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Saturday, 24 October 2015

Tennis Picks 2015 (October 25th)

The WTA Tour Finals begin on Sunday although it looks a difficult tournament to get a handle on considering how many doubts surround some of the top names in the event.

Others may look at some outsiders to win the tournament, but I will instead look at individual matches during the course of the week and hope to produce a positive result from it.

The Finals in Moscow, Stockholm and Vienna are going to be played this Sunday and the draws for Basel and Valencia have been made as the ATP Tour still has a few more weeks to go before the World Tour Finals and the Davis Cup Final finish off the 2015 season.

Flavia Pennetta + 4.5 games v Simona Halep: The WTA Tour Finals opens up between the only Grand Slam winner in the tournament following Serena Williams' decision to withdraw from the event. Flavia Pennetta is the surprise winner of the US Open where she beat Simona Halep very easily in the Semi Final and I think the Italian is perhaps getting too many games in the opening match in Singapore.

If Simona Halep had been fully healthy I could understand her being asked to cover this number of games, but I think she is far from 100% entering the tournament. Some may point out that Flavia Pennetta hasn't looked the same player since winning the US Open with retirement now just a week away, but I am not buying that for this number of games being offered to her backers.

This is is for Pennetta and I have to think she will empty the tank in anticipation of that and there is every chance she can progress to the Semi Finals from this Group. Pennetta also knows she can beat Simona Halep when she is perhaps not at her best as she did in the US Open Final and I think she has had much more competitive tennis in her legs than her opponent.

I can easily see the Italian taking a set in this match and that would be enough to see her keep herself within this number I would feel. The fact I think there is a real chance she can win this match only makes the games more appealing too and I will back Pennetta in my first pick from the WTA Tour Finals this week.

Marin Cilic - 2.5 games v Roberto Bautista Agut: Marin Cilic had one slight blip on his way through to the Final in Moscow for the second season in a row, but he has looked very good in his last two wins in the event. This is easily the best player that he will have faced this week when he takes on Roberto Bautista Agut who has eased his way through the draw without dropping a set.

This is the second season in a row Cilic and Bautista Agut will be playing in the Final in Moscow and it is likely to be another close match as it was last season. On that occasion it was Cilic who won the big points to win the title in two sets and I expect this to be another match that will decided by a couple of points here and there.

Cilic's serve might prove to be a difference maker as it can help him get out of those difficult moments with relative comfort compared with Bautista Agut. That won't be the same for the Spaniard who will have to win prolonged rallies to come through his service games which can become more of an issue in those pressurised situations.

That played a part in the Bautista Agut's 64, 64 loss to Cilic last season in the Final in Moscow and I think he can retain his title with a similar kind of win.

Tomas Berdych - 2.5 games v Jack Sock: When Tomas Berdych and Jack Sock met in Shanghai earlier in the month, it was a very close match that was decided by a couple of points here and there in favour of Berdych. Getting a look at what he is going to face in Stockholm might work in Berdych's favour this week as will the fact that he has come through a number of matches before facing Sock.

This should be a good match considering both players have had some impressive wins this week, and I think the serve is going to be a key weapon for both Berdych and Sock.

Winning a title for the first time is difficult, but Sock has gotten that monkey off his back when winning in Houston so I expect the American to be ready. However, I am not always convinced with his fitness levels and I think Berdych does have the edge in the match in terms of the battle off the ground.

Sock has a lot of confidence though and can make it difficult for Berdych as he did in Shanghai when he took a set off Berdych. However, I think Berdych having seen what Sock can bring to the table will be a little more solid at key moments to win the title in Stockholm with a 76, 64 win.

David Ferrer - 4.5 games v Steve Johnson: It has been a very good week for Steve Johnson having rode his luck a little bit to get to the Final in Vienna. Now he faces a motivated David Ferrer who is looking to add the points that will put him on the brink of reaching the World Tour Finals without the need to put too much stress on the final two weeks of the season.

David Ferrer is definitely a player in form having also won the title in Kuala Lumper recently and also adding a Semi Final in Beijing to recent successes.

As well as Johnson has played this week, he hasn't been in that same kind of form and I think the American will do well to make this a competitive match. He has a decent serve, but is always likely to throw in at least one sloppy service game per set and is also facing a player that will get plenty of balls back into play and extract the errors that will be expected to follow.

It will come down to whether Ferrer can take the chances that come his way in this one and once he gets in front he can perhaps wear down Johnson mentally in the Final. After some battling games, I like Ferrer winning the title behind a 63, 64 win.

MY PICKS: Flavia Pennetta + 4.5 Games @ 1.80 Sky Bet (2 Units)
Marin Cilic - 2.5 Games @ 1.73 Bet365 (2 Units)
Tomas Berdych - 2.5 Games @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)
David Ferrer - 4.5 Games @ 2.10 Bet365 (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 6-7, - 3.66 Units (26 Units Staked, - 14.08% Yield)

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