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Saturday, 14 February 2015

Tennis Picks 2015 (February 14th)

Friday started off so well, but some of the misses for the picks have been disheartening to say the least- Fabio Fognini, Dusan Lajovic and Leonardo Mayer continued my poor picking from the tournament in Sao Paulo, but the annoying part is how Fognini and Mayer blew their chance to win their respective matches.

There are just some weeks when players who are pretty poor for most of the year, for example Joao Souza, can suddenly produce under immense pressure which belays the fact that they are not in the World top 100. If Souza could produce what he has in the last couple of matches on a regular basis, he would be far higher than his 110 World Ranking to say the least!

You can only be frustrated- John Isner was so superior to Sam Querrey in a tight match, yet somehow loses in two tie-breakers, while Kei Nishikori just didn't play well enough in his match. It just means this week looks fairly neutral, but I am unimpressed with the lack of fortune that has gone my way.

I don't know whether I should blame someone else- another site has requested a few of my picks and every one I have sent across has lost!! What is that about?!! The worst of that is how players have lost matches, for example Fabio Fognini was 5-2 up in the second set against Santiago Giraldo and then suddenly goes and loses 5 games in a row.

Of course it is tongue in cheek to suggest some sort of vortex is affecting the picks as soon as I send them across to the other site, but what are the chances in a week where I have more winners than losers that I would have gone 1-6 with picks I have sent to them?!

Semi Final time for all the tournaments this week and there isn't a familiar feel to the tournaments in Sao Paulo and Memphis with new names like Luka Vanni and Joao Souza making an impact on the main Tour. In Memphis it is Donald Young that is perhaps a surprising name, but these things can happen in a long season on the Tour when some of the lesser lights find inspiration to make a run.

The key is to try and do that consistently, but I won't be holding my breath for any of those players named to do that from what I have seen this week or before that. You can ride your luck for only so long and I have seen players like James Ward or Alex Bogdanovic perform wonderfully well at Queens in the past but fail to back that up by becoming a regular feature on the Tour.

Karolina Pliskova - 3.5 games v Carla Suarez Navarro: It has been a very good week for both Karolina Pliskova and Carla Suarez Navarro already, but the chance to reach the Final and grab some more vital Ranking points could make this a slightly tense affair.

I like Pliskova's chances of winning this match because of her extra power, something that Suarez Navarro has struggled against in the past and that will especially be a problem if the Spaniard continues to offer up as many break point opportunities as she has been.

Pliskova will be broken, but she has a more consistent serve of the two and that can pay off on the indoor hard courts which can play a bit quicker. There are times when the Czech player seems to get really down on herself, although those are not as often as they used to be, and she has to control her emotions against someone like Suarez Navarro who can get a lot of balls back in play.

As long as she maintains that control of her emotions, Pliskova should prove a little too strong and come through 63, 46, 63.

Stan Wawrinka v Milos Raonic: Both of these players have had to come through some difficult moments in Rotterdam this week, but they have made their Seeds count by meeting in the Semi Final as expected.

Both Stan Wawrinka and Milos Raonic have needed to go the distance in two of their three wins this week, but I do think the Swiss player has looked the more confident in his matches and can use that to continue his head to head dominance of Raonic.

Wawrinka has won all three previous matches against Raonic, and he would have had some practice dealing with a big server in his win over Gilles Muller on Friday. However, Wawrinka has to serve better than he did in the second set in that win over Muller as he gave a limited returner too many chances and can't afford to go down a break to someone like Raonic.

Playing on the indoor hard courts will give Raonic a chance to impose himself with his serve, but Wawrinka showed at the World Tour Finals that he is very comfortable on the surface himself. It will be tight with a couple of points here and there making the difference, but I like Wawrinka to win.

MY PICKS: Karolina Pliskova - 3.5 Games @ 1.92 Bet365 (2 Units)
Stan Wawrinka @ 1.73 Paddy Power (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 11-10, - 0.06 Units (42 Units Staked, - 0.1% Yield)

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