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Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Tennis Picks 2014 (February 25th)

Last week proved to be a mixed bag with the daily picks having a slight loss on the week, but the outright picks proving effective as Ernests Gulbis took the title home in Marseille.

Another profitable week means the season is going in the right direction after a pretty poor start to the 2014 season.

I didn't make any outright picks this week despite some of the stellar names playing on the ATP Tour, but there are enough doubts surrounding fitness, form and the nature of the draw to put me off on that front.

I also skipped Monday's matches this week as I didn't have a great feeling about anything and also didn't have the time on Sunday to put in the kind of research that is necessary when making picks.

Igor Sijsling - 3.5 games v Malek Jaziri: The one thing that has been holding me back about this pick is the fact that Igor Sijsling had been struggling with some kind of injury in Rotterdam a couple of weeks ago, but he still took his place in the draw in Marseille.

That should suggest it wasn't too serious and having a few days off may have aided him, especially as his opponent Malek Jaziri is coming back from a couple of long weeks in the United States and Mexico.

Jaziri has won a few matches which should have given him some confidence going forward, but Sijsling has a decent serve and should prove to be a little too good overall in this match.

I would expect the Dutchman to come through in straight sets in this one with a break more in each set than his opponent, eventually recording a 64, 64 win.

Nikolay Davydenko - 2.5 games v Andrey Golubev: Another player that had a successful week last week was Andrey Golubev who won a Challenger tournament in his home country, but that could have an effect on his abilities in Dubai.

He has a decent serve and can play pretty effective tennis off the ground, but Golubev has always been a little suspect when it comes to fitness and I don't know if he has the ability to follow up the tournament success from last week.

Golubev also hasn't had a lot of time to fly to Dubai and get accustomed to the conditions he will be facing and I expect Nikolay Davydenko to find a way to take advantage of the situation.

The Russian is not the force of old, but he played well in his loss to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga last week and still shows flashes of his form that took him into the top tier of men's tennis. If Davydenko can come through what will be a tough first set, he may take away some of the confidence that Golubev has as well as making him feel the tennis in his legs.

Novak Djokovic - 5.5 games v Denis Istomin: A long lay-off since the Australian Open should have reinvigorated Novak Djokovic as he looks to defend the Dubai title he won twelve months ago and I am expecting him to make a strong start to the tournament.

He has dominated Denis Istomin in previous matches as Djokovic has won all 4 previous matches and all but one of those wins have come comfortably.

As well as Istomin can play at times, he also plays a game which helps the top players get into their rhythm, while also not having a hugely dominating shot that can dictate the point. There are times when Istomin serves well and doing that will give him the chance to at least make this competitive, but the conditions in Dubai clearly suit the World Number 2 where he has won 4 of the last 5 times here.

Djokovic made a really fast start to the tournament twelve months ago by dominating his first three opponents and I think he will prove to do the same this year with a 62, 64 win.

Kevin Anderson - 3.5 games v Stephane Robert: After a successful run through the qualifiers and the main draw at the Australian Open, Stephane Robert has struggled to repeat the formula over the last month.

The Frenchman has attempted to take part in the Golden Swing in South America, but has won 1 match in 3 tournaments and has only played in one main draw.

Now he has to switch surfaces to take on a confident Kevin Anderson who showed some sustained form in Delray Beach last week by reaching his first Final of 2014, albeit coming up slightly short against Marin Cilic.

Anderson should be able to dominate behind his big serve and keep the pressure on Robert- the latter is more likely to be found at the level below the main ATP one for much of the season and the pressure should eventually tell and lead to a 64, 63 win for the higher Ranked player.

Grigor Dimitrov - 3.5 games v Marinko Matosevic: I am expecting big things from Grigor Dimitrov in 2014 and it is matches like this that he should be able to come through comfortably if those expectations are to be met.

He has had a couple of weeks off since losing to Ernests Gulbis in Rotterdam, but Marinko Matosevic is someone that will get down on himself very early in matches and thus give Dimitrov a lot of cheap points which can also help bring the confidence back for the Bulgarian and make him feel comfortable on the court.

There is no doubt that Matosevic can put things together for periods in a match, but far too often he makes the mistakes that offers break point chances to his opponents.

I would think Dimitrov is a good enough returner to make use of the chances that may come his way and I like him to come through 75, 63.

MY PICKS: Igor Sijsling - 3.5 Games @ 1.90 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Nikolay Davydenko - 2.5 Games @ 1.83 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Novak Djokovic - 5.5 Games @ 1.80 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Kevin Anderson - 3.5 Games @ 1.75 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Grigor Dimitrov - 3.5 Games @ 1.85 Pinnacle (2 Units)

Weekly Picks17-18, - 1.55 Units (68 Units Staked, - 2.28% Yield)
Outright Picks1-2, + 5 Units (6 Units Staked, + 83.33% Yield)

Season 2014+ 9.92 Units (325 Units Staked, + 3.05% Yield)

Season 2013+ 21.74 Units (1251.5 Units Staked, + 1.73% Yield)
Season 2012+ 49.21 Units (855 Units Staked, + 5.76% Yield)
Season 2011+ 82.02 Units

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