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Friday, 10 July 2015

Wimbledon Day 11 Picks 2015 (July 10th)

After consistently writing about how much I rate the potential Garbine Muguruza has in her racquet, I was unsurprisingly very happy to see the Spaniard make it through to her maiden Grand Slam Final. There is so much talent that Muguruza has which can frustrate me at times as I think her World Ranking of Number 20 is far below where she should be, although all young players can struggle with their consistency.

However, I have still been disappointed that Muguruza hasn't really made the push up the Rankings that I was looking for, although she could be up to Number 6 if she wins the Wimbledon title on Saturday.

Winning it is going to be far from easy against Serena Williams who is the current holder of the other three Grand Slams and is looking to complete her 'Serena Slam' for the second time and first in over ten years. Then she will be able to move onto New York to try and become the first woman to win the Calendar Grand Slam since Steffi Graf did it in 1988 and just the fourth woman to ever do it.

I am sure Williams isn't overlooking Muguruza having had two very difficult matches against her in the last fourteen months and this looks a Final that could produce some real fireworks as long as both players can control their nerves.

The Ladies Final is scheduled for Saturday, but first it is the turn of the men to have their Semi Final matches played on Centre Court and I think it could be a special day for all the players involved. The highlight of the day is clearly the Andy Murray versus Roger Federer Semi Final which is going to be the second one to take the stage, but Richard Gasquet is going to want to reach his maiden Grand Slam Final in the first and has experienced a Semi Final here before. Of course he 'only' has to beat the World Number 1 Novak Djokovic who is looking to retain the title he won twelve months ago although it has to be said that the Serb has only ever defended his Australian Open title (twice) out of his eight previous Grand Slam wins.

You want to know what is the most ridiculous news item of the last couple of days? The age-old and quite frankly boring discussion about the 'grunting' levels that some of the players put out there.

I simply don't understand why this continues to be an issue in Grand Slam after Grand Slam- Victoria Azarenka was absolutely right to rail against the questions following her Quarter Final defeat to Serena Williams especially as no one wanted to talk about the great match both players produced.

I watch a fair bit of tennis, both live and on television, and I can safely say that I don't even notice the grunting and noises coming from the court outside of the sound of the ball coming off the racquet. Players are going to make some noise when they are chasing around the court and putting in a huge effort and no one can really say it takes away from the quality of what we see.

It's such a non-issue to me and I have no understanding as to why it keeps being raised by supposed journalists who should be focusing on some of the high quality tennis they are being treated to. It just seems incredibly poor of people who should know better to keep making an issue out of something that isn't really the main point to take out of some of the matches we are treated to through the season.

Novak Djokovic - 7.5 games v Richard Gasquet: The scoreline from Novak Djokovic's Quarter Final win over Marin Cilic failed to capture the ease in which the top Seed progressed through to the Semi Final. He dominated Cilic for much of the match and it was only some inspired play from the US Open Champion that prevented Djokovic from coming through much easier, but he should be well rested and ready to go for this Semi Final.

The same might not be able to be said of Richard Gasquet who had to dig deep for an impressive win over Stan Wawrinka in the Quarter Final on Wednesday. The Frenchman can came from 2-1 down in sets to see off Wawrinka thanks to an 11-9 final set score and I do wonder how much Gasquet will have in the tank for his second Wimbledon Semi Final.

Back in 2007 Richard Gasquet stunned Andy Roddick with a Quarter Final win thanks to an 8-6 final set, but was comfortably beaten by Roger Federer in the Semi Final. It was Federer who was World Number 1 back then and it is Novak Djokovic who is in that position now and I really do think he is going to enjoy the match up and come through fairly easily.

Novak Djokovic destroyed Gasquet for the loss of just 6 games at the French Open last month and 4 of the last 5 matches between the pair has seen Djokovic win without too much stress. The grass might be Gasquet's best chance of springing the surprise with his comfort at the net and a decent first serve which has been working, but I think physical and mental tiredness is going to make it tough for the Frenchman.

That coupled with his poor recent results against Novak Djokovic and it is hard to know what Richard Gasquet can do to turn things around. This time next week he might be representing France on the grass of Queens Club against Great Britain in the Davis Cup, but this Wimbledon tournament might come to an end for Gasquet on the wrong end of a 64, 62, 64 defeat.

Roger Federer v Andy Murray: This is the Semi Final that everyone would have wanted to see when the draw was set as the Number 2 and Number 3 players in the World Rankings meet at Wimbledon. Roger Federer hasn't won a Grand Slam since winning here in Wimbledon in 2012 and he has been in imperious form, but Andy Murray has also had a very strong grass court season and is on course for a second Wimbledon title.

The last time these players met on this court, Federer was crushed by Murray in the Olympic Final, but it is the Swiss player who has gotten the better of recent matches. Federer has won 4 of their last 5 matches, including a one sided battering at the World Tour Finals in November when Federer lost just one game, and he will be confident he can come through as the underdog.

He has been playing really well this whole tournament, but I think Federer will be aware that the level of competition is going up by a couple of notches now. Federer won in Halle, but will be all too aware of the form that Murray is in as the Queens Champion. The same will be said of Murray who will recognise that Federer is playing really well and neither player has been taxed in their run to the Semi Final.

Federer has been serving very well and that is potentially a difference maker if Murray's shoulder is still bothering him and if he shows his opponent too many second serves. On the other hand, Murray will be very confident in his ability to get the ball back into play and force Federer to have to play plenty of balls as well as giving him more variation than others have.

It will be a pretty match to watch with both players very good shot-makers and I think it will be a match that likely goes at least four sets. Both Murray and Federer will know how deep they are going to have dig if they are going to move into Sunday's Final, but I just think the recent success that Federer has had in the match up could work to his favour.

Murray has been in better form in 2015, but I think the last six months is when Federer is going to have his best results on the Tour. This is going to be a great match to watch and one that I think Federer can find a way to come through and move into yet another Wimbledon Final.

MY PICKS: Novak Djokovic - 7.5 Games @ 2.00 Bet365 (2 Units)
Roger Federer @ 2.10 Betfair Sportsbook (2 Units)

Wimbledon Update: 23-24, - 5.39 Units (93 Units Staked, - 5.80% Yield)

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