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Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Tennis Picks Madrid 2013 (May 8th)

May 7th 2013... Remember the date, because that was the date when Grigor Dimitrov turned from boy to man as he got the better of a top four player after coming so closely previously.

Dimitrov has pushed Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic at different times this season, but nerves and experience have perhaps got the better of him except for this time... This time, Dimitrov managed to hold onto his emotions and he beat the World Number 1 Djokovic in three sets!

That is a stunning result for the Bulgarian and one he deserves after coming so close to beating Nadal at Monte Carlo and it may just give him the confidence to burst into the top 20 soon and go on to the big and bright things that many tipped for him. Dimitrov could go from strength to strength now that he has the belief and proof that his hard work off court will pay off and it will be interesting to see how he backs up this performance with a likely tough Third Round match against Stanislas Wawrinka in his immediate future.

No matter how the rest of this tournament goes for Dimitrov, I think the win will prove to be the springboard for bigger and better things, especially as it was such a physical match he came through. Dimitrov's physical ability to last with the best players on the Tour has been one of the criticisms of the Bulgarian at this stage of his career, but going toe to to toe with the World Number 1 for over three hours surely puts that to rest for now.

Some people will probably get on Dimitrov's back if he doesn't make the Semi Final of the tournament here after knocking out Djokovic, but remember what happened to Roger Federer when he beat Pete Sampras at Wimbledon in 2001- the next Round saw Federer lose to Tim Henman and it wouldn't be a big surprise if Dimitrov fails to back up the win here, but it does demonstrate that he is going the right way and I do see a future Grand Slam Champion whenever I have watched him play.

While it was very good to see Dimitrov really grab himself a standout win, the picks had a bad day yesterday as all three failed to come in, which was a real disappointment after a good Monday. Some never stood a chance, while others failed to come in in unfortunate situations, but hopefully it will get better on Wednesday.

One other positive aspect from the Dimitrov win over Djokovic is that is has very much strengthened the chances of Rafael Nadal winning the tournament as my outright pick from the Men's draw this week.

Tommy Haas - 3.5 games v Tommy Robredo: These two veterans are both enjoying an Indian Summer to their careers, and both will feel they can move on to the Third Round after some very successful results on the Tour in recent weeks.

It is a bit of a surprise to me to say that both Tommy Haas and Tommy Robredo have recently added to their titles with wins at Munich and Casablanca respectively as they have enjoyed being back on the clay courts. Both players are also ranked in the top 40 in the World and both will feel they are capable of making some noise in this tournament.

How can I separate them on current form when both have been putting together a lot of wins? My main reason for favouring Haas is the conditions here in Madrid where the altitude certainly makes it better for those players that play a little more aggressively.

Tommy Haas will get into the net and I do think he has the bigger serve and the stronger groundstrokes and that is why I think he can see off Robredo in this tournament, even though the Spaniard has won both previous meetings on the clay courts between these two players.

Neither player had been here since 2009 before their respective First Round wins, which were impressive by both men. However, I think Haas is going to be able to create more opportunities in this match and will come through 5 and 3.

Carla Suarez Navarro - 3.5 games v Kaia Kanepi: While the faster clay courts will surely given Kaia Kanepi a better chance in this match, I still think Carla Suarez Navarro can back up her win over the Estonian at the Portugal Open last week with another this week.

There is no doubt that Kanepi is capable of playing on the clay courts having reached the Quarter Final at the French Open last season as well as winning in Estoril, but she couldn't defend her title this season and defeats to the likes of Mandy Minella does not inspire confidence.

On the other hand, her Spanish opponent fell just short of winning at the Portugal Open last week, but like many of her compatriots, the clay courts are certainly the most comfortable surface for Suarez Navarro.

She should also have a lot of confidence having recorded some big wins on the clay courts this season with the likes of Caroline Wozniacki, Yanina Wickmayer and Sam Stosur all falling to her already. This isn't the easiest match for Suarez Navarro simply because of the power that Kanepi brings to court, but I think she can back up her win over Kanepi from last week and will come through in two tight sets.

Angelique Kerber - 2.5 games v Svetlana Kuznetsova: The clay courts look perfect for the game that Angelique Kerber brings to the tennis courts, although it won't be easy against a shot maker of the calibre of Svetlana Kuznetsova.

However, Kuznetsova could be a little fatigued after coming through a very tough Second Round match against Nadia Petrova last night and Kerber is someone that can force the Russian to stay out on the court for a long period.

That might eventually be the difference between the players in a match that is almost certainly going to see a number of break point chances for both players. I can see this one being similar to when they met one another on the hard courts in Australia earlier this season when Kerber managed to outlast Kuznetsova in two tough sets and I do think the German will have enough to cover this spread.

MY PICKS: Tommy Haas - 3.5 Games @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Carla Suarez Navarro - 3.5 Games @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Angelique Kerber - 2.5 Games @ 1.80 Pinnacle (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 2-3, - 2.26 Units (10 Units Staked, - 22.60% Yield)

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