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Yani is no slouch, he grinds his way through the challenger circuit with occasional ventures to the higher grade. If Tomic brings his big stage attitude onto court he'll be fine, but I foresee a longer than necessary match. Lay Tomic at around 2. This will be an out-and-out slugfest. Harrison is the highest-ranked teenager on the tour, and typical of emerging Americans, relies heavily on his serve.
US Open preview - women. Clijsters is injured again, Wozniacki is proving a dud at number one and every other player on the women's tour seems to have issues. It seems there has never been a more urgent need for some fresh young faces to step forward and really upset the applecart. With Hurricane Irene surging up the east coast of the US, it's hard to know at this stage just how disrupted the tournament will be, but it's a long, long odds-on that critics will be calling for a roof to be built over the show courts yet again….
Working down the draw this time. In the papers more for her lovelife now than her tennis. Is that first Grand Slam win ever going to emerge? Losing first-up to McHale in Cincinnati isn't the way to suggest it will be this time, although she did reverse that result in New Haven, a tournament she always plays well in. Has form here but backing h.
US Open preview - men. It's Slam time again which means I've been busy with betting previews. I've been writing these for all the Slams since with some tasty winners along the way Men's draw Changing of the guard with Djokovic holding the no. If his shoulder ailment has gone, then the title is his to lose. But if he isn't full strength, it's wide open. Expect severe disruption to the schedule for the first couple of days until the after-effects of Hurricane Irene peter out completely.
Djokovic - his form this year makes him the most dominant man I have seen across all surfaces. Early rounds should be a breeze, gets harder in week two - Gasquet, followed by Berdych or Monfils. Dodig - first time seed facing former world 3 in R1. Tough initiation. Beat Nadal in Montreal so can pul. Not any more! Sad news today of an Australian sports bookmaker going bust.
Should SportsAlive have adhered to their licensing conditions, specifically the one below, then all should be fine for punters. However, it sounds like a few guys have been slow paid for a while this year's not the first time they've had cash flow problems so it may be that one of them got fed up with it and called in the lawyers. Staff apparently hadn't been paid for a fortnight either.
Segregated Bank Accounts 4. This is a critical test of the strength of Australian bookmaking regulations. Hopefully it won't be. Centrebet takeover approved by Australian Federal Court. The Sportingbet bid for Centrebet looks to be signed and sealed now with Australian courts giving approval that it doesn't breach any anti-competition laws.
So Ladbrokes choose not to bid on Australia's first online bookie, letting Sportingbet buy them out, so they can then take them over Interesting concept - surely someone's paying too much along the line? The suspension of Centrebet shares will follow, with the Australian co. The North Korean women's football team has been kicked out of the next World Cup and all the qualifying events after five players tested positive for steroids at the recent women's World Cup in Germany.
The team doctor, Jong Ae Nam, who claimed that she had used a "Chinese remedy" based on musk deer glands to aid players who had been struck by lightning, was handed a six-year ban from the game as the five players all tested positive for steroids. It really is la-la land over there Greece, Italy and Turkey are making strides in rooting out match-fixing in their football leagues - there's a long way to go though.
Don't believe for a moment that these are isolated cases Riots follow ban for 2 clubs in Greek league Italian authorities rush to end match-fixing scandal Turkish league endorses play-offs amid match-fixing allegations. Spot-fixing slips into society very easily. A disturbing, but unsurprising, report from Pakistan about the infiltration of spot-fixing into the fabric of cricket at all levels. For all the posturing and anti-gambling hysteria from idiot politicians such as Senator Nick Xenophon in Australia, one thing is crystal clear - the more you drive gambling underground, the more crooked it becomes.
Simple comparison - how often do you see betting scandals in the UK and Australia as against any part of Asia? Which one of those societies tries to force betting underground? Make all companies operate on normal business principles - look after the customer or they will attempt to screw you over.
