Friday, 27 March 2009

Today's Picks...

My pick of today's matches, which I won't get to see as coverage commences tomorrow:

[5] A Roddick (USA) vs D Junqueira (ARG) - ATP
Junqueira took Gasquet to hell and back at Melbourne this year - I'd like to see how the leaner meaner A-Rod stands up to this abuse.

[WC] M Lopez (ESP) / R Nadal (ESP) vs A Montanes (ESP) / T Robredo (ESP) - ATP
A Spanish conspiracy is underway to make the Bryans work for their ranking, no?

[22] A Chakvetadze (RUS) vs D Hantuchova (SVK) - WTA
Both these players are former top tenners; I prefer Daniela's game but neither has been that convincing recently. Still, be interesting to see where they're at.

[31] P Mathieu (FRA) vs M Baghdatis (CYP) - ATP
Juiciness; Baggy just took out Gulbis in the opening round and I thought he looked very strong at Melbourne. If both players play to the best of their abilities, this one has epic written all over it.

[7] G Simon (FRA) vs [WC] L Hewitt (AUS) - ATP
My pick of the day. For one thing it pits grinder against grinder and will no doubt answer a lot of the following questions: Is Simon a grinder? Is he an aggressive counterpuncher? How effective is he against someone who plays much the same way? What can we expect from Hewitt? How effective can he be against perhaps the only grinder in the top ten? Can he get back into the top 20?

[Q] T Dent (USA) vs [19] N Almagro (ESP) - ATP
Dent is a one time owner of the fastest serve in the world before Greg Rusedski took on that record. I always used to enjoy watching him play before he disappeared off the face of the planet it seemed. Great to see he's making something of a comeback. He's up against one of the best clay courters in the world who's lost much of his fizz since going down to Nadal (for the loss of only three games) at RG last year.

[13] C Wozniacki (DEN) vs [WC] J Dokic (AUS) - WTA
What!? Shouldn't this one be a quarter final?

A Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) vs [11] V Azarenka (BLR) - WTA
The giant killer versus the baseline banshee.

L Safarova (CZE) vs [18] P Schnyder (SUI) - WTA
Safarova was once considered a hot prospect. Then she hooked up with Tomas Berdych and picked up some of his 'winning ways' - you know, the type where you lose all the time.

F Schiavone (ITA) vs [25] A Szavay (HUN) - WTA
You all know how I love Schiavone's personality - makes 125% of her more limited abilities, much like Ferrer. Szavay's been disappointing - in 2007 I picked her, along with Radwanska (Senior) as future top tenners. I was only half right, and now Agnieszka's showing signs of frailty as well.

M Youzhny (RUS) vs [21] T Berdych (CZE) - ATP
Just how does a one time top tenner, a guy who had Nadal on the ropes for a period, drop to number 62 in the world? It all went wrong when he smashed his head in at this very event last year. Maybe he can try and turn it around at the same place.

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