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Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Rome Tennis Picks 2014 (May 14th)

After a long week and a half of making picks in the two big tournaments that have been taking place in Madrid and Rome, Tuesday proved to be the best day for a long time. Hopefully that will spark a solid week the rest of the way and get the season moving in the right direction again after a couple of tough weeks and also get the momentum trending positively ahead of the French Open which is under two weeks away.

Wednesday will see a few more of the big names open their campaign here in Rome including the returning Roger Federer who is fresh off becoming a father again which meant he missed out in Madrid last week.

Andy Murray - 3.5 games v Marcel Granollers: It was this time last year when Andy Murray had to retire from a match against Marcel Granollers that eventually saw the British Number 1 miss out on the French Open.

On that occasion, Granollers was taking advantage of the hip/back issues that Murray was feeling, but the latter is in better health in 2014 even if he hasn't had the best results so far and has dropped down the Rankings.

Murray suffered a disappointing result in Madrid last week after coming through a tough Second Round match against Nicolas Almagro and the clay courts are not his favoured surface. However, Granollers hasn't been in great form himself even if he did beat Feliciano Lopez in the First Round and his serve is incredibly vulnerable at times.

It won't be easy for Murray at times, especially if he doesn't serve well, but I like Murray to find a way to come through 64, 64.

Mikhail Youzhny - 2.5 games v Andrey Golubev: Mikhail Youzhny continues to battle on the Tour, but I think it has become clear that the Russian is winding down what was a decent career, albeit one that saw him fail to reach the very upper echelons of the men's game.

That isn't taking away anything from the way Youzhny competed on a weekly basis and he was one of the real characters on the Tour. The form hasn't been that good in recent weeks, but Youzhny can still be a handful for the players lower down the Ranking totem pole.

He faces Andrey Golubev who is coming off a hard earned win over Fernando Verdasco and who has come through the qualifiers so the confidence has to be in a good position for this Second Round match.

However, the clay courts are not the favoured ones of Golubev and I think Youzhny poses enough problems to come through with a 76, 64 win.

Tommy Haas - 3.5 games v Igor Sijsling: I must be a little crazy to be backing Tommy Haas to win another match this week after the hard work he made of Andreas Seppi following a 61 first set score and especially as I backed the German against Igor Sijsling in Madrid last week.

In that tournament, Haas was seemingly more than a little in control of the match as he won the first set and had numerous opportunities to break Sijsling in that set, but then he suddenly came off the boil.

It was a similar situation on Tuesday for Haas, but I still think he has enough in his locker to see off the Dutchman and earn a measure of revenge from last week.

This will come down to which of the players takes his chances the best, but I think Haas reverses the loss from last week and comes through 62, 46, 64.

Tomas Berdych - 5.5 games v Dmitry Tursunov: Tomas Berdych has dominated Dmitry Tursunov in their meetings in the past, but the match in Monte Carlo last month was far closer than I would have imagined on the clay courts.

On that day, it was Berdych's poor serving that let him down and I expect the extra time spent on the red dirt would make him a much tougher prospect for Tursunov in this match.

The Russian did come through a very surprising win in the First Round, but he hasn't had the best of time on clay courts this season or in the recent past and Tursunov has also suffered a number of bagels over the last month.

It isn't something I am expecting to happen here, but decent serving from Berdych should help him prevail with a 64, 62 win unless Tursunov can find the form that makes him much more dangerous on a faster surface. I just don't believe he has the patience for the longer rallies that occur on the slower clay courts and may struggle to stay with Berdych.

MY PICKS: Andy Murray - 3.5 Games @ 1.92 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Mikhail Youzhny - 2.5 Games @ 1.95 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Tommy Haas - 3.5 Games @ 2.00 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Tomas Berdych - 5.5 Games @ 2.00 Ladbrokes (2 Units)

Rome Update: 5-4, + 0.26 Units (18 Units Staked, + 1.44% Yield)

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