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Thursday, 8 May 2014

Madrid Tennis Picks 2014 (May 8th)

This week has proved to be incredibly difficult for the picks that I have made and it has felt like the players I have had picked to win matches have missed a number of break point chances while barely saving those against them.

To be fair, the statistics have backed that up, but that doesn't account for some of the poorer picks I have made in what has been a very bad week to this point.

Serena Williams - 6.5 games v Carla Suarez Navarro: The first challenge for Carla Suarez Navarro is trying to end her run of bagel sets against Serena Williams which has reached three sets, while the Spaniard has been bageled in at least one set in each of their three previous meetings and in four of the six sets they have competed in.

All of that has to be another mental burden for Suarez Navarro against an opponent that already holds a huge advantage in that regards before she heads on to the court against any other player on the WTA Tour.

Serena Williams has won her first two games in Madrid with little fanfare and I think her power is once again going to be too much for Suarez Navarro, although the latter will have some flashy shots that keep the crowd with her. However, that won't be enough to slow down Williams who should come through 62, 63.

Maria Sharapova - 4.5 games v Sam Stosur: At first glance, this does seem a lot of games to be giving away, but Maria Sharapova should still prove to be too strong for Sam Stosur.

The Stosur serve could be a real weapon in the altitude, but the clay courts have not been the most productive for the Australian and she is certainly not playing at the level that saw her win the US Open a few years ago.

2014 hasn't exactly been a year of real triumph for Sharapova either, and she struggled in her win in the last Round, but she has dominated Stosur in previous meetings and has generally found her way to the victory in comfortable fashion. Stosur has also been guilty of falling apart in sets and even a three set match could see Sharapova cover this spread.

Agnieszka Radwanska - 4.5 games v Roberta Vinci: It was a tough win for Agnieszka Radwanska in the last Round against former French Open winner Svetlana Kuznetsova, but she did come through the match and I expect her to beat Roberta Vinci in this match.

Radwanska should be able to outlast Vinci in what are likely to be long, drawn out rallies and she did dominate the match against her in Stuttgart a couple of weeks ago.

Tiredness is probably the biggest issue for the Polish player to overcome after the long match with Kuznetsova, but she should have enough in the locker to see off Vinci with a 64, 63 win.

Ernests Gulbis - 1.5 games v Marin Cilic: I am a big fan of Marin Cilic, but this could be a match too far for him this week as he plays the dangerous Ernests Gulbis.

Both have similar games in that their backhand is probably the more consistent groundstroke and they have big serves that they use to try and dictate the points they contest.

The difference is I feel Gulbis is a slightly more consistent server and will get a higher percentage of cheap points compared with Cilic and that can be the small margins that separates a win from a loss in such a close match.

It might take three sets, but Gulbis to come through 63, 36, 64 is my call.

Andy Murray - 3.5 games v Santiago Giraldo: I don't want to under-estimate Santiago Giraldo who has been in impressive form over the last month, but Andy Murray came through a tough Second Round match against Nicolas Almagro and I will look for him to back that up with another win.

He has beaten Giraldo twice before, both on the clay courts and both without dropping a set, although it has been a couple of years since they last met on the Tour.

Murray can be erratic with his serve which is always a worry when you are backing him to cover a spread, but he should also have joy attacking the Giraldo serve and forcing break points which he can hopefully convert.

The lack of tennis played by Murray in the last six weeks has to be another concern, but I would still expect him to be too good and win this 64, 64.

David Ferrer Win 2-1 v John Isner: On a clay court, it is unsurprising that David Ferrer is such a strong favourite to beat John Isner, but I think the big American can surprise by winning at least one set in this match.

I would expect Ferrer to eventually prove too good, but Isner's serve is such a weapon that he should be able to push the Spaniard and it is no surprise to me that the last four matches between the pair has seen both players win at least one set.

That includes on the clay courts in the Davis Cup eighteen months ago that resulted in a Ferrer win after he had lost the opening set tie-break. There is more than a chance that Isner can serve is way through a set and Ferrer is also sometimes a little too erratic behind his serve that he might even hand the big man a break of serve.

I stil expect Ferrer to come through but will have a small interest in it not being as straight-forward as some of the layers think.

MY PICKS: Serena Williams - 6.5 Games @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Maria Sharapova - 4.5 Games @ 1.80 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Agnieszka Radwanska - 4.5 Games @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Ernests Gulbis - 1.5 Games @ 1.92 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Andy Murray - 3.5 Games @ 2.00 Pinnacle (2 Units)
David Ferrer Win 2-1 @ 4.33 William Hill (1 Unit)

Madrid Update: 2-7, - 12 Units (20 Units Staked, - 60% Yield)

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