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Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Tennis Picks Indian Wells 2013 (March 13th)

We are now getting down to the business end of the tournaments and that means there are a lot more fascinating matches to enjoy and plenty more to come. For the most part, the top players have made their way through to the latter stages of both the Men's and Women's events here so it should be an interesting few days as we reach the conclusion of the events.

The Fourth Round of the Men's event will be completed in just the one day so there are still a lot of matches on offer, while one Semi Final in the Women's tournament will set this evening.

Yesterday was also the worst day in the tournament for the picks so far as only 2 of the 5 picks made came off, but I won't complain about the last week which has produced a lot of winners and still leaves the thread in profit for the tournament. Add to that the fact that all 5 of the outright picks made at the start of the tournament are still involved and this is still a very promising few days to come.

Tomas Berdych - 2.5 games v Richard Gasquet: This will not be an easy match for Tomas Berdych as he hasn't played stellar tennis so far this week at Indian Wells, but I do think he finds a way to be a little too strong for Richard Gasquet in this one.

Berdych has been in very strong form to open 2013 and hasn't dropped a set so far here at the tournament, but he has not been as dominant behind his serve and I think that is an area he needs to improve if he wants to put away the Frenchman. Richard Gasquet is another who has opened 2013 in good nick and he has been fairly comfortable in getting through his first couple of matches here.

It also has to be remembered that Gasquet has a winning record over Berdych and beat him in Toronto last year in straight sets. That means Gasquet has improved to 3-1 against the Czech player on the hard courts, although I would say that Berdych wasn't in great form when they met in Canada last season.

This will be a close match, but I think Berdych will be slightly better behind his serve and should be able to come through with the cover.

Roger Federer - 4.5 games v Stanislas Wawrinka: This is a risky pick simply because we don't know how Roger Federer's back is feeling, although I expect he will be ready for this one knowing he has a couple of months off after this tournament.

The match is not an easy one with the way that Stanislas Wawrinka has become a really tough competitor on the Tour, but it is hard to ignore the 14-1 head to head record in favour of the higher Ranked Swiss player.

I think the conditions will likely favour Federer enough in this one to come through with a fairly routine victory, although any issues with his back will make this a far tougher ask of him. However, if Federer is ready to go, I can see him pulling away from Wawrinka in this battle of friends and booking his place into the last eight with a 7-6, 6-2 win.

Ernests Gulbis + 3.5 games v Rafael Nadal: Probably my least surprising pick of the day is taking Ernests Gulbis to at least keep his match with Rafael Nadal close.

Gulbis didn't cover for me in the last Round, but he had chances and there is a slight concern with the way he mentally fell apart in the first set against Andreas Seppi with a 5-2 lead to go on and lose that set 7-5. However, it is impressive that he came back and won in three sets and I think he has the game that will worry Nadal.

The courts are a slower hard court, which is a shame for Gulbis' game, but Nadal is still getting back into the groove on a hard court and these players have played a lot of close games in the past. I would have loved for Gulbis to be getting one more game on the handicap, but he would have covered with this number of games in 2 of their 3 matches that have been played under best of three conditions.

I believe Gulbis will at least steal a set in this one and as long as that doesn't come in a tie-break, the Latvian should find a way to keep this close.

Juan Martin Del Potro - 4.5 games v Tommy Haas: On first glance, this looks like a lot of games to be giving up, but Juan Martin Del Potro has the perfect game to take it to Tommy Haas and I think that'll prove to be the case again when they meet for the fourth time.

Unsurprisingly, Del Potro has won all three previous matches, and all very comfortably. While Haas has good volleying skills, he doesn't mind trading from the back of the court and that is where Del Potro has the edge and is able to force the German backwards.

It has to be said that Del Potro hasn't looked in 100% shape for the tournament so far, but he has comfortably come through his opening two matches at Indian Wells and is certainly capable of finding a couple of breaks of serve to make sure he covers this spread too and spends as little time on court before a potential blockbuster Quarter Final against Andy Murray.

I feel Del Potro will likely win this match 6-3, 6-4 and so will take him to cover this spread.

Maria Sharapova - 5.5 games v Sara Errani: My respect for Sara Errani is clear, but Maria Sharapova is the kind of player I have mentioned has the perfect game to take apart the Italian.

The problem for Errani is that she can't compete with the heavy groundstrokes that the likes of Sharapova, Petra Kvitova, Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka are able to produce at a consistent level and that is why those players are above her in the Rankings.

Errani doesn't have the big serve to even give her first strike in rallies and I think Sharapova will appreciate this match up. It is no surprise that both previous matches has seen the Russian lose just 10 games combined and I do think a 6-3, 6-2 win is on the cards for the third straight time they have played one another.

MY PICKS: Tomas Berdych - 2.5 Games @ 1.85 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Roger Federer - 4.5 Games @ 2.14 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Ernests Gulbis + 3.5 Games @ 2.14 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Juan Martin Del Potro - 4.5 Games @ 2.25 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Maria Sharapova - 5.5 Games @ 1.92 Paddy Power (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 16-6, + 19.60 Units (43 Units Staked, + 45.58% Yield)

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