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Saturday, 26 September 2015

Tennis Picks 2015 (September 26th)

This season looked to be heading in a very positive direction for my picks up until the middle of July.

From then until the end of the US Open, the picks went on a terrible run of form and ensured that I am going to be having my worst tennis season. All of the records are there to see and I don't hide the results because you have to take the rough with the smooth and I would be wary of anyone who says they have a set of results where they only allow a 'sample' to be seen.

I will make changes as to how I display the results from next season and am thinking about whether those will be effective, but that is something I will decide in the off season in the six weeks the 2015 concludes and the 2016 season begins.

This week has been a very good one and might just do enough to drag the season record back into the black after some rough weeks. For the second time in three days the picks saw a positive sweep come through and that has provided plenty of pluses for the week.

Hopefully the last couple of days from the events this week won't see a poor turn in form and ensure a decent week before the next set of tournaments begin later this weekend.

Belinda Bencic - 1.5 games v Caroline Wozniacki: It is funny to think that a little over twelve months ago, a 17 year old Belinda Bencic was being given a humbling loss by Caroline Wozniacki as she failed to win a game in that match. Since then Bencic's rise up the World Rankings has seen her build the confidence to beat some of the biggest names on the Tour, while she has won all three matches against Wozniacki since that loss in Istanbul.

One of those wins came via an early retirement from Wozniacki, but Bencic also won in straight sets at big events in Indian Wells and Toronto which are very good wins. She has the confidence of taking on anyone, but I think the match up with Wozniacki is not one that worries Bencic because it is unlikely the Dane is going to blow any player off the court.

Wozniacki allows Bencic to build her rhythm from the back of the court and I think the new 'Swiss Miss' has a little more penetration in her shots which can see her break down the Number 1 Seed. I also believe Bencic has a little more out of the serve rather than Wozniacki who uses it as a rally-starter more than a weapon that can get he a lot of cheap points.

Both players should be confident having reached the Semi Final, but I think Bencic will want to continue putting some distance between herself and the double bagel loss to Wozniacki from a mental standpoint. It will be two tight sets, but I like Bencic to come through and cover the number.

Dominika Cibulkova + 3.5 games v Agnieszka Radwanska: I have a lot of respect for the form that Agnieszka Radwanska has displayed this week and I think she might have enough to snap her run of losses to Dominika Cibulkova.

It has to be pointed out that these two players haven't played for eighteen months and Cibulkova was on a high when she beat Radwanska in the Australian Open Semi Final in 2014 and then at the Miami Masters two months later. 2015 has been a lot more difficult for Cibulkova with injury meaning she missed considerable time during the middle of the year.

However, Cibulkova has shown some good form in recent weeks and once again beat Ana Ivanovic having done the same at the US Open before the Quarter Final here.

Both of these players were perhaps disappointed with how their US Open tournaments ended as they would have expected to beat Madison Keys and Eugenie Bouchard, but Radwanska and Cibulkova have not allowed that disappointment to linger. I think both players will have their big moments in this one and I can't ignore the match up has been a good one for Cibulkova since a crushing double bagel was handed to her by Radwanska in 2013.

I expect Cibulkova can battle in this one and I expect it to be a closely run Semi Final which makes the games the Slovakian is getting in this one look very intriguing. It could go three sets and I think Cibulkova may have every chance of securing the upset in this one too.

Dominic Thiem - 3.5 games v Joao Sousa: I have backed Dominic Thiem to win and cover in the last two Rounds and he hasn't disappointed as he continues to produce his best hard court tennis indoors. I don't see a reason to get off the bandwagon just yet even if Joao Sousa is a dangerous player once his confidence is up at the back end of tournaments.

Putting together wins makes Sousa a very confident player and he clearly performs a lot better with that behind him. Yes, most players will do that, but Sousa can get down on himself when he isn't playing well which seems him fall off in matches, but that won't be the case in the Semi Final.

The match between these two on the indoor hard courts in Marseille was very close, but it was Thiem's ability to dominate the points off the Sousa second serve that effectively proved to be the difference. Joao Sousa's first serve doesn't offer up the cheap points like Thiem's does and it is these small elements that should see the Austrian come through.

I can see him winning a single break of serve more than Sousa in each set and Thiem moving into another ATP Final behind a 64, 64 win.

MY PICKS: Belinda Bencic - 1.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Dominika Cibulkova + 3.5 Games @ 2.00 Sky Bet (2 Units)
Dominic Thiem - 3.5 Games @ 1.91 Paddy Power (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 9-1, + 14.40 Units (20 Units Staked, + 72% Yield)

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