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Thursday, 27 February 2014

Tennis Picks 2014 (February 27th)

I can have absolutely no real complaints with the way the week has gone so far as more winners on Wednesday keeps the profit rolling in the right direction. The final pick of Wednesday was to be played in the early hours of the morning so I will update the weekly update once I finalise the picks from Acapulco and Sao Paulo to be played on Thursday.

The tournament in Dubai looks like it is going to have a fine end to the week with some big matches to be played including the potential Semi Final between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic which is scheduled for Friday. Both players have to get through Thursday Quarter Final matches, but both will be big favourites to do that and I am looking forward to the Semi Final between players who have no love lost between them.

It will also give Roger Federer more of an idea as to where he stands in 2014 having been outplayed by Rafael Nadal in Australia and both Federer and Novak Djokovic will appreciate the importance of winning the title in Dubai, even if this is not a Grand Slam tournament.

The confidence it will give the player winning the title heading into the back to back Masters tournaments at Indian Wells and Miami is the immediate benefit, while it should also renew belief for the Grand Slams left this season.

Who would I say this tournament means more to? I would say Roger Federer without a doubt in my mind as he won't want to go the six months it took to win a title in 2013 which seemed to sap some confidence along with the back issues. It will also mean Federer already holds wins over Andy Murray and, most likely if the seedings work as expected, Novak Djokovic already in 2014 and help him settle into the season.

Philipp Kohlschreiber - 5.5 games v Malek Jaziri: You have to give Malek Jaziri the credit for making the Quarter Final here, although he did have to ride his luck in his first match against Igor Sijsling and that his run may have to come to an end on Thursday.

He is playing an opponent that can play some very solid tennis at times, but Philipp Kohlschreiber is also guilty of being erratic in matches where you least expect it.

I still believe fatigue is going to make a difference for Jaziri at some point and Kohlschreiber has the game to put some real pressure on him. The German has been serving well for the most part this week  and I think he will get his chances to break serve which should see him come through comfortably enough.

Kohlschreiber has won his 2 previous matches against Jaziri too and I like him to find a 64, 62 win from this first Quarter Final.

Tomas Berdych win 2-1 v Jo-Wilfried Tsonga: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga reached the Final in Marseille last week and has the benefit of coming through to the Quarter Final without needing to hit a ball in the Second Round. However, he is playing one of the form players on the Tour in Tomas Berdych who barely was pushed in his own Second Round win and will be very confident he will reach the Final in consecutive years if he can win this match.

I am surprised in some ways that the layers feel this is going to be a fairly comfortable win for Berdych as both players can play some very good tennis in patches that can secure sets simply if they are serving up to par.

It is no surprise that so many of their matches have ended up in deciding sets, including the last 3 matches and 5 of 7 overall. All it really takes is either to put together a decent return game and their serves can carry them through the set and I do think both players will take a set each in this one.

However, Berdych is playing the more confident tennis and I think that will keep him in the match mentally even in a decider and I like the Czech player to win this one in three.

Paolo Lorenzi - 2.5 games v Rogerio Dutra Da Silva: Paolo Lorenzi and Rogerio Dutra Da Silva both have a lot more success on the Challenger level than they do on the main Tour, but Lorenzi can at least point to more experience at the top level and that should make the difference in this Second Round match.

The home support should give Da Silva a boost, but he has put a lot of tennis in this week already having won a couple of qualifiers before his surprise win over Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.

There will likely be a few breaks both ways, but I do believe Lorenzi will just knuckle down when the big points are played and use his added experience of winning matches on the main Tour to lead him through this match and into the Quarter Finals.

Andy Murray - 4.5 games v Gilles Simon: He had to battle hard again to reach the Quarter Finals, but Andy Murray should still be too strong for Gilles Simon in Acapulco in this match.

Murray has dominated the head to head between the players and does everything a little better than the Frenchman, while Simon has also been struggling with his fitness to open 2014. The draw has been kind for Simon here so far and this is going to represent a big step up in class which could be tough to bridge with the form he has displayed over the last two months.

You have to respect the tenacity that Simon shows on the court, but as I said, I believe Murray can do everything a little more effectively.

To cover this spread, Murray has to serve a little better than he has done in the first two matches he has played this week, but I still believe he comes through 75, 63.

Grigor Dimitrov v Ernests Gulbis: These two met in Rotterdam a couple of weeks ago and Ernests Gulbis came through a close match, but I feel Grigor Dimitrov can get a measure of revenge in the Quarter Final between the players.

Gulbis has played a lot of tennis over the last couple of weeks as he took the title in Marseille last week and reached the Semi Final in Rotterdam. Having to fly to Mexico for this tournament is tough and he had to win in three sets against David Goffin.

Fatigue may play a part, but I also feel Gulbis was just too strong when it came to the big points in Rotterdam as he was serving out of a tree that day. If he is even slightly under that serving form, I think Dimitrov will have more chances to get on the front foot in rallies and win this match.

It'll likely be close again, but I look for Dimitrov to beat an in-form opponent in three sets.

MY PICKS: Philipp Kohlschreiber - 5.5 Games @ 2.10 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Tomas Berdych win 2-1 @ 4.00 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
Paolo Lorenzi - 2.5 Games @ 1.90 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Andy Murray - 4.5 Games @ 1.92 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Grigor Dimitrov @ 2.00 Ladbrokes (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 8-3, + 9.1 Units (22 Units Staked, + 41.36% Yield)

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