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Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Indian Wells Tennis Picks 2017 (March 8th)

The Indian Wells Masters event is the biggest tournament we will have seen since the Australian Open and almost all of the top names are in action.

Serena Williams is out of both Indian Wells and Miami with a knee injury and that means she has lost her World Number 1 spot, although I am not sure that is a big issue for her. It is all about getting healthy and winning Slams at this point of her career and Williams will be looking to get healthier ahead of the clay court season in Europe leading to the French Open.

The Men's draw was also made on Tuesday and I think there are going to be unprecedented levels of excitement for those watching the bottom quarter of the draw. Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Juan Martin Del Potro and Novak Djokovic all have been drawn in this small section of the draw and there are going to be big matches pretty much from the off in that section.

The next twelve days are going to be very interesting in the desert of Indian Wells.

On Wednesday the First Round action in the main draws begin with the Women's tournament taking centre stage before the Men's event begins on Thursday. There are plenty of matches to be played through the course of the day, but I am going to stick with one pick that has appealed the most.

Heather Watson - 3.5 games v Nicole Gibbs: I have been pretty critical of Heather Watson because I think she is very much an over-rated player by the British media. While most of them would be stunned to see Watson fluctuating between 30-100 in the World Rankings, I think that is about where her level is to be very honest.

At the moment Watson has slipped outside of the top 100 in the World Rankings which means she is now underachieving and I do think she can earn an important win in the First Round here in Indian Wells. Watson has to get back up the World Rankings to ensure she isn't having to Qualify for events like this and a First Round match with Nicole Gibbs gives her the opportunity to put a win on the board.

Neither player has had a lot of tennis since the Australian Open, but at least Watson earned a win last week in Acapulco. That is better than losing back to back matches as Gibbs has and I do think it is a good match up for Watson because she shouldn't be overawed by the power that the American sends back over the net.

I do think Watson is perhaps the slightly stronger server too and she can use that to have the edge over Gibbs. The latter did have a very good run at Indian Wells last season which should be respected, but I think Watson may just have enough to come through with a 7-5, 6-4 win after a number of breaks of serve go both ways.

MY PICKS: Heather Watson - 3.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)

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