Keep a tight rein over companies so they always have their finances in order. Federer and Nadal looking lacklustre. Poor performances overnight from Nadal and Federer in the Cincinnati Masters. Nadal was beaten in straight sets by Mardy Fish, the most improved player on the tour in the past 18 months since he shed a bit of muscle and improved his court movement, and soon after Federer was comfortably beaten by Tomas Berdych.
With the US Open coming up in just over a week's time, neither player is in great form - do they have it in them to bounce back for the big event, or is this the beginning of the end? I've said before I can't see Federer winning another Grand Slam singles titles, while Nadal started his senior career so early, his body will burn out quicker. Nadal did have massive blisters on his left hand, which can heal at least. Novak Djokovic just continues on his merry way at the moment, the value might be to find someone each-way on the other side of the draw.
I will definitely be opposing the 'top 4 seeds all to make the semis' option - only one of them is any sort. Czech team nabbed for match-fixing. Amid all the headlines for Greek and Turkish football, I hadn't seen this one before The association's disciplinary committee fined Olomouc for an attempt to bribe Bohemians Prague players with , koruna ahead of their league game in May to secure a place in the Europa League.
Sigma's keeper Petr Drobisz, accused of having delivered the money, was handed an month ban and a fine worth , koruna. Pick: Tiebreak in the first set — Yes Odds: 3. Your email address will not be published. Anderson — Gasquet Rostick Jan. Born in ' Running betting tips websites since Launched Betdistrict in Worked as a bookie for a year to spy on the other side.
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None of them is likely to hoist a big trophy between now and early June, but within three years it is they who will contest Major finals. If, if, if — never comes. The thing is, you have to do it. He paces. He bounces. He sprints. He swats a shot with all the power he can muster.
He pivots and hits again. And again. From the beginning of through mid, he reached the quarterfinals or better at ten consecutive Majors. Ferrer is the most decorated man playing entirely in the Open Era — present never to have won a Major title. The only member of the Big Four against whom he is winless in 17 tries is Roger Federer. In terms of overall career stats, Ferrer ranks well above both Tsonga 16 singles titles, two Masters titles, one Major final and Berdych 13 singles titles, one Masters title, one Major final.
Why might Ferrer, for all of his success, have been unable even once to solve the puzzle of Roger Federer, while the less accomplished Tsonga and Berdych have managed six wins over Federer apiece? The answers are simple: height, and the advantage height confers in shot power and court coverage. Lacking in power, Ferrer specialized in pinpoint accuracy. Ferrer could place his forehand anywhere in the court on a dime.
After winning the first two sets , Almagro served for the match three times. Each time, Ferrer managed to break. He is close to his family and loyal to his friends. Ferrer played for Spain at three Olympics — , , and — coming closest to a medal heartbreakingly close in the doubles competition, when he and partner Feliciano Lopez finished fourth.
He loves playing for his country. He has said that early in his career he would have handed out water bottles just to have a chance to participate in Davis Cup. In , he came back from two sets down to defeat the tricky and unpredictable Radek Stepanek in the final as Spain won its fourth trophy in ten years. The match was a dogfight. Ferrer was so often behind on his serve that one of the U.
Recovery time away from the tour cost him shot precision and endurance. The consistency that had been the hallmark of his game left him, sapping his confidence. No longer able to rely on his groundstrokes and the accuracy of his serves, Ferrer saw his form and ranking decline. Notwithstanding those set-backs, Ferrer never lost his love for tennis or his desire to compete. Its opponent, Germany, fielded the youngest.
Over five hours and seven minutes, Kohlschreiber and Ferrer scrapped and battled. On the match point, after Ferrer hit his final blistering, crosscourt backhand, he stood and waited, unsure whether his shot had landed in. Hero of the weekend, Ferrer had ensured that his team would play this coming September in another Davis Cup semifinal. He has since won a few matches but never two in a row. Ferrer admits today that the physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion of having a new baby has worn him down.
