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Friday, 2 October 2015

Tennis Picks 2015 (October 2nd)

It hasn't been a week to match the last one, but a couple more winners on Thursday at least got this week going back in the right direction.

On Friday we have reached the Semi Finals in Wuhan and the Quarter Finals at the two ATP events in Shenzhen and Kuala Lumpur, but I still have a few picks out of the ten matches that have been scheduled across those three tournaments.

Venus Williams - 2.5 games v Roberta Vinci: Johanna Konta has made life very tough for plenty of players over the last couple of months, but it says something about Venus Williams that she rode through the storm to win the match. It looked like the American was out of it when Konta served for the match in the third set, but Venus Williams won the final three games and now faces the player who ended her younger sister's calendar Grand Slam hopes.

It would have been easy for Roberta Vinci to perhaps have a poor end to the season having put in so much effort physically and mentally into the US Open. She reached her maiden Grand Slam Final as a Singles player, but the Italian is clearly not resting on her laurels with a strong run to the Semi Final here in Wuhan.

Vinci has dropped one set so far this week and beaten players Ranked higher than her in Petra Kvitova and Karolina Pliskova in the last couple of Rounds. She has come through first set tie-breakers in both before taking the second set easily and Vinci won't be intimidated by Venus Williams even if she hasn't beaten her before.

Can Vinci bamboozle Venus as she did Serena in the final two sets of their Semi Final at the US Open? There is every chance Vinci can do that, but I think Venus Williams is in fantastic form at the moment and I expect she punishes the Vinci second serve and will be able to break her down in this Semi Final. It might take three sets, but I like Venus Williams to win this one 63, 57, 64.

Garbine Muguruza-Angelique Kerber Over 21.5 Total Games: Angelique Kerber was well on the way to the Semi Final before Coco Vandeweghe retired from their Quarter Final, but now she runs into a player in Garbine Muguruza who is in fantastic form herself.

It is no surprise that the layers are having such difficulty splitting Muguruza and Kerber in terms of a winner, especially as both have had similar weeks. Neither player has dropped more than a single set to a former Serbian World Number 1 and they haven't dropped too many games outside of that set dropped.

Even the head to head suggests this will be a close match with their three meetings in 2015 all needing a final set decider although it is Muguruza who leads 2-1 thanks to wins at the French Open and Wimbledon. Kerber won't be lacking confidence considering her win came on the hard courts and she has been in the better form of the two in recent weeks.

I don't think anyone would be shocked if this one goes three sets two, while this number of games has every chance of being surpassed in a competitive straight sets win. While Kerber is the more consistent, Muguruza has the higher level when she peaks and it is easy to see this match developing in that way which produces a high chance of three sets being needed. The total games is probably two games too low and I will back this number to be passed.

Tomas Berdych - 4.5 games v Jiri Vesely: It looks like another season where Tomas Berdych will finish in the top eight positions in the World Rankings and make an appearance at the World Tour Finals. However, it is another season when he failed to win one of the really big tournaments out there although consistently performing at those events.

He doesn't clean up in the lesser tournaments as much as you might think either and Berdych is a player that is never too far away from a disappointing defeat. That's how it feels anyway and you would make him a big favourite to win in the field put together in Shenzhen although I wouldn't be backing him at the start of the week at short prices.

I will back him to win this match against Jiri Vesely who is still finding the right formula to win matches consistently at the main Tour level despite having plenty of skills. He has the big first serve and heavy groundstrokes, but mentally it is still a struggle for Vesely and playing his higher Ranked compatriot might be too much for him to handle.

Berdych was serving well in his first match in Shenzhen and doing that here will give him every chance of covering this number. He will know that he can create chances against the Vesely serve, particularly when the scoreboard pressure is on the younger Czech player and I like Berdych winning this match 64, 63.

Marin Cilic - 2.5 games v Hyeon Chung: There is no doubting that Hyeon Chung is one of the young players on the Tour who is expected to have a big impact in the coming years. He has begun to produce more consistent results on the main Tour as well as proving too good for tournaments in events lower than the top level and this all bodes well for his development.

He gets a quick chance to see how much his game has developed over the last couple of months as he faces Marin Cilic for the second time in his career. They met in Washington in August and Cilic won that match 76, 63, while the Croatian had a strong run at the US Open which shows he is perhaps returning to form.

It has been a difficult year for Cilic as injury and expectation have just stunted his progress and it is no surprise he has dropped out of the top ten in the World Rankings. However, that run to the US Open Semi Final was a real positive for Cilic and he battled through his Second Round match here.

Chung is a quality player, but has played a lot of tennis over the last two weeks having won a Challenger last week and needing to win two matches here. To be fair to him, he has won matches very easily so I am not worried about physical fatigue, but the level of competition has gone up markedly compared to the players he has beaten the last couple of weeks.

I can see him forcing another tie-breaker against Cilic, but ultimately I fancy the Croatian will prevail 76, 64 and move into the Semi Final here.

MY PICKS: Venus Williams - 2.5 Games @ 1.80 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Garbine Muguruza-Angelique Kerber Over 21.5 Total Games @ 1.85 Betfair Sportsbook (2 Units)
Tomas Berdych - 4.5 Games @ 2.10 Bet365 (2 Units)
Marin Cilic - 2.5 Games @ 1.73 Paddy Power (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 4-5, - 2.76 Units (18 Units Staked, - 15.33% Yield)

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