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Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Australian Open Day 10 Picks 2015 (January 28th)

I am still stunned by the nature of the beating that Tomas Berdych handed out to Rafael Nadal on Tuesday, but I am still not convinced that it didn't have more to do with how poorly Nadal played rather than the brilliance of Berdych.

I would be surprised if he has as easy a day in the office when he faces Andy Murray in the Semi Final, despite Murray saying that Berdych should be the favourite because of what Daniel Vallverdu will bring to the table for the Czech player. More important could be the fact that Berdych has won the last two matches against Murray, including on the hard courts of Cincinnati, although the last of those was in 2013.

For now, the main talking points of the day at the Australian Open will be completing the Semi Final line up and the potential for an all-Williams Semi Final being put in place. Neither Venus nor Serena have an easy Quarter Final to get through before the match of the day takes place between Kei Nishikori and Stan Wawrinka.

Novak Djokovic is going to be the clear favourite to win his Quarter Final against Milos Raonic and now will also be a strong favourite to win the title here, but he won't want to overlook anything at the moment. The fact of the matter is that Djokovic has to beat Raonic and then faces one of the two players who beat him in Grand Slam events last season in the Semi Final.

Stan Wawrinka win 3-1 v Kei Nishikori: This looks a quality match in the making and I can understand why Kei Nishikori was set as the favourite to overcome the defending Champion Stan Wawrinka.

However, I actually think the heavier shot is going to come from Wawrinka's side of the court, especially when it comes to sorting out the serve and that can help the Swiss Number 2 to overcome Nishikori.

They played a special match at the US Open and Nishikori has admitted this has the feel of a 'home' Grand Slam for him with the support he has been receiving. I love the style the Japanese star plays with and I think he can give Wawrinka plenty of problems with his return and ability to move the latter around the court.

That should ensure this is anything but a straight forward win for any of the two players with Wawrinka looking to play first strike tennis behind the first serve and also attacking the Nishikori serve which is perhaps the weakest shot in the Japanese player's arsenal.

I can see there being a vital tie-breaker in the middle of the match that will determine the outcome of this match and perhaps lead to a 63, 46, 76, 64 win for Wawrinka in the underdog role.

Serena Williams - 5.5 games v Dominika Cibulkova: I think there are going to be a lot of people ready to back Dominika Cibulkova to surprise Serena Williams in this Quarter Final considering the Slovakian's form in this tournament and the fact she reached the Final twelve months ago.

However, I think Williams has had a couple of scares in the tournament where she could have been knocked out of the tournament and she should have refocused enough in this one. As solid as Cibulkova has been off the ground, the serve could be under immense pressure from the power that Serena Williams will be bringing to the table and I think it will be Williams who gets the first strike tennis in this one.

If she can serve better in the first set than she has in her last two matches, Williams should be able to keep Cibulkova at bay and not allow the latter to dictate the rallies and get her going from side to side. By doing that, this should be a little more routine than her last two matches and Williams should be too strong for Cibulkova who falls short of her performance from last season.

As long as Williams doesn't make a slow start, this has all the makings of a 63, 62 win for the Number 1 player in the World Rankings.

MY PICKS: Stan Wawrinka Win 3-1 @ 5.50 Sky Bet (1 Unit)
Serena Williams - 5.5 Games @ 1.95 Bet Victor (2 Units)

Australian Open Update: 31-20, + 20.23 Units (98 Units Staked, + 20.64% Yield)

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