In July, he announced his plans to retire. He said he would play the North American summer hard court events. For the rest of and the start of , he plans to play events if he is invited to. This week, for the first time since , Ferrer has dropped out of the Top He arrives at the U. He plays for the joy of it now, even though at times his Achilles tendons hurt so much that he can barely walk down stairs. Open as his last Major.
Open champion! When Nadal and Ferrer last met at the U. Open — in the Round of 16 — Ferrer prevailed in four hard-fought sets. Ferrer is not as strong a player today as he was then, and Nadal for his part has improved. Although it is possible the Ferrer will beat Nadal on Monday — he has, after all, beaten Nadal six times — the most likely ending will see Ferrer waving good-bye to the crowd as he exits the court for the last time. Ferrer reached the U. Open quarterfinals three times and the semifinals twice.
Had the match continued in the wind, Ferrer might well have prevailed. This was certainly the closest Ferrer came to a U. Open final. It might have been his closest brush with a Major title. I hope the crowd on Monday night bestows upon Ferrer the respect and admiration he deserves.
Ferrer always gave his all and fought until the last ball had bounced twice. Injury, and specifically injury in Australia, is familiar territory for Nadal and his fans. During his previous Australia injury losses, Nadal was never in a winning position. He lost in and in in straight sets, and he won a set in only because Wawrinka played execrably for a half-hour. Had the injury not occurred, Nadal might well have won the match. His record against the semifinal opponent, Kyle Edmund, suggests that absent the injury, Nadal would probably have reached the final.
This rang false when he said it. Unheard of in years! And there were still tickets available at full price or at discounts! Data from Wimbledon and Australia suggest that if the sport continues to promote Federer at the expense of other players, it does so at its peril.
Throughout the Australian Open fortnight, Federer played essentially a different tournament from everyone else. Federer, meanwhile, was generously scheduled for the cooler evenings in five of his first six rounds. Presumably, he set his string tensions, which are sensitive to temperature and humidity, accordingly. Shortly before match time, the tournament announced its decision to close the roof of Rod Laver Arena and turn on the air conditioning.
His string tensions were all wrong. Unsurprisingly, he started slowly. This is the Extreme Heat Policy. Says that ambient temperature must exceed 40C AND wet bulb reading must exceed Ambient temperature has not been above 40 all day… pic. There's a huge conflict between what happened in week 1 and what's happened tonight.
Closing the stadium roof changes court conditions profoundly. Indoor courts are windless and more humid than outdoor courts. Tennis balls tend to bounce lower indoors than outdoors. All four of the Grand Slams are supposed to be outdoor tournaments at which players are tested against the elements. In both cases, the matches started in the open air, and the roofs were closed only because of rain. Not coincidentally, Roger Federer is one of the best indoor players in the history of tennis.
Wind is his adversary, neutering his aggressive attacking style. A closed roof suits him to perfection. Had Cilic been warned that the roof was to be closed for the final, he would have had a chance. He would have prepared himself and his racquets for the conditions he would face.
But he was not told in advance. Federer admit he was given a heads up the roof would be closed, which is why he practiced indoors. Cilic was not alerted… pic. They told Federer in advance, enabling him to prepare himself and his string tensions for the cooler air. They did not warn Cilic. In the long and colorful history of sports malfeasance, I think medals and trophies have been stripped for less. He might not have known that the tournament was leaving Cilic in the dark.
Had Nadal been in final, blowback from roof closure would have made that act impossible, which tells you just how unfair it was for Cilic. This is usually Nadal. Unfairness is what will drive people away from tennis, not players taking 2 minutes to get ready to play. And an irresponsible media focused only on its narratives. This is the biggest sign of cheating and corruption along with favouritism a grand slam has ever shown.
The favoritism is so transparent. Even the ESPN commies remarked about it. Advice from whom? Good morning! Up at 7am on a Sunday morning. Is it true that they closed the roof and put air conditioning on? For an evening match? After refusing to close it when it felt like 60C? That Roger practiced indoors, while Marin outdoors? RIP Tennis. Photo by mountainboyC. Can Serena Williams reassert herself at the top of her sport at the age of 35?
