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Friday, 25 April 2014

Tennis Picks 2014 (April 25th)

We have reached the Quarter Finals at the tournaments that are being played on both the ATP and WTA Tours this week as the clay court season continues.

There are some unfamiliar names at the back end of the tournaments in the ATP events at Barcelona and Bucharest, but a more 'normal' look to the WTA event in Stuttgart as the players continue their preparations for the second Grand Slam event of 2014 which is now one month away.

Ernests Gulbis - 3.5 games v Teimuraz Gabashvili: After playing so well through the first set against Rafael Nadal last week in Monte Carlo, Teimuraz Gabashvili has come to Barcelona and surprised David Ferrer on his way to the Quarter Final.

There is definitely some talent that Gabashvili possesses, but his serve can be a weakness which makes it that much more difficult to win matches at the highest level, although he has hidden those deficiencies well to this point.

Even with a dominant head to head against Ernests Gulbis, it is tough to see Gabashvili really having enough to beat the Latvian who could very much be in line for a career year.  Gulbis has already had a couple of solid wins over clay court specialists this week and he has had a better control of his temperament than six years ago when he last lost to Gabashvili.

If Gulbis continues to pressure his opponents with his serve, I would imagine he can win this match 76, 63 and book his place in the Semi Final.

Agnieszka Radwanska + 3.5 games v Maria Sharapova: I don't seem to analyse Agnieszka Radwansaka matches very well this season and always seem to back her when she has a nightmare, yet she produces sublime tennis when I have gone against her.

Hopefully that run will be snapped in this Quarter Final against Maria Sharapova, a player who Radwanska has competed very well against in her three most recent matches.

The clay courts should also be more to the liking of Radwanska despite Sharapova recently winning the French Open, and I think it helps the Pole use her defensive strength to try and frustrate the former World Number 1.

Their previous two matches on the clay courts have both been won by Sharapova, but the first took three sets and the second ended 76, 75 in a tight match. Radwanska is certainly playing well enough to keep this competitive through the match, even if she doesn't quite have enough to move through to the Semi Final.

Sara Errani v Carla Suarez Navarro: It hasn't been a strong start to 2014 for Sara Errani after a couple of really top seasons on the Tour as a Singles player, but getting back on the clay courts may see a reinvigoration of form.

Errani has had a couple of good wins this week, but there is a feeling that all the hard work she has had to put into her Singles matches, as well as playing a lot of Doubles with Roberta Vinci, may have worn her down over the last couple of years.

She has to really put in a lot to hold serve, but I still believe Errani will be too good for Carla Suarez Navarro who has a similar game without the same level of consistency.

I am always more concerned for Errani against the real big hitters on the WTA Tour who can power the Italian onto the back foot, but this match up should suit her judging by the 6-2 head to head in her favour. Suarez Navarro is a solid clay court player herself, but I believe Errani wears her down over three sets to move into the Semi Final.

MY PICKS: Ernests Gulbis - 3.5 Games @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Agnieszka Radwanska + 3.5 Games @ 2.10 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Sara Errani @ 1.85 Pinnacle (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 2-3, - 1.6 Units (10 Units Staked, - 16% Yield)

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