The first weekend of the NFL PlayOffs did not let anyone down even though expectations had been raised by some of the performances of teams ...
Monday, 30 January 2017
Tennis Picks 2017 (January 30th)
The Australian Open is in the books and I will have some thoughts about the tournament in the Tuesday 'Tennis Picks' post because I have had a bit of a lazy day.
The Davis Cup First Round is played at the end of this week so there are no ATP tournaments on the calendar this week, but the WTA Tour has two decent tournaments in Taipei City and St Petersburg. I will have some picks from those events and the Davis Cup ties through the week as I look to build on the strong outcome for the picks from the Australian Open.
Daria Gavrilova - 4.5 games v Anna Kalinskaya: It was another good showing at the Australian Open for Daria Gavrilova and I would expect her to be too good for Anna Kalinskaya in the First Round in St Petersburg.
There is potential in the Kalinskaya game having had successes on the Junior circuit and the home crowd are going to be firmly behind her. However it can be a real learning curve in the first few tournaments on the professional Tour and a fighter like Daria Gavrilova is likely to surprise Kalinskaya.
The Gavrilova serve is not the strongest so the young Russian should have some success against her too, but ultimately I do think the more experienced Gavrilova will have a little too much for her.
This has the feeling of a fairly routine 6-3, 6-4 win for Gavrilova.
Kiki Bertens - 4.5 games v Annika Beck: You can't ignore a head to head when one player has won six matches in a row against the other, especially as so many of those Kiki Bertens wins have come in the last twelve months.
She clearly enjoys the match up against Annika Beck and the three wins Bertens had over her since January 2016 have come in straight sets. That includes a 6-1, 6-2 win in Hobart earlier this month and I think Bertens has the mental edge for sure.
Bertens also possesses a better serve and that can see her pull away for a fairly routine win. There are times when Beck plays very good defensive tennis, but her own serve is very vulnerable and Bertens will have the power to penetrate her defences on an indoor hard court.
There will be some moments where Bertens will have to weather the break points she gives up, but she has won at least 50% of the return points in their last three matches. Bertens should have the first strike in the majority of the rallies that these two players have against one another and I think she will come through with a 6-3, 6-4 win.
MY PICKS: Daria Gavrilova - 4.5 Games @ 1.80 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Kiki Bertens - 4.5 Games @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)