4.5 Games @ 2.00 Pinnacle (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 11-8, + 6 Units (37 Units Staked, + 16.22% Yield)

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