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Friday, 5 September 2014

US Open Day 12 Picks 2014 (September 5th)

Day 11 was the first time since the opening day of the tournament that I have suffered a losing day and so I can't be too disappointed even if the picks weren't the best. Tomas Berdych didn't ever lost comfortable, while Roger Federer turned around his match only when he went 2-0 down in sets and came through in five, not four, sets.

We now move on to the US Open Semi Finals and Friday will bring the two women's Semi Finals with the two men's matches set for Saturday.

It should all mean that we have competitive matches to finish the tournament, an accusation that has been levelled at the US Open in recent years when it became clear the winner of the second Semi Final in both women's and men's draws were in an unfair position.

That was especially the case in the men's draw where the winner of the second Semi Final lost a number of Finals as they had nothing left after 'Super Saturday', but those issues have been resolved for now by extending the tournament to a Monday.

Shuai Peng + 4.5 games v Caroline Wozniacki: Both players could be feeling the nerves as they close in on an appearance in a Grand Slam Final and I think that may lead to a competitive Semi Final.

Throughout the last two weeks, Shuai Peng has been serving very well which has kept her in front of the likes of Agnieszka Radwanska, Roberta Vinci and Lucie Safarova and she is yet to drop a set here. Now it is all about keeping herself in control both physically and mentally and controlling the emotions in a match where she will be nervous as she has so much to gain by reaching the Final.

Peng will know what that did for Na Li back in China and becoming another Grand Slam Finalist will open up a number of new avenues for her in terms of sponsorship and fame back home. However, she is facing a rejuvenated Caroline Wozniacki who has been in strong form ever since Wimbledon.

The Dane has dropped a couple of sets here, but she crushed Sara Errani in her Quarter Final and I think she is in a great place mentally since her break up from Rory McIlroy and will believe she can win this match.

She has won her last five matches against Peng which will boost the confidence, but many of those have been competitive affairs and I think the latter is playing well enough to take a set at least. As long as Peng can keep serving as well as she has, she should be able to stay within the number unless she loses hope and tanks a set.

Serena Williams - 5.5 games v Ekaterina Makarova: Another player that has been in fine form over the last two weeks and through the 2014 season is Ekaterina Makarova and she can reach her first Grand Slam Final.

The belief will certainly be there for Makarova who has beaten Serena Williams at a Grand Slam event before, but she has lost the other three meetings and has been served a bagel in their last two matches.

Serena Williams has to keep herself in control emotionally, one of the few negatives about her game at times, especially as she knows the importance of reaching 18 Grand Slam titles and joining some of the biggest names in the history of the sport. She can't afford to have lapses as she did early in the match against Flavia Pennetta, but Williams has been in good enough form to carry a 10 match winning run into this Semi Final and she has won 17 of her last 18 matches since Wimbledon.

Her serving hasn't been at its very best, but Serena Williams looks to be playing well enough to see off Makarova in two sets in this one and move into Sunday's Final with a 64, 62 win.

MY PICKS: Shuai Peng + 4.5 Games @ 2.20 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Serena Williams - 5.5 Games @ 2.05 Pinnacle (2 Units)

US Open Update: 19-15, + 12.76 Units (61 Units Staked, + 20.92% Yield)

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