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Friday, 8 May 2015

Madrid Tennis Picks 2015 (May 8th)

It was a clean sweep for the picks on Thursday with all five coming in as expected, but now I have to knuckle down and not look to drop any back in what could be a positive couple of days in Madrid.

The tournament in Rome will begin over the weekend as the final big event prior to the French Open allows the top players to tweak their games for the last time. I know there had been talk of Roger Federer skipping that event, but I can't see it after an early exit in Madrid and all the big names should be in action next week.

For now, the remaining players left in Madrid will look to take another step towards the title as we have reached the Quarter Finals of the Masters and Semi Finals of the Premier Event taking place there.

Rafael Nadal - 4.5 games v Grigor Dimitrov: Going back to the old racquet may prove to be the right move for Rafael Nadal, although I am still surprised he decided to make a change going into his favourite portion of the season. While Nadal has not been at his very best in Madrid this week, a tournament which doesn't all provide the best conditions for him, he has had a couple of confidence boosting wins going into a big Quarter Final against Grigor Dimitrov.

These two have had some very tight matches in the past and Dimitrov has put together some very good wins this week, but he has struggled for consistency through the 2015 season and I do wonder if he believes he can win a match of this magnitude.

Dimitrov has also had to work harder than Nadal to get into this position and some of his losses this season have been disappointing to say the least so he will need to make a good start and stick with Nadal if he is to cause a surprise.

However, I think the Spaniard will end up wearing Dimitrov down as the match develops and Nadal may end up coming through with a 64, 63 win.

Tomas Berdych - 2.5 games v John Isner: Tomas Berdych has quietly gone about his business this week in Madrid having reached the Final in Monte Carlo and that has continued what has been a very consistent season. Now he can move into yet another Semi Final at Masters level by beating John Isner in the Quarter Final, a player that Berdych has matched up well with in the past.

You can see why Berdych has matched up well too- he has the wingspan to make sure he gets enough balls back into play and the Czech player is consistent enough off both wings off the ground to out-rally Isner from the baseline.

With a booming serve of his own, Berdych can take control of matches and I think he will have a similar level of success in this one as he has had against Isner in recent matches.

It won't be easy for Berdych because Isner has been serving massively and that can frustrate the life out of opponents, but Berdych is well aware of what he is going to face on Friday and I expect him to control his own emotions. Doing that will give Berdych a chance to remain focused and find a way to break in each set and move through to the Semi Final behind a 64, 64 win.

Andy Murray - 2.5 games v Milos Raonic: Milos Raonic has been a comfortable winner over two clay courters here in Madrid which suggests his is clearly over the foot injury that forced his withdrawal from Monte Carlo during his match with Tomas Berdych. The wins over Juan Monaco and Leonardo Mayer in straight sets is impressive form to take into this Quarter Final, but Andy Murray is fresh off winning a title in Munich and who has two very good wins under his belt this week too.

The conditions in Madrid do usually play faster which will give Raonic the belief he can win this match and he has a winning record against Murray, but I do think the latter is showing the form that has taken him to the Semi Final at the French Open in the past.

Of course it can be difficult if Raonic is serving very big, especially as Murray's own serve can be a weakness at times, but I do think the latter has been performing at a high enough level to get enough balls back in play. In the longer rallies, you would think Murray is going to win the majority of them on the slower clay court, especially of Raonic is still feeling his movement is not back to full strength.

The momentum is behind Murray to level up his head to head with Raonic, although he will have to get a decent percentage of first serves into play to make sure he doesn't give the Canadian too much of a foothold in those games. If Murray can do that, I am confident he has enough ability to return the Raonic serve to force a 76, 64 win and a place in the Semi Final.

MY PICKS: Rafael Nadal - 4.5 Games @ 2.15 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Tomas Berdych - 2.5 Games @ 1.73 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Andy Murray - 2.5 Games @ 2.00 Bet Fred (2 Units)

Madrid Update: 5-0, + 8.62 Units (10 Units Staked, + 86.2% Yield)

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