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Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Tennis Picks Indian Wells 2013 (March 12th)

None of the top players are making it easy for themselves at this tournament so far as Roger Federer felt a slight twinge in his back that will need a couple of days work, while Victoria Azarenka required three sets to move through to the Fourth Round.

In saying that, I am still quite happy that all of my outright selections at the start of the week are still in their tournaments, while the picks being made on a daily basis continue chalking up big profits.

Now we move on to the Fourth Round of the WTA event and the completion of the Third Round matches in the ATP Masters as the week heats up with some top matches in prospect.

Sara Errani - 3.5 games v Marion Bartoli: It is quite a turnaround over the last couple of years that has seen Sara Errani overtake Marion Bartoli in the Rankings and also look the better player on most surfaces.

Sara Errani is the World Number 8 and while I don't think she has enough to beat the players ahead of her in the Rankings, her consistency and hard work has helped her put away the players below her. Errani has been in great form over the last month, reaching the Final in Dubai before retaining her title in Acapulco and she has been fairly comfortable reaching the Fourth Round here.

The Italian has beaten Marion Bartoli in their last two matches, both of those taking place on the hard courts last season. However, I don't want to under-estimate Bartoli who is capable of going on a roll in matches.

Regardless though, I think Bartoli's form fluctuates too much and that is the reason that Errani has begun to get the better of her in the head to head as well as the Rankings. Errani will stay out there all day and wear down her opponents and I think that will be the reason the World Number 8 gets through with a spread cover to boot.

Agnieszka Radwanska - 4.5 games v Maria Kirilenko: The last three times that Agnieszka Radwanska and Maria Kirilenko have played one another have all been fairly close, although it is the Polish player that has won all three.

In fact, Radwanska has won 5 in a row against Kirilenko and I have a feeling this will be one of the more straight-forward wins for the the World Number 4. While Radwanska had to struggle through the last Round, I think Kirilenko is perhaps still suffering a few remnants of an injury that forced her out in Doha and that could prove to be the difference between another battle or an 'easier' win for Radwanska.

Of the two players, Radwanska has shown more form, although her limited serve does make her vulnerable. It will likely be a good looking match (and I don't mean solely because of Kirilenko's physical looks) with a lot of rallies, but I like Radwanska to find a way to come through 6-4, 6-3.

Marin Cilic v Milos Raonic: Milos Raonic is definitely one to watch for the future, but I think there are still enough holes in his game that can be exploited by someone as good as Marin Cilic in this one.

Cilic is rightly the underdog, but he is a better returner of serve than people may initially think, and the courts in Indian Wells are certainly not the quickest so he may just get an opportunity against the monster serve that Raonic possesses.

He has beaten Raonic on an indoor hard court around 18 months ago and that is a surface where I think Raonic will have his most immediate success. This has all the makings of a tight match, and Cilic will have to serve better than he does at times and not offer too many chances to have his own serve broken.

However, I can see Cilic taking this in three sets and will have a interest in the Croatian making it through to the Fourth Round.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga - 4.5 games v Mardy Fish: This is a big spread considering the way that Jo-Wilfried Tsonga played against James Blake, but Mardy Fish is only recently back on the Tour and didn't play that well against Bobby Reynolds himself.

The problem for Fish is that Tsonga has a big game that will hurt any second serves he sees and I think he will be a little too tough for a player that hasn't had much tennis recently and is trying to work his way back onto the Tour in his first tournament since the US Open last September.

Tsonga has won all 3 previous matches and I think he'll do enough to win this one 6-4, 6-3, although I wouldn't be surprised if the Frenchman makes it a little harder than it should be right now.

Andy Murray - 5.5 games v Yen-Hsun Lu: Yen-Husn Lu actually has a winning record over Andy Murray having won their only previous match back in 2008, but he will be doing well to take the second best player in the Men's game, in my opinion, out here.

Andy Murray had to struggle through his Second Round match here, but that will leave him in good stead and I think he can find a way to beat this opponent fairly comfortably. However, Lu has regularly raised his level against better opponents and is able to keep the match close, even if he ultimately loses.

My problem for Lu in this one is that he is facing one of the better returners on the ATP Tour and will be forced to earn his points. The match is scheduled for the evening, making it harder for Lu to try and hit through Murray on what is one of the slower hard courts around.

Murray should have too much consistency and exert too much pressure on Lu and finish up with a 6-4, 6-2 win

MY PICKS: Sara Errani - 3.5 Games @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Agnieszka Radwanska - 4.5 Games @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Marin Cilic @ 2.30 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga - 4.5 Games @ 2.30 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Andy Murray - 5.5 Games @ 2.14 Pinnacle (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 14-3, + 21.32 Units (33 Units Staked, + 64.6% Yield)

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