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Friday, 30 January 2015

Australian Open Day 12 Picks 2015 (January 30th)

Thursday was the last truly 'busy' day at the Australian Open with both women's Semi Finals and one men's Semi Final being played and we will now get to see one match per day over the next three days. Some are obviously interested in the Doubles events and the Junior titles that will also be settled in the coming days, but for those who prefer the main Singles events will know the first Grand Slam event of the season is almost over.


The three matches that we saw on Thursday all had their own story lines, but the biggest 'story' that seems to have come out is the behaviour of Kim Sears while supporting Andy Murray against Tomas Berdych.

The fact that Sears made a few swears is hardly worth the headlines, but the controversy seems to have developed from WHAT she said, even if the majority of newspapers have overlooked that aspect of things.

For example, a number of the newspapers have printed what they believe Sears has said: 'Fucking have that, you Czech flash fuck'.

Once you have finished guffawing at the fact that a middle class woman has sworn a couple of times, I am shocked that not one commentator, journalist, fellow player, who all found the whole thing absolutely hilarious, have not seen anything wrong with what Sears said.

'You Czech flash fuck'...

Is there not something a little abnormal with that statement?

Let me put this to you, what would you think about someone complaining about someone from an EU country being on benefit support? If they are making a reasonable argument, you would likely tend to either agree or disagree and put forward your own opinion I'm guessing.

But how would you respond if said person began the argument as such: those fucking [Insert EU Country] bastards claiming benefits is a disgrace... Would that not set a few alarm bells ringing as to where this is going to go?


Some have argued in favour of Sears that Tomas Berdych 'is Czech isn't he?' Is that really a reasonable response? And if so, I am guessing the same person is not sure why John Terry was widely criticised by almost everyone for his 'you black c**t' comment that was directed at Anton Ferdinand seeing as Ferdinand 'is black isn't he?'


It comes down to what is perceived as a middle to upper class woman who couldn't possibly have been close to a racial slur- it is not as far a step from what Terry said to Ferdinand as the 'middle classes' who are linked with tennis in Britain would like to think.

And that is what worries me- this being laughed off because we have seen a middle to upper class woman swear, but how has no one who reported what Sears is thought to have said and put two and two together and said it is an unacceptable comment to make?

I also have absolutely no doubt that if Wayne Rooney or AN Other Footballer was sitting in those stands and did the exact same thing that the media would have rounded on him, correctly too, but Sears is being given a pass by middle class tennis writers 'protecting one of their own'.


I follow someone called @theoverrule on Twitter and he made an extremely valid point- what would the reaction have been if either Berdych or his fiancĂ© had been seen saying 'have that, you English/Scottish shit'? I am pretty sure the British media who have found this whole incident hilarious wouldn't have been so impressed with those remarks!


We haven't actually had any confirmation or, perhaps more importantly, any denial that the words attributed to Sears were the ones that were actually used so you have to give her some leeway. I am just a little embarrassed by the response of people like Anne Keothavong, someone who I can imagine might have taken similar levels of abuse in the past and perhaps not have appreciated them then, can just say she believes it is 'hilarious', while other writers have made a point of writing the words attributed to Sears but believe it is simply 'supporting her fiancé'.

Personally I find that disgusting to think there has been so little made of the words used, namely the identification of where Berdych is from, and it does worry me about the mindset of the tennis journalists, commentators and the middle classes who are heavily linked with the game to believe this is a justifiable 'support'.

I've actually had something similar said to me at university- the whole thing seemed to become that more personal when I heard it said and there was a different level of rage that hit me in response because the attack felt 'different' than a normal attack. Calling someone a 'flash fuck' might not be the nicest thing, but I swear and I don't/can't have an issue with that.

Calling someone a Nationality/Religion/white/black flash fuck is more disrespectful and should be criticised not applauded.


The picks went 2-1 on Thursday with only Madison Keys' epic serving on match points at 1-5 in the second set preventing Serena Williams from completing the hat-trick. However, it was another strong day of winners and means the tournament is likely to be finishing on a very good note and makes my decision to wait until the Australian Open to begin the season look a good one.

Andy Murray coming through in four sets was a perfect result, even if his fiance's potty mouth has taken a few more headlines than the British Number 1 getting to the Final.

I am also considering doing a live blog for the two Finals over the weekend, but I will make a decision on that matter tomorrow evening and will state whether I am doing that on the post for the women's Final between Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams.


Novak Djokovic win 3-1 v Stan Wawrinka: Anyway, back to the tennis which was actually stellar from Andy Murray in the Semi Final win over Tomas Berdych from 5-3 down in the first set.

That means Murray has reached his fourth Final at the Australian Open as he looks for his maiden title at this Grand Slam event, but first we have to see which player he will be facing in the Final as Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka meet for the third straight year at Melbourne Park.

The last two matches have been split 1-1 with the winner going on to win the title and both have needed a long five sets to separate the players from one another. In 2013, Djokovic came through 12-10 in the fifth set, while last season saw Wawrinka win 9-7 and Andy Murray will be hoping something similar develops on Friday and he can pick the bones on Sunday.

While I do think this is going to be a competitive and fun Semi Final to watch, I am going to say that this won't be the fourth Grand Slam match between Djokovic and Wawrinka that goes to five sets.

Djokovic has been serving well in the tournament and I think that is going to be a key for him to avoid having to go into a fifth this time, although Wawrinka has played well enough to say that the short odds on the World Number 1 winning in straight sets looks a touch disrespectful. However, I think Wawrinka has been a little looser when it comes to the unforced errors through the tournament, while I expect Djokovic to deal with his power better than Kei Nishikori did in the last Round.

It won't be a surprise if Wawrinka strings together a couple of games where he hits through Djokovic on the return of serve and earn a couple of breaks, but I also think Djokovic can extract the errors that will eventually lead to his win.

I have to respect the fact that Wawrinka has actually been leading 2-1 in sets in 2 of their previous 3 Grand Slam matches that have ended up in five sets, but I think this time it is Djokovic who has that lead. I can see there being an important tie-breaker in either set three or four being the key one for Djokovic to win if he is to get this done without over-extending himself and I like him to come through that tough moment with a 64, 36, 63, 76 win.

MY PICK: Novak Djokovic Win 3-1 @ 3.60 Sporting Bet (1 Unit)

Australian Open Update: 34-22, + 24.66 Units (106 Units Staked, + 23.26% Yield)

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