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Saturday, 4 October 2014

Tennis Picks 2014 (October 4th)

The tournaments for the week have reached the Semi Final stage and there are some very good matches to be watched over in Beijing at the China Open in both men's and women's draws. The tournament in Tokyo looks set to see Milos Raonic and Kei Nishikori fight it out for the title as both will be strong favourites to progress from their Semi Final matches and that Final would be very important when it comes to picking up points for the Race to London.

London will also be on the minds of Andy Murray and Tomas Berdych who have outlasted the majority of their rivals looking for a place in the top eight, although both will be hoping for a surprise result in Tokyo and a defeat for Raonic. First of all though, both players have to be fully focused on their own Semi Finals in Beijing as they look to make it through to the Final at the China Open.

It has turned into a frustrating week for the picks with a couple of down days leaving the picks in a slight loss with just two days left of the tournaments this week. With the Masters event in Shanghai set to begin on Sunday, I am hoping the following four picks from the China Open can give me a strong end to the week and push the picks back into the positive they had been enjoying.

Andy Murray + 3.5 games v Novak Djokovic: These two players are very familiar with one another and rarely are the matches straight forward ones like the Novak Djokovic victory over Andy Murray in Miami earlier this season.

There are some real similarities with the way both Djokovic and Murray go about their business, although I think it was telling at the US Open that the Serb admitted he felt he can outlast Murray in matches with his superior fitness.

Matches between these players are physically exhausting with long rallies being played and the conditions in Beijing suggest there will be long rallies in this one. Murray has the bigger first serve, but Djokovic holds the edge when it comes to the second delivery. Beijing has also been the domain of Djokovic in recent years and he has won 22 matches in a row here which will give him the confidence to see off Murray who also had a long week last week.

However, it wouldn't surprise me in the least if this match went the distance and I think both players will have their chances to break serve. There does feel like a shift in form for Murray and I think he can make this a competitive loss at least with the way he has been playing while also coming close to actually winning the match.

Tomas Berdych - 4.5 games v Martin Klizan: These two players had a five set tough match at the US Open, but this could be a more routine day in the office for Tomas Berdych this time around as Martin Klizan comes off a big win.

Klizan beat Rafael Nadal after coming from a set and a break down in that match and the emotional effort put into that match could be tough to replicate just a day after winning that Quarter Final.

The left handed serve can at least give Klizan an opportunity to put Berdych on the back foot, but the latter has been in fine form this week and has been serving well enough to win this match with a break in each set.

The motivation to reach London is clearly inspiring Berdych and I think he can take advantage of Klizan who could easily have overdone the celebration in beating Nadal in the fashion he did.

Petra Kvitova - 4.5 games v Sam Stosur: Serena Williams was not fit enough to compete in her Quarter Final which gave Sam Stosur a chance to move into the Semi Final, but this has been a rare successful week for the Australian.

Going back to the French Open, Stosur has struggled on the Tour with only one tournament where she has won back to back matches before this week and I think she will have a tough time dealing with Petra Kvitova.

The Wimbledon Champion had to dig deep to beat Roberta Vinci yesterday which could have an effect on how much energy she has left after winning the title in Wuhan last week, but Kvitova will have an edge in a couple of areas in this match.

I think Kvitova's power is not something Stosur will be able to match consistently, while the back hand of the latter will be going against the strength of Kvitova's game in her forehand and could be exposed. Tiredness is a concern for me in backing Kvitova, but I think she has a real edge in the match up that could lead to a 75, 63 win.

Ana Ivanovic + 2.5 games v Maria Sharapova: Maria Sharapova has dominated the head to head with Ana Ivanovic, but it is the rejuvenated Serb that has won the last two matches and I expect her to make this a very tough Semi Final for Sharapova.

Ana Ivanovic has been in good form with a title win in Tokyo and she has the power that can give Sharapova some real problems if the Russian is struggling with her serve.

It has been a very good week for Sharapova up to now as she has been pretty dominant on the court with some easy sets to her credit, but Ivanovic should provide a much sterner test and is unlikely to fall away like some of Sharapova's opponents have.

The yips on the serve seem to have gone for Ivanovic and she is definitely capable of taking one set, while winning the match is not out of the question to make it three in a row against Sharapova.

MY PICKS: Andy Murray + 3.5 Games @ 2.00 Bet365 (2 Units)
Tomas Berdych - 4.5 Games @ 2.00 Ladbrokes (2 Units)
Petra Kvitova - 4.5 Games @ 2.00 Sky Bet (2 Units)
Ana Ivanovic + 2.5 Games @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 9-9, - 0.34 Units (36 Units Staked, - 1% Yield)

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