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Atko

Tennis - 14-20 February

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Here we are folks, lots going on this week ... ATP Main Tour Memphis 500 series - indoor hard Buenos Aires 250 series - outdoor clay Marseille 250 series - indoor hard WTA Main Tour Memphis international series - indoor hard Bogota international series - outdoor clay Dubai premier series - outdoor hard ATP Challenger Tour Meknes - outdoor clay All the best :hope

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Re: Tennis - 14-20 February Haase (-2) vs Seppi @pinnacle 1.926 (5/10) What i´ve seen from Haase these year has really impressed me. He is a more consistant player than he used to and played a pretty decent AO. He has a terrific serve and solid groundstrokes that can definately put Seppi in problems. The italian had a lot of problems defeating Clement in 1st round of the AO and lost ins straight sets to a not in form Tsonga The dutch man has the advantage in this surface and the line is low so i´m taking it. :hope

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Re: Tennis - 14-20 February 5pts Wawrinka to win ATP Buenos Aires @6/1 with B365 Think this offers huge value, particularly as an each way punt. Personally not too much of a fan of each way as I'd hedge bets/split how I feel using Betfair should Wawa make the final. As for the reasoning, Wawrinka is in the weaker half of the draw here. Don't want to bore everyone, and I know it's impossible to predict accurately, but his likely opponets en route to the final would be: Berlocq-----Hanescu/Gimeno Traver-----Monaco/Andreev-----Chela/Montanes That looks worst case as well. A very favourable draw in which you'd expect Wawa to be heavy favourite in each round. In the top half of the draw you have Almagro, Nalbandian, Dolgopolov, and Robredo - pretty much anyone's to win. With the draw looking very favourable there has to be some value here in this price.

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Re: Tennis - 14-20 February Outrights look tough to call this week IMO. In Memphis Roddick is the big favourite but judging by his current form, could well slip up. Might consider Isner despite his form to make the final like he did 12 months ago or maybe Istomin as a long shot could suprise. Haven't seen the prices yet for Marseille but Youzhny from the bottom half is the only name to stand out. Same half as Berdych but no guarantees whether the Czech will play yet after he pulled out a couple of days ago from his match. Over on the clay in South America is tough. As infamous has said Wawrinka's possible run to the final isn't bad at all but he always can throw in an unexpected result on the clay IMO but he should win those matches. Over on the woman's side in Dubai, most of the top players, excluding Clijsters and the Williams sisters are in action. Azarenka is starting to win again so I may look at that one closer. Probably a quarter with Zvonareva who she beat last year at the same point. That should be a cracker of a tournament though. Not going to even look at the other women's draws as the quality of players there isn't great so that should be as hard to predict as anything. Looks really tough to pick the outrights this week though IMO. Sure the likes of Atko, Czech and others will just dismiss this and pick winners galore ;)

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Re: Tennis - 14-20 February This does seem like a very tricky week to call outrights. Starting off with Memphis, I was looking to hit Roddick in some capacity. He is, afterall, a very strong player in America. However, he isn't playing as well as he used to and has, IMO, a difficult draw. Berankis could be tricky in R1, Tipsarevic beat him at the US Open last year, Mannarino is in good form, and then it's probably Del Potro or Isner even before the final. Too many tough matches there for my liking. Bottom half looks dangerous too - defending champion Querrey would make some appeal if he'd started the season brightly, but he hasn't, and has a nightmare R1 match with Istomin. Verdasco also lurks, and Fish would be of interest if fully fit. Too many questions to answer on the main protagonists. Marseille is an event dominated by Frenchmen. Soderling is top seed but I'd be surprised if he won two events in a row considering the field. Llodra, who won this last year, could well do so again, as he is very dangerous indoors in France, but Melzer, Ljubicic and Soderling are potential opponents before the final, and could beat him. The bottom half is a nightmare. Take your pick from Youzhny, Simon, Tsonga, Gulbis and Berdych. If Tsonga hadn't make the Rotterdam final, I'd have been interested, but he's not in peak shape at the moment and has too many dangers in his side of the draw. Buenos Aires is, for me, the most difficult to call. Almagro, Nalbandian, Dolgopolov, Chela, Monaco and Wawrinka all have chances. I must admit, I was tempted by Wawrinka a little, but I can see Monaco, in front of a home crowd, causing him grief in the quarters. If he can get past him, he's got a real chance, but considering he's not played on clay this year yet and can throw in the occasional shocker, I'd be inclined to stay clear. On my draw I have Nalbandian to win, but that's with minimal confidence, as Almagro and Dolgopolov are in his half of the draw. Real mindfield, this one. Sorry to disappoint on the outright front, but I'm wary of placing what I'd call a "half-hearted" bet and people following, only to lose out. There will be ample outrights for the taking this season, but this week looks to trappy to call. Of course, the temptation is to play God, but this week I think it's best to take things day by day.

