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Thursday, 9 July 2015

Wimbledon Day 10 Picks 2015 (July 9th)

I have always wanted to attend Wimbledon, but haven't been able to find anyone who was willing to queue with me overnight, while the Ballot has proved not to be the most successful time for me.

However, thanks to my wonderful partner, I have been able to attend Wimbledon three times during this tournament including for the men's Quarter Finals on Wednesday. The two matches that I was looking forward to were both on Court One rather than Centre Court, but both Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic impressed and a good day was made all the better by a couple of non-tennis related events.

The first of those was meeting Anthony Joshua, a strong contender to be the next big force in Heavyweight Boxing- you never know how someone is going to react, but AJ was a top fella and someone who was gracious enough to accept a photo opportunity for me.

The second was meeting David Beckham and having the chance to shake the hand of a sporting icon and, as a Manchester United fan, it was quite a special moment. Beckham transcends football and sports so the chance to have a very quick word with him was not one I was going to pass up and it just really made the day complete.

The Semi Final line up in both men's and women's tournaments look very impressive and I think this is going to be a very strong end of the week as Wimbledon comes to a close and the Tour moves on from the grass. Well moves on from the grass for the most part as the ATP Newport event and the Davis Cup tie between Great Britain and France will be played on the surface.

On Thursday it is the women who will have the chance to earn the headlines as the Semi Finals are played on Centre Court in back to back matches. It should be an enjoyable day of tennis and one that should entertain all those who are going to be attending The Championships on Thursday.

Garbine Muguruza v Agnieszka Radwanska: The first of the women's Semi Finals has been set as an almost pick 'em kind of contest from the layers and I can understand why it has been hard to separate the two players.

Garbine Muguruza has played really well this week to move into her maiden Semi Final at a Grand Slam, but I have a couple of concerns about her. The first is that Muguruza is not the happiest player on grass and had little form to show before her run at Wimbledon, while you can never be sure how a player will react to a first Semi Final at this level.

That might give Agnieszka Radwanska a chance to earn her second Final appearance at Wimbledon, but I think the Pole has to find a way to deal with the power Muguruza brings to the court. That has seen Muguruza beat Radwanska twice already this season and that has to give her a mental edge to go into the contest, although I would be more surprised if this match is ended in straight sets rather than going the distance.

I can imagine both players having their success in the course of the match, but I do think Garbine Muguruza has the match on her racquet. She can't allow Radwanska to frustrate her with the defence she is able to produce on the court and doing that will give Muguruza a chance to play in the Final on Sunday. There is no way Radwanska will give this one without a fight and I think she has played well enough to keep this competitive, although it is Muguruza who I am expecting will have enough to get through.

Serena Williams - 4.5 games v Maria Sharapova: This should have been the rivalry on the WTA Tour that could sit alongside some of the rivalries that have been produced on the ATP Tour, but it hasn't developed that way. When 17 year old Maria Sharapova won Wimbledon by beating Serena Williams, many would have predicted that was a rivalry that would still be as strong ten years later.

There is no love lost between Williams and Sharapova, but on the court it has been a one way story for Serena Williams who has won 16 matches in a row against Sharapova. That includes 5 straight wins in all Grand Slams, including in Australia back at the start of the season, and Serena Williams has also won the last couple of matches between the two on grass.

The power in the Serena Williams game has given Maria Sharapova too much to deal with, while her own serve has been something of a liability that the American has been able to attack at will. I would definitely expect Williams to have the majority of the break points, although Sharapova has been very ruthless in taking the chances that have come her way.

However, it always feels like Sharapova is hanging on somewhat against Serena Williams and I am not sure her losing run comes to an end here. The last few matches between the two have been more competitive, but Williams is always the one you feel is only a matter of moments of taking complete control and I think this will be another match that goes that way.

Sharapova might be mentally strong, but 16 straight losses is going to have an impact on the strongest mind and I think Serena Williams finds a 64, 63 in this one.

MY PICKS: Garbine Muguruza @ 1.91 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Serena Williams - 4.5 Games @ 1.80 Bet Fred (2 Units)

Wimbledon Update: 21-24, - 8.81 Units (89 Units Staked, - 9.90% Yield)

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