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Thursday, 5 September 2013

US Open Day 11 Picks 2013 (September 5th)

At the start of the tournament, I picked Richard Gasquet to come through his Quarter of the draw as I had been impressed with much of what he has done in 2013, but the bigger factor was I wanted to oppose David Ferrer who hadn't been in great form since Wimbledon.

However, I was very concerned that Ferrer reached the Quarter Final to oppose Gasquet, especially with an 8-1 head to head record against the Frenchman, but Gasquet fulfilled some of the potential that all tennis fans have been waiting to see with an impressive win in five sets.

Some of the shots that Gasquet made were absolutely incredible and he is playing with a confidence that has long been missing from his game. Whether that would be enough to see of his likely Semi Final opponent Rafael Nadal is going to be fun to see on Saturday, but his performance here gives Gasquet a real chance of making it to London for the World Tour Championships in November and it may also give him the confidence to make a real impact at all the Grand Slam tournaments in 2014.

In the women's draw, we look on course for a Serena Williams v Victoria Azarenka repeat Final from last year- at this moment, Serena Williams looks unstoppable, but Azarenka has matched up well against the American in recent matches and has that win over her in Cincinnati. Both players still have to negotiate their Semi Final matches, but both will be favoured heavily to come through and set up the Final that many would have predicted as soon as it was made clear that Maria Sharapova would not take part in New York.

Azarenka will certainly need to serve better if she is to give Williams a game in that potential Final after struggling with that aspect of her game in the Fourth Round and the Quarter Final against Ana Ivanovic and Daniela Hantuchova respectively. That's the only way the World Number 2 will have a chance of winning this title after coming as close as she did in a year ago, although I am sure Na Li and Flavia Pennetta will hope to have plenty to say on Friday.

I am not the biggest fan of the scheduling used at the US Open as it means we only have two singles matches on Thursday as the Quarter Finals are completed in the men's tournament. Super Saturday is now reserved for the men's Semi Finals, but I just feel the end of the tournament could be better organised so there isn't this period of a few days where only two singles matches are played.

It clearly works for the organisers though, so who am I to complain?!! Those two matches played today will begin later in the afternoon than the previous days have and I expect the Andy Murray v Stanislas Wawrinka match to be one worth viewing, although the second Quarter Final to be employed looks a little more one-sided.

Andy Murray win 3-1 v Stanislas Wawrinka: It might not be the Quarter Final that people expected, but I think this is going to be a very tough test of the Andy Murray credentials to retain his title in New York and it will definitely not be an easy match for the World Number 3 to negotiate.

Murray may have added experience as a former 2 time Grand Slam Champion, but this has proven to be a difficult match up for him in the past and he was crushed in the sole meeting against Stanislas Wawrinka this season, albeit on the clay courts.

Stan Wawrinka has always been in the shadow of Roger Federer as the Swiss Number 2, but he is a top 10 player in his own right and has beaten Murray here before, while also pushing him to 5 sets on the grass courts of Wimbledon. He has a sweet backhand and under-rated power so Murray has to raise his performances from the last two Rounds if he is to avoid the surprise result in the Quarter Final.

Both players will expect their second serve to be attacked and this will come down to which of the players keeps their focus at the crucial time. Over the last couple of years, that is an area that Murray has improved and we did see Wawrinka lose his way for a little while in his win over Marcos Baghdatis in the Third Round.

I do believe that Murray will prove to be a little too strong by winning a critical third set after the first two are split and that should allow the British player to move through in four sets.

Novak Djokovic - 8.5 games v Mikhail Youzhny: I have been so impressed with the battling quality and form of Mikhail Youzhny over the last ten days at the US Open, but I have always been a fan of the Russian who is one of the real characters on the Tour.

He isn't someone who hides his emotion on the court and I always appreciated those kinds of players, but this match will come down to whether Youzhny has recovered from his five set win over Lleyton Hewitt in the last Round when he ended up suffering with cramps in the locker room.

Cramping would be the least of Youzhny's problems if Novak Djokovic continues playing in the same form that has seen him crush all four opponents he has played so far. I expect Youzhny to put up more of a challenge than the previous players that have played Djokovic, but it could be too tough for the Russian if he falls behind early.

I believe the first set could be close, but I expect Djokovic to move through the gears and secure a 64, 61, 64 win.

MY PICKS: Andy Murray win 3-1 @ 3.80 Sporting Bet (1 Unit)
Novak Djokovic - 8.5 Games @ 1.80 Pinnacle (2 Units)

US Open Update: 27-34, - 7.32 Units (102 Units Staked, - 7.18% Yield)

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