Madrid Masters Daily Tips: Day one

Events RSS / / 11 May 2009 / Leave a Comment

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Ben Caudell makes his picks for the first day at the Madrid Masters Series...

The Madrid Master Series is now officially open. Spanish Prime Minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez and the Mayor of Madrid opened La Caja Magica - the venue where the new Madrid Masters and Premier event will take place this coming week

The tournament traditionally played on an indoor hard court surface moved to Madrid in 2002. Prior to that, the event was held in Stuttgart and Essen (Germany) previous to this Stockholm (Sweden). For the first time in its history this year's event will be played on indoor and outdoor clay courts. The Olympic site, designed by French architect Dominique Perrault, includes three main stadiums with a capacity of 12500, 3500, 2500 people. This unique venue, the only one in the world boasting three courts with retractile covers, will allow play to continue simultaneously if rain occurs.

Andy Murray, who won the Madrid Masters last year on indoor hard courts, plays in his first ever tournament ranked number three in the world. The reigning champion will have a tougher time on his not so consistent clay court surface defending valuable world ranking points in his quest to climb further up the rankings table. Rafael Nadal, on the other hand, is in a league of his own and will attempt to win his 16th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title to equal Andrei Agassi's record of 17 at the age of just 23-years-old.

Once again, I will be screening through the value bets I believe are worthy of betting on in the run-up to my favourite of all tournaments the French Open.......

Today's selections:

Jo-Wilfred Tsonga (FRA) v Marat Safin (RUS)
I have a lot of admiration for these two players; Tsonga has developed a not too dissimilar style of play to the admirable and well respected Marat Safin. Both player's possess the same formidable forehand and double-handed backhand. Only their temperaments differ slightly. Tsonga the showman compared with Safin the destructive, occasional genius, will provide us with a match that could go down to the wire. The fist pumping, "I'm the man Tsonga" will find it hard against the more experienced Marit Safin on the dirt. I believe that Tsonga has too much respect and admiration for a player who has graced the circuit for over 12 years; he will succumb to the Russian's doggedness in staying amongst the world's elite. It should also be remembered that clay is Tsonga's least favoured surface.

Selection: Back Marat Safin @ [2.46] to win the match.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) v Shuai Peng (CHI)
The 18-year-old Russian starlet is definitely one to watch out for in the future. Upsetting the form book, she dismantled Jelena Jankovic and Agnieska Radwanska in straight sets on her way to reaching the semi-finals of Indian Wells two months ago. Since then she has had losses to Melinda Czink and Francesca Schiavone on clay.

The Asian women tennis players tend not to fancy the European clay, instead preferring the faster surfaces in which the short take back swing is more favourable. I can't see this being any different for Shuai Peng today and the fact that Pavlyuchenkova is a big tournament player, only a win for the up and coming Russian will suffice.

Selection: Back Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova @ [1.62] to win match

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