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Saturday, 9 March 2013

Tennis Picks Indian Wells 2013 (March 9th)

The tournament has moved on to the Second Round at Indian Wells and the big news today is this will be Rafael Nadal's return to the hard courts for the first time in just about twelve months. He doesn't face an easy opponent in Ryan Harrison and it will be interesting to see if the Spaniard is feeling up to the task mentally.

Nadal's return is what everyone will be watching and studying as finally the TV coverage begins of the ATP matches. There are some very interesting matches to watch as the likes of Nadal, Roger Federer and Tomas Berdych all open their tournaments and it should be the start of a good eight days of tennis.

The picks also proved successful yesterday so hopefully that will continue as the week progresses too.

Lleyton Hewitt v John Isner: Lleyton Hewitt is certainly not the player of old, but he has always been able to give these big-serving players plenty of problems as he enjoys the pace they provide and it allows him to use all of his counter-attacking nous.

Hewitt has a decent record against the big servers he has faced in his career, except for Ivo Karlovic anyway, and also holds a 3-1 head to head lead over John Isner. The American did win their last meeting back in July on the grass courts of Newport, but Isner has struggled with injury to open 2013 and hasn't looked at his best in recent weeks.

I have to pay respect to the fact that Isner did reach the Final here twelve months ago, but he has had some bad losses so far this season on a more favoured surface like the indoor hard courts, and I think Hewitt can cause a little surprise here.

However, I am just going to have a small interest in the match as Hewitt just doesn't play with the consistency that made him such a threat early in his career.

Andreas Seppi v Daniel Brands: Daniel Brands has been one of the surprise packages in the early part of 2013 and there are signs that he is finally putting his tennis together. He has been at the latter end of tournaments in Dubai and Doha, while already having 3 wins under his belt this week at Indian Wells by coming through qualifiers and then beating Marcos Baghdatis in the First Round.

However, I think Brands could be severely tested by Andreas Seppi, another player that has seemingly finally 'got it' when it comes to his performances on the court. Seppi's serve has always been a bit of a weakness, but he has proved a little more reliable at looking after that and I do think the Italian has the edge when it comes to the groundstroke rallies.

I am a little surprised that Seppi is being offered at the prices he is, although that says a lot about how Daniel Brands has been playing in the last couple of weeks. However, I do think Seppi will be too good on the day and record the win, possibly in three sets though.

Sam Stosur - 3.5 games v Madison Keys: Sam Stosur is a very inconsistent player these days and she is playing one of the rising stars of the WTA Tour in Madison Keys, but I think the Australian's experience will prove to be too much for her 18 year old opponent.

The Stosur serve should cause Keys plenty of problems because it is such a unique stroke on the WTA Tour and I think that will be enough to keep Stosur ahead of the curve against her opponent. I do think Keys has the game to be successful on the WTA Tour, but she is still raw and inconsistent with the big shots sometimes becoming a little wild.

I would expect Stosur to be good enough to come through in straight sets and the spread looks a game short to me personally.

Julia Goerges - 3.5 games v Sofia Arvidsson: Sofia Arvidsson has been beaten in both her previous matches against Julia Goerges and she has generally been found wanting when she meets some of the better players on the Tour on the hard courts.

It was a decent win over Laura Robson that has given Arvidsson a chance to play in the Second Round here, but I am expecting more from Julia Goerges in this one than the young Brit was able to offer.

Goerges hasn't made a real deep impact to open 2013 and has hit the wall a little from a couple of years ago when she made her breakthrough on the Tour. She has been inconsistent, but the German is capable and does match up well against Arvidsson and I do expect she will move through to the Third Round in a fairly routine straight sets win.

MY PICKS: Lleyton Hewitt @ 3.00 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Andreas Seppi @ 1.83 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Sam Stosur - 3.5 Games @ 2.00 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Julia Goerges - 3.5 Games @ 1.83 Paddy Power (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 5-2, + 5.26 Units (14 Units Staked, + 37.6% Yield)

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