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Sunday, 15 February 2015

Tennis Picks 2015 (February 15th)

The Finals from the tournaments of last week will be played on Sunday, but the events from next week have also begun in Dubai as the WTA Tour makes a stop there this week before the ATP comes to the area in seven days time.

The Final in Dubai is always held on a Saturday so the event actually starts on Sunday rather than the usual Monday and there are plenty of matches scheduled for the opening day of the tournament as the main draw gets going.

Stan Wawrinka v Tomas Berdych: The Final in Rotterdam will be competed by the World Number 7 and World Number 8 as Tomas Berdych gets set to take on Stan Wawrinka and try and snap a 5 match losing run against the Swiss Number 2.

Both players have put together a solid week and will be confident they can take home the title, although the mental edge has to be with Wawrinka considering his recent wins over Berdych. Playing the second Semi Final is tough, especially as Wawrinka was facing someone like Milos Raonic where concentration has to be kept at all times, but at least it wasn't a physical match so he should be ready to go.

Wawrinka does play with a little extra aggression than Berdych, particularly off the backhand and that could be a major reason that he is able to beat this opponent. He can also get a lot of deep, chipped balls back into play off the service return and I do think Wawrinka is the better player from the back of the court.

I think Berdych can be the more steady player, but Wawrinka is a very good match player these days and I expect he will know when to be aggressive and when to take a step back and force Berdych to play. The losing run shouldn't have a negative effect on Berdych considering he recently snapped a long losing run against Rafael Nadal and he also seems very confident in what Dani Vallverdu is doing as his new Coach. However, I think Wawrinka comes through in three sets and picks up his second title of the season while giving himself a boost in Ranking points.

Svetlana Kuznetsova - 1.5 games v Kaia Kanepi: Both of these players have enjoyed a few weeks off the Tour, but they have to return to business in Dubai as Svetlana Kuznetsova meets Kaia Kanepi in a tough First Round match.

Neither player has really started 2015 in the fashion they would have liked, although I do think Svetlana Kuznetsova can ride the momentum from her performance for Russia in the Fed Cup when she beat Agnieszka Radwanska in three sets in Poland.

That is an impressive result against a top 10 player and Kuznetsova has had success in Dubai in the past so I do think she can come though against Kanepi who has spent time off the Tour recovering from an injury. She does have a big game that can be very dangerous when she puts it all together, but the lack of tennis might be a hindrance to her against a very good opponent like Kuznetsova.

The layers believe this will be close and it might go three sets, but I like the Russian to come through 63, 46, 63.

Flavia Pennetta - 2.5 games v Julia Goerges: Flavia Pennetta hasn't played on the Tour since the Australian Open and she faces a Lucky Loser in Julia Goerges so this should be a tougher match for her than what I would normally think. As much as Goerges is a player that can take the racquet out of an opponent's hands, the German has struggled for consistency over the last three seasons and I think someone like Pennetta would be too solid for her.

The first match back after a lay-off is difficult to find rhythm, but Pennetta reached the Quarter Final here twelve months ago and I think she will like the conditions. The Italian has a decent serve, although she doesn't always protect it that well, but I do believe she will have joy against the Goerges serve too.

As heavy as Goerges likes hitting the ball, Pennetta can return fire and seems to be the more consistent performer, even if the early 2015 results have actually been better for Goerges. As long as Pennetta remains focused, even when Goerges gets hot and hits a few winners, the Italian should be able to turn the match around and move into the Second Round.

This is another match that could potentially go the full three sets, but I like Flavia Pennetta to come through 63, 36, 63.

MY PICKS: Stan Wawrinka @ 2.10 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Svetlana Kuznetsova - 1.5 Games @ 1.83 Bet365 (2 Units)
Flavia Pennetta - 2.5 Games @ 1.83 Bet365 (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 12-11, - 0.60 Units (46 Units Staked, - 1% Yield)

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