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Thursday, 5 February 2015

Tennis Picks 2015 (February 5th)

It was another mixed day of results with the picks going 1-1 for the second day in a row, but I was a little disappointed in myself for scaring off of a couple of other players. I quite liked Jerzy Janowicz to see off Benoit Paire and felt Ivan Dodig would be too strong for Mate Delic, but perhaps overthought things there and I do think I missed a couple of matches I shouldn't have.

That can happen though and there was better news when considering the top Seed in Zagreb, Ivo Karlovic, was knocked out of the tournament. He was also the favourite to win the event prior to the start of the matches here and will have shortened the price on both Victor Troicki and Ivan Dodig who I had backed in the outright markets.

However, this is still very early in the week in determining who will be playing for the title on Sunday and both Troicki and Dodig will have to win three matches on consecutive days if they are to pick up the trophy.

Victor Troicki - 4.5 games v Go Soeda: Go Soeda has been a player that has produced his best tennis on the Challenger circuit, but has been unable to take that onto the main Tour events for much of his career. There is little doubt that he doesn't quite have the power and consistency to keep up with the best players in the world, while Soeda's serve is not a big weapon and is something that opponents will look to attack.

He can put together some solid tennis which will help Soeda win some games, but I can see Victor Troicki keeping him under pressure in this one with clear chances to get a lot of balls back in play.

Troicki will have to be more efficient with the chances he does create in this match after missing far too many break point opportunities in his First Round win a couple of days ago, but the forcing of break points will be a big key to this match.

As long as the Serbian player doesn't push too hard in this one, he should have more chances to break serve than Soeda and I think that will help him produce a clearer win than the final set tie-break he had to win in the First Round. A 63, 64 win for Troicki wouldn't be a surprise in this one.

Gilles Muller - 3.5 games v Ricardas Berankis: I was hoping this was perhaps a game smaller of a spread than it actually is, but I still believe Gilles Muller has enough about him to see off Ricardas Berankis.

Muller should enjoy the indoor hard court conditions if he brings his serving from the Australian Open and I think that scoreboard pressure will eventually produce cracks in the Berankis game. There is no doubt that Berankis has a lot of talent and he brings some of that to the court, but I think he still struggles to know exactly what to do with that talent.

It is one thing being able to produce every shot on the court, but it is completely another to hit the right shot at the right time in a match environment. That is where Berankis can struggle at times, while his serve isn't the biggest shot and will give Muller a chance to attack it.

If Muller is serving well, I can see Berankis keeping up for a while but throwing in a sloppy service game in each set and allowing the Number 4 Seed to progress with a 64, 64 win behind him.

Ivan Dodig - 3.5 games v Marcel Granollers: Being on his home courts should be an advantage for Ivan Dodig who can win this match as long as he puts a solid game together. Marcel Granollers did beat Jurgen Melzer in his first match, but the Austrian hasn't been feeling great in recent days and I think the Spaniard was fortunate with the draw he had been given.

Granollers hasn't had the best of endings in the 2014 season and he didn't have a great start to the beginning of the 2015 season and I think playing on the indoor hard courts should favour Dodig's game as a previous winner here.

The pressure will be put on Granollers to do more than just chip returns back into play as Dodig will get forward at every opportunity to volley away winners. He is one of the better Doubles players on the Tour and their experiences against each other have mainly come on that Tour.

However, Dodig did beat Granollers fairly comfortably in their one previous match here and I think the extra-aggrestion that the Croatian will play with ends up producing a win for him. The Granollers serve can be erratic to say the least and I think Dodig will have opportunities to break serve if he can get on top of the second serve. That may end up producing a 76, 63 win for Dodig and a place in the Quarter Final.

Fernando Verdasco - 4.5 games v Gerald Melzer: I have to admit that Fernando Verdasco isn't always the most trustworthy player to back on the Tour, especially outside of the Grand Slam events, but he should still be too good for Gerald Melzer. Both are left-handers so no one should have an advantage from the angles that southpaws can produce on the court, but it is Verdasco who is the more talented player and that should be shown on the court.

The conditions in Quito does mean the ball is flying through the air and the fact that this is Verdasco's first match here might have a negative impact on his game. On the other hand, Melzer has already won a match here, but generally competes on a much lower level than the World Number 32.

Verdasco still gets plenty out of his groundstrokes and might just begin to dominate this match once he gets a feel for the conditions he is seeing. He still has a decent first serve and as long as he isn't taking this tournament easy and once where the appearance fee is more important than winning a title, I expect Verdasco to be fully concentrate on the match.

My concern is that Verdasco throws in a sloppy set which makes this a lot of games to cover, but I think his talent difference pays off in an eventual 75, 63 win.

MY PICKS: Victor Troicki - 4.5 Games @ 2.10 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Gilles Muller - 3.5 Games @ 2.20 Bet365 (2 Units)
Ivan Dodig - 3.5 Games @ 1.92 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Fernando Verdasco - 4.5 Games @ 1.80 Sky Bet (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 2-2, - 0.74 Units (8 Units Staked, - 9.25% Yield)

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