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Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Miami Tennis Picks 2015 (April 1st)

It felt like April Fools' Day had come a day early for me with the way the tennis picks from Miami ended up going for me.

Fernando Verdasco's loss to Juan Monaco should teach me a lesson that I usually heed and that is not backing a player after an emotional win where I feel they are at their most vulnerable. I am not sure if beating Rafael Nadal is for Verdasco either as he has now lost all four sets played following a win over his compatriot and won just 9 games in those sets.

Seeing Gael Monfils unfortunately have to retire didn't help considering he was being outplayed by Tomas Berdych and the latter looked well on the way to covering.

But the biggest disappointment has to be the pick on Venus Williams who won the first set against Carla Suarez Navarro 6-0, but then managed to completely lose her mind in the second which was lost 6-1.

Williams twice went a break ahead in the deciding set too, but her poor serving in the last two sets screwed up her chances of covering... Now if you had told me that was going to happen after handing out a bagel in the first set, I would never have believed you!

One interesting 'tweet' that was 'retweeted' onto my timeline during the day was a tennis writer talking about how his young daughter had noticed there was no noise coming from the two WTA players they were watching that day.

Apparently this particular writer has a real issue with Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka's grunts on the Tour, but it seems to be something that really shouldn't grate on someone to that extent. There is plenty of areas in which tennis can improve the 'spectacle' for the people coming in to watch other than asking for 'silence' on the court from the players and that includes removing the long warm up that players take part in before matches can start.

The last couple of days have been disappointingly close to being very successful, but ultimately a letdown and I hope that trend won't be continuing over the final few days of the Miami Open.

The tournament has reached the point that the Singles matches scheduled will all be played on the same court and Wednesday has two Masters and two Premier Event Quarter Finals to be played.

Serena Williams - 5.5 games v Sabine Lisicki: The last time these two players met came at Wimbledon in 2013 and ended with a surprising win for Sabine Lisicki. However, I think it will be an even bigger upset if Lisicki can beat Serena Williams in this Quarter Final, especially with the way Williams has been playing this week.

Any doubt about her ankle issue which forced a pull out from the tournament in Indian Wells has been erased with the ease in which Serena Williams has made her way through the draw and she has barely been threatened.

Lisicki has the game to give her more problems behind a decent serve and some heavy groundstrokes, but Williams will pressure the German with heavy shots from her own side of the court too. The last two tournaments have been very good for Lisicki and a contrast to the form she had been displaying in the opening three months of the season, but Serena Williams is easily the toughest player she would have played in that time.

As long as Williams serves well, I would expect her to find the breaks of Lisicki's serve to get over this number of games and this might end up a 64, 62 win for the American World Number 1.

MY PICKS: Serena Williams - 5.5 Games @ 1.85 Betfair Sportsbook (2 Units)

Miami Update: 22-16, + 7.80 Units (76 Units Staked, + 10.26% Yield)

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