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Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Davis Cup Outright Picks and Day 1 Picks 2015 (March 6th)

It has been a very good start to the tennis season for the picks, but I decided to take a few days off along with the ATP Tour, especially as the two WTA events are not exactly loaded with the top talent. With Indian Wells and Miami the two big events that will take over the rest of the month, it was no surprise that the top WTA players have decided to focus their efforts on those events, while the ATP scheduling leaves this as a week for the World Group in the Davis Cup to begin.

The Davis Cup proved to be a productive tournament for me last season having picked Switzerland to win the event at this stage of the competition, mainly thanks to both Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka making it clear they would be playing. Twelve months makes a huge difference though and neither player will be part of the defending Champions four player team this week and Switzerland won't have Federer for the rest of the year either which makes it difficult to see them winning 12/20 rubbers to take the title home for a second successive year.

Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Kei Nishikori, Milos Raonic are the four members of the top 10 in the World Rankings that will be representing their nations this week as the latter two actually will meet one another in the Japan-Canada tie. Djokovic's presence for Serbia has made that nation the favourite to win the Davis Cup that they took home in 2010, and they do seem to have the back up in Victor Troicki and Doubles skills of Nenad Zimonjic to go very far in the tournament.

However, the Davis Cup ties have been placed in awkward spots to really rely on Djokovic's presence  with the Quarter Finals played days after Wimbledon comes to an end and the Semi Finals are just days after the conclusion of the US Open. Novak Djokovic has made those trips in the past though and Serbia do seem to be in the weaker half of the draw and are right to be considered favourites.

I will have a small interest in them to win the event, especially if Djokovic is available through the rest of the year, but that uncertainty also means I want to limit my stake.

The other half of the World Group draw has a number of teams that could perhaps go all the way with France being considered the most likely. There is little doubt that the French team has the best depth, but they don't have a stand-out player that you would really believe could win two rubbers in every tie and that does leave them a little short in the market for me.

France have had a strong team for the last few years, but they haven't won the Davis Cup since 2001 and the draw could have been more straight-forward for them.

The most dangerous team for France in the top half of the draw could be the Australian one containing some youthful exuberance coupled with veteran experience. There have been a few people talking up Australia's chances to win their first Davis Cup title since 2003 and I have to agree with those suggestions when you look at the draw.

Facing a Czech Republic team missing Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek gives Australia a great chance to move into the Quarter Finals where they would be expected to be Italy, especially as the tie would be played at home. That could be the key to the Semi Final too as long as Great Britain don't manage to get through to that Round and the Australians will feel this is the chance to really give Lleyton Hewitt the perfect sending off with retirement looming in January 2016.

Hewitt is going to take over as Captain of the Davis Cup team after that point too so this is a chance for his current team-mates to really earn some favour with him too and Australia do look a big price to go all the way.

Any picks from the first day of the Davis Cup ties will be placed on this thread either on Thursday or Friday as long as there is some picks worth making once the layers put their markets up.

Andy Murray - 8.5 games v Donald Young: The Great British Davis Cup team stunned the United States in San Diego last year, but I am a little surprised that they have been set as the favourites to come through this tie. The Bryn Brothers have a definite edge over whatever Doubles team Great Britain pick, while I would say John Isner and Donald Young are both healthy favourites to beat James Ward.

That means Andy Murray winning his two Singles matches might not matter, but I do expect the British Number 1 to put some pressure on the Americans by taking the first rubber of the day. Donald Young has beaten Murray before, but he has lost eight sets in a row against him since that shocking win at Indian Wells in 2011.

The sets have been barely competitive in that time and I think Murray has been playing well enough to put together another fairly comfortable win. He should be inspired playing in front of his friends and family and returning to Scotland for the first time to play a competitive match as a Grand Slam Champion.

The indoor hard court conditions may make breaking serve a little more hazardous, but Murray should make Young play a lot of balls in this one and that might wear down his opponent as it did in San Diego. That match was on a clay court, but Murray also crushed Young at the US Open in 2011 and I can see him breaking down the Young game by extracting the mistakes and using a fired up crowd to a 64, 63, 62 win.

MY OUTRIGHT PICKS: Serbia @ 3.00 Ladbrokes (2 Units)
Australia @ 17.00 Boyle Sports (1 Unit E/W)

Davis Cup Day One Picks: Andy Murray - 8.5 Games @ 1.85 Sky Bet (2 Units)

February 23-March 1 Daily Picks Final15-7, + 13.98 Units (44 Units Staked, + 31.77% Yield)

Season 2015+ 42.17 Units (309 Units Staked, + 13.65% Yield)

Season 2014+ 45.05 Units (1586.5 Units Staked, + 2.84% Yield)
Season 2013+ 21.74 Units (1251.5 Units Staked, + 1.73% Yield)
Season 2012+ 49.21 Units (855 Units Staked, + 5.76% Yield)
Season 2011+ 82.02 Units

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