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Re: Tennis - 14-20 February Four early bets take my eye ... expecting to take more as more markets become available. - Michael Llodra -3.5 games AH (vs Julien Benneteau) @ 2.00 with Pinnacle (5pts) This line seems about right in terms of games and price so I'm willing to pounce. These men both know each other well from Davis Cup doubles duty but their singles careers have gone off on different tangents recently. Llodra is playing some serve-and-volley tennis at the minute and is even improving in rallies. He had a good showing in Rotterdam, beating Davydenko and taking a set off eventual runner-up Tsonga, and comes here a defending champion. Ironically, he beat Benneteau in last year's final. Julien is also a good indoors player but comes here with very little form ... he was punted out of Rotterdam in the qualifiers and lost to Starace in his only main Tour match this year in Brisbane. He comes here with questions hanging over his fitness and with very little form to speak of, he's playing Llodra at a bad time. Might stay competitve for a while but if Llodra plays close to his best, he'll win this match and cover the line in the process. - James Blake -3.5 games AH (vs Ricardo Mello) @ 1.926 with Pinnacle (5pts) This is a big chance for Blake to get past R1 of a 500 series. Mello had a good week in Brazil, getting to the semi-finals of the singles. and that's exactly why I'm opposing him here. He's been on clay for the last two weeks and immediately switches to a quicker surface indoors. It will naturally take him time to adjust to the surface. Blake won against Levine in R1 of San Jose before losing to Raonic, which is fine considering Raonic is in the final tonight. The conditions suit Blake as he enjoys a quick surface. He beat Mello 6-4 6-2 in America in 2007, which is shows that in the past he has been able to cope with Mello's game. Blake won't get too many more chances to get winnable matches in draws but with the amount of tennis the 30-year-old Brazilian has played recently, plus the travelling and quick switch of surface, I think Blake's got this on his racket. Should be able to win by at least four games here. - Radek Stepanek -2.5 games AH (vs Benjamin Becker) @ 1.909 with Pinnacle (5pts) I feel this line is too low - I was expecting -3.5 games. Stepanek ought to be a bad match up for Becker. The German, who is not in great form, won't enjoy the Czech's aggressive net play and the lack of rhythm he'll get in rallies. Becker's a ball-striker, a man who is most content when he's asked to match players for power. When he has to hit precise shots and reduce the power, he's in trouble, and when he's chasing matches, he usually puts too much on his shots. Stepanek comes here fresh and does his best work indoors. He's got the game to suit these conditions and appears a bad match-up for the German in Memphis. 2.5 games doesn't seem a huge line to surmount. Happy to stick with Stepanek here. - Ernests Gulbis -3 games AH (vs Philipp Petzschner) @ 2.15 with Pinnacle (4pts) Slight element of risk in here as banking on Gulbis being fit for this, but considering it was only a fever, I'll take him to beat Petzschner and cover the line. The German, remarkably, made the semi-finals here last year but arrives in Marseille in very different form. Has lost his last three matches to Bogomolov Jnr, Tursunov and de Bakker indoors, which is ropey form for a man looking to defend points here. His serve isn't working a present and is susceptible to power, which is what Gulbis possesses. Normally stay clear of the erratic Latvian but he needs a good week and will fancy his chances in this one. He demolished Petzschner 6-3 6-0 back in 2006 and should be able to match him all over the court. Thought this line would be closer to -4 games and amazed at the price. Gulbis will win this easily if he's fully fit, and if he's not, I don't expect him to play. Worth a try for me. :hope

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Re: Tennis - 14-20 February One more bet before the night closes ... - Sergiy Stakhovsky (vs Illya Marchenko) x Fabio Fognini (vs Frederico Gil) @ 1.99 with Unibet (4pts) Going for these two in a double seems safer than a handicap ... Stakhovsky's a very accomplished indoors player who was unlucky last week drawing Ljubicic after a decent showing in the Australian Open. Likes a fast surface and has a steady serve and strokes. Marchenko perhaps has more power but is far more erratic. Always feel there's an error coming from Illya because he tries to play lights-out tennis all the time. Occasionally it works and he blitzes players but I can't see it here. Stakhovsky has beaten him twice in the last two years, both indoors, and has a superiority over him. Handicap looked a tad long for me so doubling him with Fognini. Would never take the Italian on a handicap because he's completely bonkers but he's got plenty of ability and comes here in good form. Made the semis of Santiago and lost to Robredo again in Buenos Aires. He leads Gil 4-0 on the H2H, all meetings coming in 2007, so he has an edge there over Gil in that he's a bad match-up for the Portuguese. Gil's another who can go badly missing in matches and is always susceptible on serve. Fognini's playing well enough to beat someone of Gil's calibre ... will be a few breaks of serve along the way but fancy the Italian to be in R2 come the end. :hope

