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Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Indian Wells Tennis Picks 2015 (March 11th)

The Indian Wells Masters/Premier Event begins with the Women's First Round taking centre stage before the Men's tournament begins on Thursday as the qualifiers are completed.

You can't begin talking about the WTA event at Indian Wells without mentioning Serena Williams who will be making her first appearance at the tournament in almost fifteen years. The best quote I have read about the length of time it has been between appearances was the last time Serena played at Indian Wells, Roger Federer was still two years away from winning his first Grand Slam event.

As you can imagine, a lot has happened in the intervening years, but it has always been a blight on the Indian Wells event that the best female player in the world didn't feel comfortable enough to return to what is arguably the biggest event close to where she grew up. What happened in 2001 was disgraceful, but it has seemed Serena Williams had begun to feel a return to Indian Wells was something she wanted to do over the last couple of years and I am glad to see her returning.

The motivation to do well here should also be very high for Serena who will want to remind the locals of what they had been missing during the last few years and I think she will go on and win this event. However, Williams is plenty short to do so and there are a number of players in form on the WTA Tour including Victoria Azarenka and Caroline Wozniacki who are likely the biggest threats to win the title here outside of Serena Williams.

With the way the layers have set the markets, I don't think there is a lot of value to picking anyone in the outright markets from the WTA event and will instead focus on trying to find the right match ups through the tournament.

Julia Goerges - 3.5 games v Heather Watson: Julia Goerges is one of the more erratic players on the Tour who is just as capable of smashing an opponent 61 before collapsing to a three set loss as she is in recovering from a 16 first set defeat to still win a match.

It's all about whether she can control the unforced errors that can leak at an alarming rate from her racquet, especially against someone like Heather Watson whose defensive skills can baffle her opponents.

However, Watson has not been in good form since winning the title in Hobart and she is still struggling to find the balance between attack and defence and how aggressive she needs to be on the court. I think there is too many occasions where Watson will begin to return to her default mode of defending when things are not going well and that is where Goerges might be able to pound her way through to the Second Round.

Goerges had a decent run in Kuala Lumper last week before being overcome by the heat and Alexandra Dulgheru, but she has had enough days to get used to the new timezone and I expect her to come through 64, 64.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova - 3.5 games v Johanna Larsson: These two players met in Monterrey last week and it was Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova who came through in straight sets and I will look for her to frank that form in this First Round match.

It was the first time that Pavlyuchenkova has beaten Johanna Larsson in their third meeting, but you would expect the hard courts to favour the more powerful Russian game, although her poor movement is always a bit of an issue.

I have to respect Larsson considering her recent form over the last month where she has Quarter Finals and Semi Finals under her belt, and she will look at last week's defeat to Pavlyuchenkova and see it was a close one that can be easily overturned. Larsson has also beaten the Russian here at Indian Wells before, although neither player has shown a lot of form in the Californian desert air in recent seasons.

The first set could be the key- if Pavlyuchenkova can come through that, I can see her winning this match with the momentum of last week behind her, but a defeat might make her think Larsson still has the mental edge between them. I think Pavlyuchenkova will battle through to another 64, 64 win in this one.

MY PICKS: Julia Goerges - 3.5 Games @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova - 3.5 Games @ 1.85 Bet Victor (2 Units)

Davis Cup Picks Final1-0, + 1.70 Units (2 Units Staked, + 85% Yield)

Season 2015+ 43.87 Units (311 Units Staked, + 14.11% 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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