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Saturday, 15 March 2014

Indian Wells Tennis Picks 2014 (March 15th)

I think Friday could only be described as a day of frustration for the picks as both women's Semi Finals seemed to be in the hands of the players I picked, but both made far too many mistakes in their bid to reach the Final.

Simona Halep might have been a touch too keen in her match having reached the biggest Semi Final of her young career, but she showed enough to think she could become a permanent fixture at the business end of the biggest tournaments. The Romanian moves up to the World Number 5 position at the end of the tournament and Halep deserves her place after another strong showing this week.

I was less impressed with the way Na Li was beaten considering all of the double faults she committed that virtually handed the momentum to Flavia Pennetta. I don't think it is a reach to say that Li was clearly the better player in the majority of the rallies, but she had the hiccups on serve and then made far too many other unforced errors during the course of the match.

It also meant my outright interest in the women's draw came to an end, but Novak Djokovic was much more dominant in his Quarter Final victory over Julien Benneteau. He remains the big favourite to win the tournament, but will have to avenge a loss to John Isner who beat him here two years ago, and also Roger Federer who knocked Djokovic out in Dubai if the Serb is to take home the title.

Roger Federer - 3.5 games v Alexandr Dolgopolov: It has been a very special week for Alexandr Dolgopolov who has shown the talent that so many people have talked about in his game. He has been guilty of perhaps overplaying at times and maybe not taking his tennis as seriously as he should do.

Dolgopolov has already beaten the World Number 1 this week and now has the chance to knock off the 17 time Grand Slam winner in Roger Federer, although the form of the Swiss man has been pretty impressive too.

2014 was supposed to be the last hurrah for Federer according to the media (and I also didn't think he would be doing what he has to this point), but a title in Dubai and a Semi Final here and at the Australian Open shows Federer is still capable of performing.

There will be chances to break in both directions in the match, but Federer looks a man on a mission this week and I think he will find a way to negate the awkward style of Dolgopolov and come through 63, 64.

Novak Djokovic - 3.5 games v John Isner: When you play someone who serves as big as John Isner does, concentration is the key for the opponent and the acceptance that a number of points are going to fly past you without any thing you can do.

Novak Djokovic is one of the best returners in the game and he has shown that at times against Isner, but has struggled to see him off. It also puts a different type of pressure on Djokovic to make sure he doesn't make the mistakes when he is serving that allows Isner to break serve which can be devastating in a set.

There was some chances missed by Djokovic against the Julien Benneteau serve yesterday and he can't afford to allow those to slip against Isner, but I think he is focused and is going to prove too strong for the American.

The first set could easily end in a tie-break, but I will look for Djokovic to come through 76, 63.

MY PICKS: Roger Federer - 3.5 Games @ 1.92 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Novak Djokovic - 3.5 Games @ 2.10 Pinnacle (2 Units)

Indian Wells Update: 24-19, + 6.06 Units (86 Units Staked, + 7.05% Yield)

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