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Sunday, 16 March 2014

Indian Wells Tennis Picks 2014 (March 16th)

For the neutrals that may have had tickets for the Indian Wells Finals Day today, seeing Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic come through their Semi Finals on Saturday is perhaps the perfect way to end the tournament here in 2014.

Of course the event is taking place in America so a number of fans would have loved to have seen John Isner find a way through to his second Final here in three years, but the quality of tennis we are likely to see this evening is exactly what the tournament deserves as an ending.

It has been a strange couple of weeks in California with a number of surprise results that can crop up from time to time, but two of the leading contenders in the men's game will be contesting the Final. The women's event always looked much more open with the likes of Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka returning from long lay-offs and perhaps not having the practice they needed, while Serena Williams has skipped the event for over ten years.

Azarenka was clearly not quite right and it was no surprise that she has decided to withdraw from the event in Miami that immediately follows this one and that means another slip in the Rankings for the former World Number 1. In my opinion, Azarenka remains the most consistent threat to prevent Serena Williams winning any tournament they both enter, although it is still going to be interesting to see how the American responds to her early exit at the Australian Open and the disappointing loss in Dubai.

The draws for the tournament in Miami are going to be released on Sunday and Monday for the women's and men's events respectively and will kick off on Tuesday with the First Round action from the WTA Premier Event.

That should be another decent tournament and it is going to be interesting to see if the results from the event are a little more consistent than the surprises we saw in Indian Wells throughout the ten days here.

Novak Djokovic - 2.5 games v Roger Federer: When they met in Dubai last month, I said it was arguably a more important match for Roger Federer than it was for Novak Djokovic and the feeling is the reverse this time around.

The match in Dubai was on the racquet of Novak Djokovic for a set and a half but he lost a bit of concentration and allowed Federer to dominate towards the end of the match and eventually win the title.

Djokovic was guilty of losing concentration in the win over John Isner yesterday too, but was fortunate he rolled through a third set comfortably despite serving for the match twice in the second set. Something like that will cost him the title at Indian Wells because Federer is playing arguably his best tennis since the start of the 2013 season.

The Swiss man has been serving well which has made his life that much easier, but he will be put under more pressure than either Alexandr Dolgopolov or Tommy Haas put on him with the return Djokovic possesses.

I can't imagine this being anything but another good match to watch between these two players, but I also feel Djokovic will be the one that comes out on top at the end of the contest.

MY PICK: Novak Djokovic - 2.5 Games @ 1.80 Paddy Power (2 Units)

Indian Wells Update: 26-19, + 10.1 Units (90 Units Staked, + 11.22% Yield)

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