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Monday, 10 March 2014

Indian Wells Tennis Picks 2014 (March 10th)

Apart from the retirement in the Richard Gasquet match, it was a much better day for the picks made from Indian Wells yesterday.

Even the defeat for Tomas Berdych didn't bother me as much as it should as it has opened the bottom half of the draw up where I have picked Novak Djokovic or Marin Cilic to make it through to the Final which will be played this weekend.

With both outright picks in the women's draw also still in contention, hopefully this is going to be a strong end to the week and the potential for another strong profit to build on what has been a decent start to the season.

Roger Federer - 5.5 games v Dmitry Tursunov: The media may be talking about Roger Federer in a glowing light, but I have no doubt the man himself still expects more from his game even if he did win the title in Dubai.

Federer has admitted that he needs to serve a little better at times, but he should feel comfortable in this match against the Russian Dmitry Tursunov who is one of the big characters on the Tour.

The rhythm of the match shouldn't disrupt Federer in this one and I think that will help him come through fairly comfortably, especially on the slower hard courts at Indian Wells.

As long as he can maintain the serving form he showed against Paul-Henri Mathieu and Federer can take the chances that he should be able to create, I expect him to come through to the Fourth Round with a 64, 62 win.

Gael Monfils - 3.5 games v Fabio Fognini: Fabio Fognini has maintained the form he began showing last summer, but the majority of his success has come on the clay courts.

He can't be underestimated considering the Italian reached the Fourth Round at the Australian Open,  but Fognini hasn't been beyond the Third Round at a Masters tournament on the hard courts.

Another issue is whether he has enough to beat Gael Monfils who has shown a lot of positives to open 2014 including taking the title in Montpellier and reaching the Final in Doha. The players may have split their previous matches 2-2, but I think the hard courts will favour Monfils enough to see him come through.

There will likely be breaks of serve from both players, but I will look for Monfils to show just a little more in a 64, 64 win.

Stanislas Wawrinka - 4.5 games v Andreas Seppi: There are a lot of players that have shown decent form in 2014, but none more so than Stanislas Wawrinka who remains unbeaten in the new season.

He dismissed Ivo Karlovic in straight sets in what could have been an awkward first match since the beginning of February, but it just shows the belief that Wawrinka has built up and I think he will go deep into the tournament this week.

Wawrinka has had trouble in the past with Andreas Seppi, but the Italian has not been in the best form and he has a serve that will present the World Number 3 with chances to break and come through comfortably enough.

It hasn't been a good start to the year for Seppi and it looks a tough ask for him to win this match and I would expect Wawrinka to secure a 63, 64 win.

Rafael Nadal - 4.5 games v Alexandr Dolgopolov: They met in the Final in Buenos Aires a couple of weeks ago and resulted in a 63, 76 win for Rafael Nadal, but the Spaniard admitted he had been struggling with his serve in that match.

After beating Radek Stepanek in a tough Second Round match here, Nadal admitted he felt his back was in better shape and he can serve to his full strength. That will be critical for his chances to win the tournament that he took last year and the conditions are perfect for Nadal's game.

Alexandr Dolgopolov is an awkward opponent that can raise his game to pretty high levels, but he has struggled against the Nadal heavy top spin and I think that will prove to be a problem for him again.

I just feel Nadal's comfort level has got to the point where he should be too good for Dogopolov and come through 63, 63.

Kevin Anderson - 4.5 games v Evgeny Donskoy: A Lucky Loser is a dangerous proposition, particularly one that can play some effective tennis like Evgeny Donskoy.

However, I think he will have a tough time seeing off the big South African Kevin Anderson who came through some awkward moments before beating Lleyton Hewitt in the last Round and has been in decent form over the last month.

The slower courts won't lessen the impact of Anderson's serve and it didn't bother him when dismissing Donskoy at the French Open last May. It'll also help him sit on his shots and I do believe Anderson is going to have a little more joy converting the break point chances that may come his way compared with his younger opponent.

Beating was a big result for Anderson in a loaded top half of the draw and I like him to back that up with a 76, 62 win.

Flavia Pennetta v Sam Stosur: This looks a fascinating match in the Third Round, but I was expecting Flavia Pennetta to be a bigger favourite than a pick 'em contest that the layers believe it is going to be.

She has dominated Sam Stosur in the past, winning all 5 previous matches including at the Hopman Cup earlier this season.

Out of the two players, Pennetta has also shown a lot more form than Stosur this season and I think the slower hard courts will favour the Italian too.

Pennetta has also reached the Quarter Final or better at the last two Grand Slams, both on hard courts in Australia and the United States, and Stosur has had a number of poor losses already in 2014. If the latter is not serving to her full capabilities, I think Stosur will come out on the wrong end of a 64, 76 loss.

Petra Kvitova - 3.5 games v Svetlana Kuznetsova: Injury has affected the new season for Svetlana Kuznetsova, but she is still a player I have a huge respect for and that is one of my concerns with this pick.

The other is the Petra Kvitova ability to win matches in straight sets as she seems to lose concentration/form too erratically these days.

However, I think the Russian is still trying to find her feet back on the Tour following the injury lay off and she has suffered some bad losses already as she looks to get back to her form.

Kvitova has to keep her head screwed on against a dangerous opponent, but I think she will go through 64, 64.

MY PICKS: Roger Federer - 5.5 Games @ 2.05 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Gael Monfils - 3.5 Games @ 2.00 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Stanislas Wawrinka - 4.5 Games @ 1.80 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Rafael Nadal - 4.5 Games @ 1.95 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Kevin Anderson - 4.5 Games @ 2.14 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Flavia Pennetta @ 2.00 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Petra Kvitova - 3.5 Games @ 1.92 Pinnacle (2 Units)

Indian Wells Update: 10-10, - 1.46 Units (40 Units Staked, - 3.65% Yield)

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