SONY ERICSSON OPEN
Nick's Picks For Day 9
by Joe McGovern|
Legendary tennis coach Nick Bollettieri offers his commentary and prediction for three of the hottest matches on Tuesday's schedule.
 Maria Sharapova vs.  Ni La
This one is a difficult call. Sharapova hits the ball very early and very flat. She’s going to have to win this in short rallies. If not, it’s going to be a big advantage for Li Na. The foundation of Li Na’s game is extremely solid and low to the ground and that poses a problem for Maria. Li Na is not afraid to come in because she’s got a great volley. Physically and in terms of movement, the edge goes to Li Na. Mentally, the edge goes to Maria. This match must be won in two sets if it’s going to be won by Maria. If it goes three sets, and especially if it’s three long sets, you can look for Li Na.
NICK’S PICK: Sharapova in 2 sets or Li Na in 3 sets
 Novak Djokovic vs.  Richard Gasquet
Gasquet, as we all know, has a fantastic one-handed backhand. It’s one of the best. And he moves extremely well. However, when you hit the ball as quick and as fierce as Novak does, you don’t have to hit those Gasquet backhands on the run. So no matter how good Gasquet’s backhand is, Novak knows how to break it down. You’ll see Novak making him run. And unless Novak has a really tough day for some other reason, he’s going to come through.
NICK’S PICK: Djokovic in 2 sets
 Caroline Wozniacki vs.  Serena Williams
With this match you forget about the rankings. Very few people expect Caroline to win, even though she’s ahead of Serena in the numbers. In this match Caroline needs to be loose, comfortable, be bold, take chances, and play like she has nothing to lose. But if you saw any of Serena’s match against Stosur, you saw that she’s pumping the fist again, she’s loving the game again. She’s serving out of this world—20 aces she served against Stosur. With Serena at that level, it’s just simply going to be very difficult for Caroline to win.
NICK’S PICK: Williams in 2 sets.
Get the VIP treatment and go behind the scenes with the 2013 Priceless Experiences Program Presented by MasterCard. Go
This exclusive venue features an upscale restaurant, trendy bar and lounge area which allow guests the opportunity to escape the heat.Go