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Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Madrid Tennis Picks 2014 (May 7th)

The tournament in Madrid took another hit on the men's side of the draw with Roger Federer joining Novak Djokovic in pulling out of the event since the draw has been made. Federer stated he wants to spend more time with his family as they are expecting another addition in the coming weeks, but it also puts his participation at the tournament in Rome next week in doubt.

Federer admitted earlier in the season that he would miss the French Open if the new arrival coincided with that tournament and there has to be some wondering if that is going to be the case with Roland Garros just under three weeks away. If that was to occur, the men's draw could be even more open than I wrote about a couple of days ago, although it would also strengthen Rafael Nadal's position as the favourite to win the event, even with the doubts surrounding his form.

EDIT: Since writing this, Roger Federer announced he is now the father of another set of twins, this time two boys... Odds on them teaming with their older sisters and dominating the mixed doubles at Wimbledon in twenty years time?

You have to say congratulations to the Federer family and guess that he will be playing in the French Open after all, although I am guessing he may miss Rome.

On a scale of 1-10, my frustration boiled way over to 11 on Tuesday as all three picks decided to tease me into thinking I had made the right call, only to blow their chances in poor fashion.

Tommy Haas' collapse from dominating the first set and having chances to break in two other games where he failed to do so had me scratching my head, but things only were going to head downhill from there.

Nicolas Almagro had match points at 5-2 (three match points) and at 5-3 (two more match points) in the final set of his eventual win over Andrey Golubev and taking any of those chances would have seen him cover the handicap mark.

Or how about Fernando Verdasco being a set up, losing the tie-break, and then failing to convert from 1-1, 0-40 and subsequently losing five games in a row?

Frustrating, annoying, exasperating, irritating, maddening... The best words to sum up how I was feeling in what should have been a much more productive day.

Days like Tuesday do make you second guess yourself when making picks as it is hard to really put a finger on where it went wrong when players are in a position that is expected, only to then go and throw things away with poor shots.

The only thing you can really do is take it on the chin, dust yourself off and get up to start again.

Grigor Dimitrov - 5.5 games v Marius Copil: Two of the younger players in the draw will face off in the Second Round and I expect the ever-improving Grigor Dimitrov proves to be too good for Marius Copil.

Dimitrov has looked more and more assured and relishes his position as a favourite and I expect his all around game is going to tough for Copil to handle.

As well as Copil has done to reach the Second Round with a surprise win over Marcel Granollers in the First Round, he has lost to far weaker players than Dimitrov over the last twelve months.

Last season Copil did push Stanislas Wawrinka in two tight sets, but I expect Dimitrov to have a slightly easier day in the office and secure a 63, 63 win.

Rafael Nadal - 6.5 games v Juan Monaco: These two are good friends who have teamed in the Doubles in the past, but the matches between them have been anything but friendly if you are Juan Monaco.

Monaco has lost four of the five previous matches against Rafael Nadal and the sole win only came in a match that the Spaniard had to retire. A bigger concern for Monaco may be the fact that he has won more than two games in only one set of the ten he has lost against Nadal.

The problem for Monaco is that he is rarely going to win cheap points on his own serve and even the groundstrokes are not going to be too much of an issue for Nadal to deal with.

My only concern is Nadal's recent form which has seen him not quite at his best on the clay courts and he is also coming into Madrid having lost matches in Monte Carlo and Barcelona. Nadal hasn't always enjoyed Madrid either and those issues might be playing on his mind ahead of this Second Round match.

However, the match up with Monaco should be right up Nadal's street and I expect him to come through 62, 63.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga - 3.5 games v Santiago Giraldo: I wasn't planning on backing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga again this week after he once again lost a sloppy set of tennis in his First Round match, but I do think he should be laying more games than this.

As well as Santiago Giraldo has been playing, Tsonga has the big game that could keep the Colombian on the back foot and that is a tough place from where to win matches.

Giraldo has had a good month on the clay courts including reaching the Final in Barcelona, but he has been playing a lot of tennis and that can catch up to someone who might not be so used to it. He has won two qualifiers here as well as a tough First Round match against Lleyton Hewitt that will provide confidence, but I expect Tsonga to be a little too powerful and come through 64, 64.

Caroline Wozniacki - 3.5 games v Roberta Vinci: It has been a tough 2014 to this point for Roberta Vinci whose game might be more familiar to opponents who have begun to work her out. However, the Italian may feel playing the clay court season may help her at least pick up more wins, although I think she could be out-hustled by Caroline Wozniacki in this Second Round match.

There have been signs of a return to form for Vinci over the last three weeks and playing an opponent like Wozniacki who has only had one match in the last few weeks may give her an edge.

Wozniacki has been off the Tour, but she demolished Ekaterina Makarova in the First Round, but the former World Number 1 can be so erratic when it comes to form that it is hard to truly know what to expect.

This won't be a straight-forward match and I expect both players to earn their breaks of serve, but I do feel Wozniacki may just prove to have a little extra in the locker for a 64, 75 win.

MY PICKS: Grigor Dimitrov - 5.5 Games @ 2.10 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Rafael Nadal - 6.5 Games @ 2.00 Ladbrokes (2 Units)
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga - 3.5 Games @ 1.95 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Caroline Wozniacki - 3.5 Games @ 2.00 Bet Fred (2 Units)

Madrid Update: 1-4, - 8 Units (12 Units Staked, - 66.67% Yield)

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