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Thursday, 4 January 2018

Tennis Picks 2018 (January 4th)

It was a tough start to the Tennis season with the sole pick made on Wednesday failing to return a winner, but the events to open the 2018 season continue as we have reached the Quarter Final in some cases.

Elina Svitolina - 3.5 games v Johanna Konta: There were some tough moments for Johanna Konta in the second half of the 2017 season, but her two wins in Brisbane will have given her a lot of belief. In both cases Konta has managed to win a deciding set, but now she has to face Elina Svitolina who I consider a possible Grand Slam Champion in the making in 2018.

Svitolina has been a dominant winner in her two matches so far this week, but there are still some questions about whether she is able to maintain the control in matches without the lapses of concentration.

That has been part of the reason Svitolina has yet to make a serious impact in a Grand Slam event, but I do think she is an ever improving player. The serve is solid enough when Svitolina is feeling her game, while her ability off the ground is going to make her very difficult to beat.

Johanna Konta also has a decent serve, but she has yet to really employ it as effectively as she would have liked in the tournament. The problem for Konta is that she needs to be better on the serve because she doesn't have the same consistency as Svitolina from the baseline and I do think that will prove to be the difference between the players.

Perhaps the tennis under the belt this week will also have a negative effect on Konta as a little fatigue in some tough conditions would not be a big surprise. I like Svitolina to win the battle of the breaks and come through with a 6-4, 6-4 win.

Karolina Pliskova - 3.5 games v Kaia Kanepi: It's good to see Kaia Kanepi back on the Tour and playing some big time tennis and her run to the US Open Quarter Final has clearly got the confidence back into a good place.

The next few weeks are all about improving the World Ranking though and making sure Kanepi does not have to come through the Qualifiers like she did this week in Brisbane. Kanepi has been a dominant winner in each of her four matches this week, but the level of competition goes up again when facing Karolina Pliskova in the Quarter Final.

Pliskova beat Catherine Bellis very easily, and she has the kind of game that could be tough for Kanepi to deal with. The huge serve and the powerful forehand could give Pliskova the chance to dominate the rallies very early in the points, although Kanepi is likely going to put pressure on her opponent with her own serve too.

It won't be a match with a lot of long rallies and the player who can produce the most first strike tennis is going to be the one that makes it through to the Semi Final.

With that in mind, I would expect Pliskova to be the player to do that much more than Kanepi. The Pliskova serve is the superior weapon of the two and I think that is going to help her get past this opponent with a 7-5, 6-4 win.

MY PICKS: Elina Svitolina - 3.5 Games @ 2.00 Ladbrokes (2 Units)
Karolina Pliskova - 3.5 Games @ 1.80 Boyle Sports (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 0-1, - 2 Units (2 Units Staked, - 100% Yield)

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