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Monday, 1 September 2014

US Open Day 8 Picks 2014 (September 1st)

The women's draw has been decimated in the first week of the US Open with many of the top ten players already out of the draw before the Quarter Final and there were more surprise results on Sunday with Lucie Safarova and, especially, Maria Sharapova exiting the event.

It seems to have left the path clear for Serena Williams to win her first Grand Slam title of the season having failed to really get going at any of the previous Majors this campaign. Of course, Williams is dealing with the pressure of equalling the likes of Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova at 18 Grand Slam titles.

Over the last year, it has become more and more clear that Margaret Court's 24 Slam titles and Steffi Graf's 22 Slam titles might be beyond the reach of Williams, but the American will probably go into next season as favourite at every Grand Slam too, although she is still a very vulnerable favourite in my opinion.

The picks could have had a much stronger day if not for a couple of matches going slightly wrong- for the life of me, I have no idea how Grigor Dimitrov was bagelled by David Goffin, yet then dominated the rest of the match.

Still, I can't complain too much and hopefully the second week of the Slam will be as successful as the first turned out to be.

Andy Murray win 3-1 v Jo-Wilfried Tsonga: There is a real belief from Jo-Wilfried Tsonga that he is capable of becoming the latest top player to knock off Andy Murray and he has spoken of there being a 'lack of fear' of matching up with the two time Grand Slam Champion.

But he also showed some fragility in those comments when backing it up with he prefers a best of three set match and I think Murray has said his fitness is not an issue so I would expect the Brit to have the edge in a long match.

As well as Tsonga did to beat Murray in Toronto, the latter missed an opportunity when leading by a break in the decider and he actually won more points, although Murray will have to serve better to win this match.

There have been a lot of close matches played by these players in the past and I would be surprised if either of them run away with the match in straight sets. I do give the edge to Murray who can return enough balls to keep Tsonga off balance and I like him to win his first really big match since the Wimbledon 2013 Final and come through in four sets.

Stan Wawrinka - 3.5 games v Tommy Robredo: It isn't always a real benefit for a player to come through a Grand Slam round without taking to the court as that player can then be undercooked when it comes to the latter stages.

You don't want to be caught cold when the competition ramps up, but that is what Stan Wawrinka has to do as he takes on Tommy Robredo in an intriguing Fourth Round match.

Robredo had a strong run here last season and has a strong head to head against Wawrinka, but the latter beat Robredo in straight sets at the Australian Open earlier this season although their hard court matches have been split 2-2.

The Spaniard has been a little fortunate to come through to the Fourth Round, but he has a deep battling mentality that will be tough for Wawrinka to overcome, but the better shot-making and hard court pedigree should be on the side of the latter. As long as Wawrinka can remain mentally focused, I do think he wins this match 63, 46, 76, 64.

Milos Raonic v Kei Nishikori: Milos Raonic had to dig deep to come through his Third Round match, but he can use that battling display to somehow see off Kei Nishikori for the second time in consecutive Grand Slam events.

The serve should give Raonic the chance to dictate points, but I also think he will have to work less hard than Nishikori will to make sure he holds serve and that is where the Japanese player may struggle.

Nishikori will be very happy to see that this match won't be taking place until the evening session considering the humid conditions in New York, although that might not be enough to see him overcome Raonic.

I have to say that Nishikori has been in better form over the last week of the two players, but Raonic might have a little too much power for him in this one and come through in four or five tough sets.

Flavia Pennetta - 4.5 games v Casey Dellacqua: This has been a wonderful season for Casey Dellacqua who has won more matches on the main Tour than in the last four seasons combined. That confidence can't be under-estimated, but she is going against an experienced campaigner in Flavia Pennetta who must see a real chance to move into contention for a Grand Slam title after seeds continue to fall from the women's draw.

Pennetta reached the Quarter Final at the Australian Open in 2014 and she can reach that stage in another Major by winning this match, while the Italian also won the title at Indian Wells showing her ability to win on the hard courts.

Dellacqua was a Fourth Round and Quarter Finalist at those two events so her form can't be discounted, although I think Pennetta can match the power she brings and is also a little more consistent of the two players.

Out of the two players, Pennetta has at least shown some more form in the summer hard court events and I think she has enough in her locker to come through 63, 64.

MY PICKS: Andy Murray Win 3-1 @ 4.33 Sporting Bet (1 Unit)
Stan Wawrinka - 3.5 Games @ 1.90 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Milos Raonic @ 1.85 Sporting Bet (2 Units)
Flavia Pennetta - 4.5 Games @ 2.05 Bet Victor (2 Units)

US Open Update: 12-9, + 8.66 Units (38 Units Staked, + 22.79% Yield)

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