Can Rafael Nadal produce in another miraculous return from injury as he did in , , and ? The principal U. Pam Shriver talks mid-match about her children. Not surprisingly, the match is a rout. Below is a new video. Mit msmitmi January 18, He must be fired NOW! Rather than ask Adler to clarify his intent, Rothenberg tweeted outrage to his 51, followers. This is some appalling stuff. Horrifying that the Williams sisters remain subjected to it still in Had Adler ever exhibited any signs of racism?
Should ESPN require that its on-air staff treat athletes and coaches with respect? If they want to attract viewers, yes. Doug Adler is entitled to the benefit of the doubt from the world of sport. ESPN owes Adler financial restitution and reinstatement as a tennis commentator. World 8 Tomas Berdych on the velvety Roland Garros clay. The charismatic and highly talented Frenchman Gael Monfils — ever a crowd favorite, and one of the most upbeat and good-natured players on the tour — was forced to withdraw from Roland Garros after being hospitalized this week with a viral illness.
Currently ranked 15 in the world and rising quickly, Thiem will surely win the French Open someday. Five of his six titles to date, and two of his three in , have come on clay. His well-rounded game is precise, aggressive, and great fun to watch. He will arrive in Paris brimming over with confidence from his win in Nice although perhaps somewhat tired. He is a dangerous opponent for anyone.
He reached the final in Barcelona, where he lost a close match to Rafael Nadal. Fortuitously blessed with a good draw, Nishikori could easily reach the quarterfinals, where he might encounter Andy Murray. Djokovic and Nadal faced each other once, in the quarterfinals of Rome, where Djokovic won Only Nadal of the three favorites won two titles in the lead-up to Roland Garros: in Monte Carlo and in Barcelona a competitive level tournament where neither Murray nor Djokovic was in the field.
The tournament whose conditions i. Nadal won that title, beating Murray in the semifinal. Djokovic lost in his first match. Madrid, featuring high altitude and hard-packed clay, is the least like Roland Garros. Djokovic won that title, beating Murray in the final. Murray had beaten Nadal in the semifinal. Rome, like Paris, is at sea level. There, Murray beat Djokovic in a hard-fought, testy, and rainy final. The fourth round could bring a meeting with Dominic Thiem see above.
In the semifinal, Nadal could face Djokovic. Over his first five rounds, Djokovic faces a relative cakewalk. Murray could face formidable challenges in the quarterfinals against Nishikori and in the semifinals against Wawrinka.
Djokovic owns a career head-to-head record against Nadal and has won their last seven meetings, three of which have been on clay. Advantage, Djokovic? Not necessarily. From mid until mid, Djokovic also won seven straight matches against Nadal. When the two next met, at the French Open final, Nadal won. I am not so sure. I still need to play my best to have chances to win. The contest between Nadal and Djokovic in Rome proved that Nadal is ready to compete toe-to-toe with Djokovic.
Both players know that now. This cannot be a comfortable feeling for Djokovic. He has a decent first serve, but his second serve has traditionally been his most attackable weakness. In , Murray has improved both his first serve and his second serve and implemented successful plans of attack against both of his major rivals.
If Murray reaches a final against either Djokovic or Nadal, he can take some confidence from the fact that his most recent meeting with each on the clay courts this year was a win. In the second set, Murray dug in for a fight. The final set was nervy and tight, with each player alternating between brilliance and sloppiness and momentum shifting repeatedly.
Djokovic broke serve first but relinquished his advantage a few games later. The game was riddled with Djokovic errors. Murray had at least four chances to break. I lost count of the number of deuces and wasted match points before Djokovic was finally able to put the match away. Twice in and he rehabbed and resumed training only to discover additional wrist problems.
