Featured post

NFL Week 14 Picks 2019 (December 5-9)

This is it. This is now the final stretch towards the PlayOffs and we have begun to see a number of teams being eliminated while others are ...

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Miami Tennis Picks 2014 (March 26th)

The rain was supposed to really disrupt the schedule in Miami on Tuesday, but the tournament hasn't missed a beat and we have reached the Quarter Finals in both the Masters and the Premier Event that is being played here at the same time.

In fact, the Semi Final in one half of the women's draw was also set between Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams, a match that should be intriguing simply because of the two characters involved and the obvious distaste they have for each other. Sharapova would be the first to tell you that this cannot be considered a rivalry unless she starts winning matches, but I am hoping this isn't the week she snaps her poor run against Serena having backed the latter to win the tournament.

The Quarter Finals in the men's draw were also rounded off yesterday and I am very glad to see the form that both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have been showing this week with both in my staking plan for the week.

However, the most intriguing match we will have the opportunity to see has to be the one between Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, the first time they have met since playing in the Final of Wimbledon last summer.

It will be important for Murray to show where he is with his form after a disappointing opening to 2014 as he recovers from his back surgery, but the defending Champion has played very well here in Miami. Djokovic is Djokovic and will pose a test of Murray's credentials and I think this match is going to be a lot of fun to watch and one to really take note of for both players.

Stanislas Wawrinka was defeated before the Quarter Final and perhaps shows again that he is currently occupying a 'false' position in the World Rankings at Number 3, while it also indicates he could be in for a slump following the success of winning a maiden Grand Slam title in Australia in January.

However, I don't think a loss to Alexandr Dolgopolov is as disappointing as it would have been even three months ago as the Ukrainian is perhaps in the best consistent form he has shown on the Tour. After reaching the Semi Final in Indian Wells, it could have been easy for Dolgopolov to perhaps pat himself on the back for too long that he faltered in Miami, but a Quarter Final here will see him again move up the Rankings and perhaps get into a more realistic position.

The talent he possesses suggests he should be a mainstay in the top 20 in the World Rankings and Dolgopolov should move into that position after this event.

For the third day in a row, the picks have returned a positive gain from the matches played and that continues improving the margin from this tournament too. With five days left at Crandon Park, this will be a good week as long as the outright picks also come through so hopefully there will be another positive margin added to what is already a decent season total at this point of 2014.

Dominika Cibulkova v Agnieszka Radwanska: Since the crushing double-bagel defeat to Agnieszka Radwanska in Sydney in January 2013, Dominika Cibulkova has won 2 of the last 3 matches between these players and I think she can add to that run.

After seeing bits and pieces of the Premier Event Final in Indian Wells, there was no way I expected Radwanska to reach the Quarter Final in Miami, let alone even compete at one point. However, the draw was pretty kind to the Pole and I think this is the kind of match that could perhaps highlight any injury concerns she may have.

Cibulkova has the power off the ground to be able to hit through Radwanska and she has shown a new confidence in 2014 which has improved the consistency that the diminutive Slovakian has been playing with.

That is the key to the match- Cibulkova is mentally in a very good place to hit the lines and I also think she is full of the belief that is so important at this level. It might need three sets to get this done, but I like Cibulkova to come through and reach the Semi Final here.

Na Li - 3.5 games v Caroline Wozniacki: In my outright preview for the tournament in Indian Wells, I mentioned that Caroline Wozniacki had been showing signs of a player that could be on the road back up the Rankings after dropping off the scene a little when falling from the World Number 1 spot.

I've never been a fan of Wozniacki who I felt was given a pass compared with someone like Dinara Safina, especially as the latter had more form of a Number 1 player in comparison with the Dane.

Wozniacki has shown some strong form to this point this week, but someone like Na Li should have enough power in her shots to at least force Wozniacki back. Consistency is the key for the World Number 2 if she is to win this game as Li is guilty of throwing away games and matches with a rash of unforced errors, but otherwise there is a lot to like in backing her.

The court in Miami has played surprisingly faster than I expected at times and the ball seems to be bouncing through effectively enough for Li to have plenty of success and I think she can dominate Wozniacki's serve to the extent of recording a 75, 63 win.

Andy Murray + 3.5 games v Novak Djokovic: Andy Murray hasn't been at his best in 2014, but there were signs in the last week that perhaps an improvement is coming. However, facing someone as good as Novak Djokovic is always going to be a big test to see where a player stands with their game and I expect this Quarter Final to be no different.

There were a few doubts in the minds of the experts as to where Djokovic was with his game before winning at Indian Wells, but he is not playing the solid tennis that he was a couple of years ago and I can't imagine him winning this one comfortably.

Murray matches up well with Djokovic and their matches are usually fairly close affairs and I do wonder how much the latter has in the tank after winning the Masters event in Indian Wells.

It has the hallmarks of a three set match, but I also think Murray is perhaps getting one too many games head-start in this one.

Roger Federer - 4.5 games v Kei Nishikori: Roger Federer continued his impressive form as he crushed Richard Gasquet in the Fourth Round and I feel he is going to be too good for Kei Nishikori who had to come through a long, gruelling match yesterday.

I have sometimes been a little critical of Nishikori's fitness issues and I have no idea how he is going to have recovered from the match with David Ferrer and be able to make this a really competitive match against an in-form Federer.

The Japanese star looked shattered at the end of the third set yesterday and even a little more than 24 hours rest may not be good enough.

With Federer playing as aggressively and consistently as he has been in 2014, I think he will find the breaks of serve to come through with a 63, 63 win.

MY PICKS: Dominika Cibulkova @ 1.83 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Na Li - 3.5 Games @ 1.83 William Hill (2 Units)
Andy Murray + 3.5 Games @ 2.05 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Roger Federer - 4.5 Games @ 1.85 Pinnacle (2 Units)

Miami Update: 11-6, + 8.44 Units (34 Units Staked, + 24.82% Yield)

No comments:

Post a Comment