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22nd May 2012, 03:20 AM
Brian Baker vs. Sergiy Stakhovsky

First round of the ATP World Tour event in Nice offers very interesting duel between American Brian Baker and Sergiy Stakhovsky from Ukraine. A few years ago, Brian Baker was the Nr. 2 ranked junior in the world. Orange Bowl champion, finalist at the Junior French Open and a quarterfinalist at Junior Wimbledon. Baker was on a track to do well and become the next American great in the professional tennis. That was back in 2003. But then the injuries started to come. First he injured his hip but he still managed to record his biggest win in his only appearance in the Grand Slam event main draw, when he scored an upset victory over the 2004 French Open winner Gaston Gaudio in the first round of the 2005 US Open. After that match Baker’s sore hip worsened and he opted for surgery to repair a labral tear and shave down some protruding bone in the hip socket. While recovering, he worked hard to develop his upper body strength. He may have overdone it because he hurt his elbow when he was finally cleared to play again. This was followed by a second hip operation, then a third. Baker then came back to tennis courts in October 2007 but played just three ATP Challenger events and then disappeared for the next 4 years. His last comeback dates back to July 2011 as he entered an American ITF Futures event in Pittsburgh as an unranked qualifier and won the whole tournament without dropping a single set. But the big breakthrough for Brian Baker came in this April after winning ATP Challenger Tour event in Savannah, where he completed an unbeliavable story and won the USTA 2012 French Open wild card. So we will see him in Paris next week. Brian Baker is in great form this year and has excellent 30-5 match record in 2012 and is currently on 11-matches winning streak after three easy wins in qualification here in Nice (defeated Bozoljac, Guez and Gonzalez). Sergiy Stakhovsky is winner of 4 ATP Tour titles but despite his surprisingly good 2011 clay court season he has many problems with playing on the red dirt and is a pleasant first round opponent for most players. The aggressive style of play of this player from Ukraine is simply not effective on red clay and Baker will be surely higher motivated than Stakhovsky in this duel. Also the slow courts in Nice surely won´t help Sergiy Stakhovsky and so we recommend a tennis pick on Brian Baker who has nice opportunity to gain an ATP Tour level victory and continue his fairytale comeback by adding another chapter.

Starting Time: 22 May 2012, 12:00 CET
Bet: Baker
Odds: 1.763
Stake: 9 units
Bookmaker: Pinnacle Sports

22nd May 2012, 03:29 PM
Im still spewing about the Li Na v Sharapova match at juicy odds... Li had the game in the bag leading 1 set to 0 and 4 games to 0 in the 2nd..... and then to go on and lose the 2nd set and be 0-4 down in the 3rd was frustrating, but then the come back of her own and to even have a championship point... oh so close after losing a total dominant position.. grrrrrr

23rd May 2012, 08:55 AM
Yeah, I have had a number of heart breaks from betting on women's tennis. I find them less steady and predictable than the men.

I'm looking forward to the French Open.