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Thursday, 28 March 2013

Tennis Picks Miami 2013 (March 28th)

We are down to the last few days of what has been an intriguing tournament in Miami so far. It has been strange not seeing the likes of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the tournament, while the early exit of Novak Djokovic has increased the chances of a Masters event being won by someone outside of the top four players in the World.

The list is not extensive over the last ten years of players that have won one of these events, particularly when you focus on active players that have won a Masters. It says a lot that someone with the capabilities of Juan Martin Del Potro is yet to win one of these 1000 tournaments, while David Ferrer won his first title at this level in Paris at the end of last season.

Taking that into consideration, it is no surprise that Andy Murray is the big favourite to go on and win in Miami for a second time, having reached the Final last season. A win would move Murray into the World Number 2 position at a vital time with the French Open fast approaching and that could be critical for him and his chance of winning that tournament.

It would be even more significant when it comes to Wimbledon if he can maintain that spot with the added chance that Djokovic, Federer and Nadal would ALL be on the other side of the draw... That could be hugely significant at Wimbledon, much more so than at the French Open where Murray has been beaten by David Ferrer in the past.

Today, we have the remaining two Quarter Finals in the Men's event and also both Semi Finals in the Women's tournament.

Marin Cilic + 4.5 games v Andy Murray: I am quite the fan of Marin Cilic who I believe still has a lot of upside in his game and is not too far away from cracking the top ten in the World Rankings again. I do think he is more capable of competing at the latter stage of major tournaments than he has perhaps shown so far in his career and I do think he can pose problems for Andy Murray despite being 1-8 in the head to head against him.

Cilic's one famous victory came in the US Open in 2009, but he has lost 4 matches against Murray since then, although I would argue he was completely out of gas in the last two matches having come in off long victories.

This time he should be fresher and I do think Cilic has the talent to push Murray and he has actually managed to force the British player to produce a high level of tennis to see him off. The serve can be a little erratic, but Cilic has a very under-rated return game and I do think we will see some breaks of serve in this one.

I believe Cilic will at least force a decider in this match and so taking the 4.5 games looks the way forward, especially at odds against.

Tomas Berdych - 3.5 games v Richard Gasquet: I went against Richard Gasquet in the Fourth Round, but he proved to be mentally far tougher than Nicolas Almagro and won the deciding tie-break to move through to this Quarter Final. This will be a much tougher test for Gasquet as he faces Tomas Berdych who is off a hugely one sided win over Sam Querrey.

The players are locked at 4-4 in the head to head and met last week in Indian Wells when Berdych recorded a 6-1, 7-5 win and I do think he is in a better place than Gasquet at the moment.

The Frenchman still has a tendency to get too far behind the baseline and while he is improving on that front, I do think that will cause him problems against someone like Berdych that can push a player back with the weight of his groundstrokes.

With Berdych hitting heavy groundies, I think Gasquet may resort to type and allow the big man to dictate play and that is why I like Berdych to win this one with at least a break of serve more in each set. I favour Berdych in most elements of the game, including movement, and like his chances here.

MY PICKS: Marin Cilic + 4.5 Games @ 2.00 Ladbrokes (2 Units)
Tomas Berdych - 3.5 Games @ 2.10 Pinnacle (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 16-8, + 15.14 Units (48 Units Staked, + 31.54% Yield)

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