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Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Tennis Picks 2015 (February 11th)

There is a lot of tennis being played at the moment, but I have found it quite difficult to convince myself on which matches to make picks- when I have doubts, I think it is a much wiser decision to back up a little and just wait for the better opportunities that are perhaps presented later in the day/week.

Ivo Karlovic - 3.5 games v Austin Krajicek: The big serving of Ivo Karlovic will put a lot of pressure on Austin Krajicek in this one and I expect that to be the reason that this match ends up in favour of the Croatian. The scoreboard pressure is one issue, but Karlovic also has a freer mind when it comes to the return of serve and that free-thinking gives him a real chance to put enough pressure on Krajicek and crack the American.

It is no surprise to anyone if I say that Karlovic is not the best returner on the Tour, but he should be able to make enough balls back to put some pressure on Krajicek in this one. Making Krajicek play a lot of balls will put more pressure on the younger player to ensure he doesn't give up a break which will be tough to get back.

Karlovic has been serving well to open the 2015 season and his age shouldn't be a huge factor considering the way he plays on the court. The booming serve is usually followed by a volley and that keeps the points short, while Karlovic has had plenty of days to recover from his early season exploits. An early exit in Zagreb was a disappointment as the Number 1 Seed, but he beat Lukas Lacko in the First Round and confidence should still be high.

A lot of the Karlovic matches have had a similar feel this season where a tie-break is won before he earns an early break and comfortably serves out a second set. The 76, 63 scoreline has been common in his wins and I think he can get that in this one against Krajicek who might just feel the pressure to make the shots when he falls behind.

John Isner v Ivan Dodig: These two players have a 1-1 head to head record after Ivan Dodig beat John Isner on the hard courts of the Canadian Masters last season, but the big American has regularly produced his best tennis in front of his own fans. I expect that could be the case again in this one as Isner makes his first appearance on the Tour since his Third Round exit at the Australian Open and I do believe he will win this match.

I don't want to under-estimate Ivan Dodig who has a decent first serve, while he plays an aggressive brand of tennis which will see him attack the net and look to put away volleys. A heavy forehand will make it tough to break the Croatian, but I also think he will be put under pressure by the Isner serve on the indoor hard courts.

Isner has an incredibly strong record on the hard courts of the United States over the last two seasons, going 43-16 in the last two seasons in these matches. That includes run to the Final of a couple of Masters events in Indian Wells and Cincinnati, although Isner hasn't had the best time in Memphis where a Quarter Final is the best result so far.

However, the inspiration he seems to have playing at 'home' is hard to ignore and I think that might be the difference in a match that literally will be decided by one or two points.

MY PICKS: Ivo Karlovic - 3.5 Games @ 2.10 Paddy Power (2 Units)
John Isner @ 1.73 Bet Fred (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 2-1, + 1.44 Units (6 Units Staked, + 24% Yield)

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