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Re: Tennis - 14-20 February Agreed on Stepanek. Price moving a bit but will take it. Stepanek -2.5 games over Becker @ 1.833 (Pinnacle:5pts) Fancy Radek here. Becker doesnt seem to be up to much right now, Berankis beat him pretty well last week and other not so good defeats this year too. Both will like the quick conditions but Stepanek has lot more to his game....more variety, better returner so that should stand him in good stead here. He lost in 2 to Mayer in Zagreb a few weeks back but Mayer can be a tricky player to face when he's on as opposed to Becker who is fairly one-dimensional. Stepanek for me. Przysiezny +2 games AH over Dabul @ 1.980 (Pinnacle:3pts) Think the Pole is worth a shot here, I'd consider this a 50:50 match but Dabul is favoured after beating a garbage Falla last week and competing against Hewitt when he should have won against an out of sorts Lleyton but lost in 3. He's a fighter anyway but the Pole should like the fast courts and really has the game more suited to this surface. He's inconsistent at this stage and has some dips but I think he can be competitive in this one. GL!

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Re: Tennis - 14-20 February Really want to oppose Querrey at some point. He's in a huge slump but I dunno about Istomin, doesnt seem to be playing great either. I cant see Querrey suddenly turning it on and winning comfortably anyway.

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Re: Tennis - 14-20 February One thing to bear in mind about Przysiezny ... he's got a horribly record against lefties. Something like W0 L7 on Tour and not much better on the Challenger circuit. Dabul, however, is not an indoors player by trade, but I reckon that's a ballsy bet. Hope it comes off though :ok

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Re: Tennis - 14-20 February Dont think its necessarily a huge problem for him....lost to Nieminen, Mannarino and beat him once on IHC, Muller a couple of times, Guccione is lefty too. Zeballos aswell. Think the main point in all those is that he tends to lose tight matches, many 3 setters there and sometimes a breaker in the 3rd. I've seen him choke in a couple of those when in a winning position, he's inconsistent and can dip. Still think its a close one with Dabul on an indoor hard court so some value. Lets see what he does, small bet anyway.

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Re: Tennis - 14-20 February All those players are better than Dabul, so definitely chance. Like you I want ti oppose Sam but he's defending champ and surely going to be up for this one. Istomin was average last week, hard one to call.

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Re: Tennis - 14-20 February Kirilenko vs Scheepers OVER 20 games AH @1.855 (Pinnacle:4pts) Scheepers let me down last week but fancy her to be competitive against struggling Kirilenko here. She went down easily to giant Amanmuradova last week but qualified in Dubai well beating Brianti easily in 2. She can be quite tough at times. Kirilenko is clearly far from her best...completely botched up her match with Voskoboeva last week from a winning position to lose in 3...same story in Oz struggling past Oprandi and losing tamely to Benesova. She having huge dips in her matches and seems away from her best. Banking on that struggle continuing here. GL!

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Re: Tennis - 14-20 February

All those players are better than Dabul' date=' so definitely chance. Like you I want ti oppose Sam but he's defending champ and surely going to be up for this one. Istomin was average last week, hard one to call.[/quote'] I have a feeling that I'll regret not opposing Querrey, 1 win since the US Open.....:eek...as you say defending champ here so maybe that will wake him up. Istomin not exactly filling me with confidence anyway so enough reason to sidestep.

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Re: Tennis - 14-20 February

Four early bets take my eye ... expecting to take more as more markets become available. Mello had a good week in Brazil, getting to the semi-finals of the singles and winning the doubles, but that's exactly why I'm opposing him here.
Small point of reference, but Mello who got to the semis is singles isnt the same Melo who made doubles final. Two different men, one about 5"9 and the other about 6"5. I made the same mistake till not so long ago too.

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Re: Tennis - 14-20 February

Small point of reference' date=' but Mello who got to the semis is singles isnt the same Melo who made doubles final. Two different men, one about 5"9 and the other about 6"5. I made the same mistake till not so long ago too.[/quote'] :$ Of course, you're absolutely right, it's Marcelo Melo, with one "l". Thanks for pointing that out, I've edited my post accordingly. For what it's worth, I still reckon the bet is a good 'un.

