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Sunday, 23 March 2014

Miami Tennis Picks 2014 (March 23rd)

On Saturday, the news broke in the Argentinian press that Juan Martin Del Potro is likely to be missing the rest of the season with the second wrist surgery he is about to undergo in the last four years.

It is a real shame for Del Potro who showed so much promise after winning the US Open 2009, especially as it took around eighteen months to two years to really get back to that form after the first wrist surgery. Of course he is trying to put a positive spin on things by suggesting he won't be wasting time on a diagnosis, but this looked a good time to really make another impact at Grand Slam level, as Stanislas Wawrinka  did at the Australian Open.

There is also the question mark about Del Potro and whether he will ever recover to the level he showed in 2009 when he looked to be the player most likely to break the dominance of the 'Big Four'. Recovering from a wrist injury for a tennis player to be the most difficult recovery and we have seen players fail to reach the levels they have performed at before those injuries.

I personally think it will be difficult for Del Potro to return as the force of old, but I hope to see him back on the Tour as soon as possible. He seems to be one of the nicer guys out there and I think it would be a disappointment if we don't get to see him at his best in big matches in the future.

I have to say I was very close to earning the win from the only pick I made from the matches on Saturday, but Maria Sharapova couldn't take her match points in the second set that would have allowed Lucie Safarova. It was a competitive match for the almost three hours they were out there, but Safarova should have covered with the 4.5 games head-start considering she had a double break in the second set, but had to settle for a tie-break win.

That hasn't helped the week total to this point, but I haven't made too many picks from the week so far so hopefully there is better luck to come in the days ahead.

Tommy Robredo - 1.5 games v Julien Benneteau: The hard courts may not be the favourite surface of Tommy Robredo, but he is certainly capable of playing on these types of courts, particularly the slower courts in Miami.

The match against Julien Benneteau presents a good chance to get through to the next Round after he already beat the Frenchman at the Australian Open earlier this season.

It will be hard work in the match as both have to really win points behind the serve and won't have a lot of cheap points, while there is every chance that the match will go the distance as both players can go off the boil at times.

After a testing couple of hours, I think Robredo will be the one that grinds out the win and he looks a decent price to do that in this match.

Roger Federer - 5.5 games v Thiemo de Bakker: Roger Federer has been in pretty strong form and has been talking up his feelings of waking up without pain for the last couple of weeks.

That has looked like being the main course of his poor 2013 season, but Federer has looked as good as he has for a few years in the opening months of 2014.

He dismissed Ivo Karlovic behind an ever-improving serve and the aggressive brand of tennis is paying off for the former World Number 1. While Thiemo de Bakker has a big serve himself, I can see Federer making enough balls back in play to find a couple of breaks of serve in one set in this match.

Unlike Karlovic, de Bakker likes to mix things from the back of the court and that will enable Federer to chip the ball into play and get involved in the extended rallies that I like him to win more often than not. With that in mind, a 64, 62 win for Federer doesn't look that out of place in this Third Round match.

MY PICKS: Tommy Robredo - 1.5 Games @ 1.83 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Roger Federer - 5.5 Games @ 1.92 Paddy Power (2 Units)

Miami Update: 3-4, - 2.20 Units (14 Units Staked, 

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