All this changed in At the Madrid tournament, Murray again looked sharp. With a beefed-up first serve and a much-improved second serve traditionally his great weakness , Murray complemented his devastating defense and return game with impressive management of his own service. He defeated Rafael Nadal in a cold, damp semifinal through dogged and aggressive play.
Novak Djokovic played much better in Madrid than he had played in Monte Carlo three weeks earlier. At other times, he displayed a mental vulnerability that has become increasingly commonplace for him in He nearly repeated the feat in the final by gift-wrapping several break chances for Murray in the final game. If Djokovic plays at his best in the crucial moments of his matches at Roland Garros, he will be nearly unbeatable. Clay demands greater adaptability from tennis players than any other surface, because clay is the only surface on which play continues in the rain.
When rain begins, though, clay tennis evolves in a matter of minutes into what is effectively a new sport. The balls grow heavy as they pick up water and wet clay. The heavier balls refuse to take spin, reducing the effectiveness of top-spin shots and necessitating changes of strategy.
Players are required to hit harder while simultaneously recalibrating their shots for the new conditions. During the first set, the sun shone through cloud cover. In less than 26 minutes, Nadal won the set Rain started during the second set.
The balls became heavy. Nadal continued to struggle for advantage until the balls were changed according to the standard schedule in the eighth game. Nadal went on to win the set This week the tour moves on to a Masters event in Rome, where the rainy weather is predicted to begin on Wednesday. Photo by puepppy. Please click here to see the revised and updated version of this article published in Clay rewards players who put heavy topspin i.
Consequently, it is much more difficult on clay than on a hard court for a player to hit a winning shot past his opponent. Rallies are long, and matches are both physically and mentally arduous on clay. Leading off the series is the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters tournament.
There are no easy matches. Nearly every player faces a tough slate of potential opponents. The defending champion is World 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia, who has won the event twice in the last three years. His record might never be equaled.
Update: Rafael Nadal def. Gael Monfils to win the title in Monte Carlo. Thirty-four-year-old Spaniard David Ferrer has said that winning the Barcelona title would mean as much to him as winning a Grand Slam. Philipp Kohlschreiber won a barn-burner of a final over Dominic Thiem, 7 4 , to take the title in Munich. Often matches start after 11 p. Djokovic has not played in Madrid since This year he will return. Nadal holds the record for Rome titles with seven. Update: Andy Murray def.
Novak Djokovic in the Rome final to win his third clay title and his second at the Masters level. Meanwhile, level events in Nice and Geneva offer final tune-up opportunities for late-arriving journeymen players as well as a few hometown stars. Stan Wawrinka def. Marin Cilic 11 to win his second consecutive Geneva title and his third title of Every Grand Slam tournament offers compelling drama from the start.
One of my favorite tales of Roland Garros valor took place in and starred thirty-one-year-old Spaniard Tommy Robredo. Photo by zoricdragan. Twenty-nine-year-old Spaniard Rafael Nadal is the greatest clay court player in the history of tennis. Nadal has won eight Monte Carlos, eight Barcelonas, three Madrid titles on clay and one when the tournament was played on an indoor hard court , seven Romes, and nine French Opens. He was unable to control his breathing or his emotions.
To win matches, he needs the confidence to go for big shots on important points. To have confidence, he needs to win matches. Nadal said in a recent interview that, unlike last year, he now enjoys practices and matches, and he feels ready to compete with anyone. After floating in the Top 4 for four years, Djokovic came into his own in , winning the Australian Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open, and finishing the year at 1 for the first time.
In , Djokovic lost to Nadal in a semifinal — a virtuosic five-set masterpiece that has been called the greatest match ever played on clay. After Djokovic won the first set, he seemed well on the way to achieving his much-talked-about dream. Then Wawrinka delivered the three best sets of tennis he has played in his life, a breathtaking display of power and precision. Pounding the ball off of both wings, Wawrinka kept Djokovic on the run. When it was over, and Djokovic stood on the podium once again holding the runner-up plate, he received a lengthy standing ovation from a crowd sympathetic to his plight.