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Re: Tennis - 14-20 February Sport Tennis Event Zhang v Shvedova Selection Zhang Strength 10/10 Date 14/02/2011 Bookmaker/Price Skybet @ 2.00 Reasoning Decent price move towards Zhang but skybet still asleep. Shvedova hasn't played since Hopman Cup at the turn of the year so probably on the strength of some rumours she isn't 100%. She's very inconsistant anyway and Zhang has a good chance. Zhang is improving and has a solid game, worth a go at the price.

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Re: Tennis - 14-20 February Ok. Raonic surprised everyone :D Time for a new week with new tournaments. Two bets for me in the early matches, I will be back with more later. (3/10) S.Zhang to bt. Y.Shvedova @ 1.72 at Ladbrokes Shvedova has not played for more than a month and we all know which way this is heading. Getting back from injuries is tough and her opponent has played some matches here already and will benefit from that. Players usually do not win their comeback matches and this should be no different. (3/10) I.Benesova to bt. T.Bacsinszky @ 1.64 at Pinnacle The price is nothing to bee excited about, but I never trust Benesova on a minus handicap. Baczinszky is in no form at all. She won some matches in the Fed Cup (against poor opponent), but played horribly in the WTA so far. Benesova made a good impression in the Australian Open and then lost to Barrois, which is not that bad, considering that Barrois was able to take a set off Clijsters. Benesova should win this in the end.

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Re: Tennis - 14-20 February

:$ Of course' date=' you're absolutely right, it's Marcelo Melo, with one "l". Thanks for pointing that out, I've edited my post accordingly. For what it's worth, I still reckon the bet is a good 'un.[/quote'] Just checked the draw since I had already backed Blake for the same reasons Atko stated, he is playing the same Ricardo Mello that has just come from the Brasil open.

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Re: Tennis - 14-20 February Another two R1 ties for me ... - Adrian Mannarino -3.5 games AH (vs Jan Hajek) @ 1.952 with Pinnacle (7pts) I'm surprised that this is not at least a -4 game line. Hajek has come through the qualifiers but isn't a hard court player. Does his best work on clay and never really challenges anybody seriously on fast surfaces. I think Mannarino has the scope to be a big player. Lovely strokes and a decent serve, he is regarded as one of France's brightest hopes. He made the semi-finals in Johannesburg a few weeks ago, taking a set off Anderson in the process. His game is more suited to these conditions than the Czech, and has improved drastically since he lost to Hajek narrowly three years ago. Hajek has done nothing of note recently on hard and I find it hard to see him troubling Mannarino here. - Xavier Malisse - 3.5 games AH (vs Florent Serra) @ 1.971 with Pinnacle (6pts) Bad times for Serra at the moment ... lost to Brown in Jo'burg a few weeks ago and has really toiled to make headway in most events since the clay season. Don't think he'll get much joy against Malisse either, who is more au-fait with these conditions than the Frenchman. It's one game apiece in terms of H2Hs but the last meeting was in 2008. Serra has regressed since then. Struggles badly on his second serve and hasn't got the weapons to take out decent players anymore. He's yet to win a match this season, losing to guys like Walter (rank 325) and Gregorini, who doesn't even have a rank. Malisse made the final of Chennai, R3 of Melbourne before losing to eventual San Jose champ Raonic in R1. He's been beaten by him, Federer and Wawrinka only this year - that's good form. Two very contrasting players at the moment, and with these conditions suiting the Belgian more, I feel he can cover this line. :hope

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Re: Tennis - 14-20 February

Meh I underestimated just how bad Kirilenko was, thought Scheepers would be competitive but not crush her in 2 sets. Definitely have to cut bets on overs/unders.
I still think that it's a good bet, in that you based it around Scheepers playing well - which she did. Eight or nine times out of ten the more established player keeps her end of the bargain as well.

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Re: Tennis - 14-20 February I guess mate...going through an average last few days so these things are not going my way at the minute. Could have taken +4 which would have been a comfortable win but Scheepers can throw in some poor sets so I went with overs instead. Think I'm gonna cut overs/unders out now for the most part, unless when Rezai or Safarova are involved....:ok

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Re: Tennis - 14-20 February Yvonne Meusburger vs. Alexandra Panova Alexandra Panova @ 1.70 Going on Panova here because she's better suited to conditions then her opponent here in Columbia on clay. Panova played last week an ITF at another city of columbia (Cali) where she reached semis by defeating some solid players on clay like Castano and Mathilde Johansson but lost to Pous Tio (also very solid player) in a 3 setter. And now she meets a player who didn't play a single competitive match since Linz (indoor) last year, and comes strait on clay in Bogota on altitude higher than 8000ft. That's definitely not easy place to play 1st match of season vs player like Panova who had some very nice wins last week on same surface and already tasted some of this tough conditions in Columbia. 5/10

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