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Monday, 2 September 2013

US Open Day 8 Picks (September 2nd)

The US Open has some potentially big matches to be played over the last week of the tournament, but the first big match of the tournament took place on Sunday when Sloane Stephens faced Serena Williams for the first time since beating the World Number 1 at the Australian Open.

It was a match that many would have been looking forward to as there has seemed to be a lot of tension between the players since that match and I am not convinced these two will be the best of friends so the match had a bigger feel to it than it may have done usually.

Quality tennis was played throughout and although the scoreline suggests Serena won easily, Stephens certainly gave her a real run for her money and it was fascinating to watch. There will be a lot of people waxing lyrical about the way Williams played, and rightly so, but she had a lot of mental energy expended on that match and has yet to have a real wobble that we have seen in the last few Grand Slams.

Victoria Azarenka is still the biggest threat to Williams in the women's draw although she has a tough Fourth Round match to come through when she faces Ana Ivanovic on Monday.

The men's draw is also shaping up nicely, although we have to see a real classic in that tournament (I am writing this as Tommy Haas and Mikhail Youzhny has entered the fourth set and could actually fall into the classic category if the German can continue his comeback). I think the Fourth Round match between Stanislas Wawrinka and Tomas Berdych is another one with lots of potential, while the Quarter Finals could still provide the first Rafael Nadal v Roger Federer clash at the US Open.

It all adds up to what could be a very interesting last week for the final Grand Slam tournament of the season and should make for special viewing. The rain has stayed away so far and hopefully that will continue to keep live tennis on our TV screens.

As with the first week of the tournament, the layers are putting up the markets a little late for the matches to be played on Day 8- I am expecting that to change as the week continues with less matches for them to price up, but for this day the picks will come out in the hours leading up to start of play.

David Ferrer win 3-1 v Janko Tipsarevic: David Ferrer and Janko Tipsarevic hadn't shown a lot of form coming into the US Open this summer, but one of these players will make it through to the Quarter Final for the second year in succession.

They actually met in the Quarter Final last year with David Ferrer coming through in five sets and it is the Spaniard that now leads the head to head 5-1 with two further wins since New York last September.

I am expecting David Ferrer to be too strong for Tipsarevic again in this Fourth Round match, even though Ferrer is having more lapses in his play these days as he dropped a couple of sets already this week. However, Ferrer has had a far stronger season than Tipsarevic and I am more convinced that the Serb has reached this far thanks to a very nice draw rather than any turnaround in form.

Tipsarevic still has a decent serve and he should be able to perhaps steal a set in this one, but I am expecting Ferrer to generally be too strong. Ferrer also has a serve that may present Tipsarevic some chances and the Spaniard has lost serve 10 times this week from 19 break point chances that he has presented.

That ratio is not good enough to really expect a straight sets win in this one, but Tipsarevic hasn't been playing well enough to take more than that in my opinion and I expect Ferrer to come through in four sets.

Roger Federer - 8.5 games v Tommy Robredo: It has been a strong first week of the tournament for Roger Federer, but the 17 time Grand Slam winner is going to be experienced enough to know that the level of competition he faces is only going to increase in huge levels in the next few Rounds.

He is bringing a perfect 10-0 record against Tommy Robredo into this Fourth Round match on Monday afternoon and I fully expect Federer to make it 11 out of 11 against the Spaniard and set up one half of the potentially special Quarter Final between himself and Rafael Nadal.

It isn't the head to head that makes me think Federer will win this match fairly comfortably, especially considering he dropped a set against Robredo at the Australian Open in their most recent meeting in January 2011, but the injury issue that affected the Spaniard in his Third Round win over Dan Evans.

Robredo is clearly carrying some sort of problem with his thigh and it is hard to see how he can keep up with Federer over two or three hours in this match. It seemed to limit Robredo's running ability at times in his last match, but that may be the least of his concerns if Federer is serving as well as he has to start the tournament.

With Federer using his old racquet, he has looked fairly comfortable on the court so far and I think he will have enough power to hit through Robredo. It could be a little closer for a while, but I am expecting Federer to prove too strong and come through 63, 64, 62.

Roberta Vinci - 3.5 games v Camila Giorgi: Camila Giorgi showed all the skills I was wary of in the last Round as she recovered from a set down to beat Caroline Wozniacki, but she could find her compatriot a little to experienced in this Fourth Round match.

Roberta Vinci reached the Quarter Final last season and looks on course to match that performance again- she has played well so far this week and I am expecting her variation to knock around the Giorgi timing in this one and help to secure a passage through the match.

We all know that Vinci will use her slice on the backhand to keep the ball low against Giorgi's power and the youngster may just find it a little tricky against one of the more well known players from Italy. It can't be underestimated what kind of a mental burden it can have if the younger player has seen a lot of their compatriot playing in big matches and that, along with the different style of play that Vinci brings to the court, could be the difference in the contest.

It won't be easy for Vinci if Giorgi plays as well as she did against Wozniacki, especially on those key points early in the second set, but the qualifier has played a lot of tennis over the last two weeks and that may also play a part- physical fitness, mental pressure and playing against the variation Vinci brings should lead to a 64, 64 win for the World Number 13.

Daniela Hantuchova v Alison Riske: Alison Riske is having her best year on the Tour and has the chance to become the second American into the last eight in the women's draw as she takes on Daniela Hantuchova on the Arthur Ashe court to open proceedings on Monday.

Riske has been winning a lot of matches since Wimbledon and has three very good scalps here during her run to the Fourth Round by beating Tsvetana Pironkova, Mona Barthel and Petra Kvitova without dropping a set. Her confidence has to be very high heading into this match with a veteran player, but I can't help think Hantuchova is being a little disrespected as a fairly big underdog.

Hantuchova hasn't been in the best of form since winning the title in Birmingham prior to Wimbledon, but she is very experienced and has a lot of losses against players that are ranked higher than Riske. She did struggle through her Third Round match against Julia Glushko, but winning three matches here will give her confidence.

She also beat Riske from a set behind during her run to the title in Birmingham and there is still enough about her game to think she can at least make this a close match if not actually win. It is just as important a match for Hantuchova as it is for Riske with few chances for the 30 something to actually make it to future Grand Slam Quarter Finals and I like the Slovakian to come through in three sets.

MY PICKS: David Ferrer win 3-1 @ 4.00 Sporting Bet (1 Unit)
Roger Federer - 8.5 Games @ 2.30 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Roberta Vinci - 3.5 Games @ 1.95 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Daniela Hantuchova @ 2.50 Pinnacle (1 Unit)

US Open Update: 20-28, - 12.05 Units (81 Units Staked, - 14.88% Yield)

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