In Miami, Austrian Dominic Thiem was able to create a passel of break point opportunities against Djokovic but could not cash them in. He might this year finally win the French Open. Or he might lose a few points at important moments and find himself on the unfamiliar losing end of a match. Focusing on tournaments more likely to enhance his legacy specifically, Wimbledon and the Rio Olympics , Federer had opted to minimize his work on clay. Having been forced to sit out for two months, Federer decided recently to refocus on the clay events, beginning with Monte Carlo.
Winning a clay tournament at the Masters or Grand Slam level is a tough task for him. Physically strong, and blessed with a one-handed backhand as lethal as it is beautiful to watch, Wawrinka at his best can beat anyone on the tour. Wawrinka is also wildly inconsistent. It can be difficult to predict on any given day which Wawrinka will show up on court. Realistically, he could lose early in two or three events on the European clay.
With equal probability, he might win three or four of the titles. Like many of his countrymen, Ferrer excels on clay, having won 12 of his titles on the red dirt. In , he reached the final at Roland Garros, where he lost to Nadal. Among the remaining men who will contest the singles competition in Paris, at least 15 have the potential to cause upsets within the draw.
Some worthy of especial note:. As highly disciplined as he is talented, Thiem possesses a well-rounded game as well as a gorgeous one-handed backhand. In recent years, he has notched wins over Nadal, Federer, and Djokovic. With two titles already this year, year-old Roberto Bautista Agut is the most successful Spanish player through the first quarter of In his short career on tour, he has won four titles, including one each on clay and grass. Whether he hoists any trophies this spring, or pulls off any important upsets, or bows his head in defeat, will depend upon which Tsonga shows up to play.
Update: Novak Djokovic def. She owns more titles, counting singles, doubles, and mixed doubles, than any other active player, male or female. She is the only player of either gender to have won singles titles at three different Grand Slams at least six times each. Open with a chance to make history. To win, she might have to beat three former Slam champions including her sister Venus and a former Slam finalist who has beaten her before.
That said, in more than in any other year, Serena has demonstrated tenacity and determination. Every match thereafter promises athleticism, virtuosity, and drama. The U. Any of them could contend for the title if the draw were to break her way.
Maria Sharapova Russia Wimbledon , U. Open , Wimbledon , U. Open , Wimbledon , Wimbledon , Wimbledon Matches featuring any of these players in the second week should be corkers! Among the younger players rising in the rankings are several who can be classified as power players. Two who have had the greatest impact at the Grand Slams are:. Open final in To see Bouchard, you may want to find her first- or second-round match. Excellent defense requires speed, fitness, patience, anticipation, adaptability, and good decision-making.
Open finals in and Cornet, Giorgi, and Jankovic are all top-flight players who should win at least their first few rounds in New York. Having played in only a pair of tune-up tournaments, former No. While it is the youngest of the four "Grand Slams", the Australian Open has become an increasingly more popular sport to wager and to watch. Whether you like to place a quid on a future wager or a deener on one of the many exciting early round matches, Australian Open tennis offers both the casual and the serious gambler a variety of ways to increase their sports investment bankroll.
The Grand Slam is a popular sports destination as well. Last year, the Australian Open enjoyed record attendance for the event. More than half a million tennis fans came to Melbourne Park and gobbled up 12, BBQ sausages, 11, Australian meat pies and washed them down with , mugs of espresso while watching some fabulous tennis. Indeed, the Australian Open is known as a tennis fan's paradise featuring some of tennis' hottest weather, great outfits, and memorable matches.
One has to look only at last year's finals and Serena William's emotional come from behind victory over Maria Sharapova and Safin's improbable fifth set victory over Roger Federer. When capping Australian Open tennis take into account the court surface as much as you would at say Rolland Garros or at Wimbledon. When you think of Australian Open think Rebound Ace. The courts down under are tennis players' least favorite surface.
In fact many players have blamed Rebound Ace for the high number of injuries and upsets in the early rounds at the Australian Open. Tournament officials maintain that the court's surface should not be blamed for poor performance or conditioning. Rebound Ace's rubber surface puts less stress on the players and the ball bounces higher on a forehand topspin shot. The main drawback is that with the hot summer temperature the surface tends to become sticky which slows ball speed.
In either case, you should be aware of the fact that in the early rounds upset potential abounds. Australian Rod Laver is the only man to win four slams in a calendar year. Count on Swiss cannon Roger Federer to challenge Laver's record this year as he looks to build on last year's incredible singles record. As is usual these days in the men's draw, Roger Federer is seeded No. Federer's main rival is a clay court specialist, Spaniard Rafael Nadal, who holds a career lead over Federer.
But he has withdrawn from competition this year. In fact, Federer is so far ahead of the competition. All he did in was win Wimbledon and the U. Open, plus nine other tournaments on the way to an record sorry if I repeat this statistic but it is so incredible that even as it appears twice it is hard to comprehend that level of professionalism. Despite Federer's apparent stranglehold on the Men's tennis tour, a few other players are worth a look, and for the gutsy, perhaps a few quid as well.
The loss helped Roddick focus during the off-season and if the seeds hold up through the two weeks competition, Roddick will meet Federer in the finals.
Obviously one of the best servers on tour, Anderson gave away 4 breaks in the first round but did not allow a single break point in the second. However, Richard cruised trough the first two rounds here at the Open, looking brilliant at times, showing a clear improvement — most notably NOT losing serve so far. It has to be said though that Berlocq and Duckworth were not exactly top class opponents.
Bet on Anderson vs. Gasquet and watch Australian Open live streaming at Bet! Richard leads the H2H and easily won he last meeting, a victory last year in Miami. He seems to hold a clear matchup advantage, dominating Anderson and leading in sets besides the H2H.
The tip I like here is a tiebreak to happen in the first set — both guys are great severs, Anderson of course a huge server actually. Gasquet never lost serve this week, Anderson did not lose serve in the second round. Two of their five meetings had a tiebreak in the first set. My tip on this one is a tiebreak to occur in the first set. Prediction: Kevin Anderson — Richard Gasquet Pick: Tiebreak in the first set — Yes Odds: 3. Your email address will not be published.
Anderson — Gasquet Rostick Jan. Born in ' Running betting tips websites since The crowd loved it and Gasquet soon wrapped up a deserving , , victory. Earlier David Nalbandian , trying to climb back up the ranking after hip surgery last May -- the former world No.
Not satisfied with that, the slimmed down Argentine went off for a frugal lunch and was then back on the practice courts for a long session. There's no short cut back to the top on this tour. Tomas Berdych , who seems finally to be doing justice to his talents, would echo that sentiment. The big Czech, who was so impressive on his way to reaching the Sony Ericsson final at Key Biscayne last week, has managed to haul himself back to No. Berdych seemed to have little difficulty with the dramatic switch from hard courts to the slip-slidin' nature of clay -- which requires such different foot movement -- and defeated an old rival, Feliciano Lopez , , That win leveled their career head-to-head record at three wins apiece.
Now the Czech will face Gasquet in a match that will require more from the Frenchman than beautiful backhands if he is to win. Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal confined himself to the practice court as he prepares to defend a title he has won five years in succession which, even for him, is a staggering achievement.
He has won 27 consecutive matches in Monte Carlo, which is the kind of streak you would never get at the roulette wheel. But then, with the meticulous man from Mallorca, there is never anything left to chance. Preparation, dedication and flat out hard work under-pin Nadal's success and, of course, he is a little more anxious than usual to defend his title here because he has not won a title on the tour since Rome last May.
Nadal insists that his confidence has been bolstered by his consistent showing on the hard courts so far this year even if he didn't win a title. In Indian Wells I was playing very good tournament. I played terrible in semifinal but the rest of the matches I was playing very high level. And in Miami, too, I played well.