SONY ERICSSON OPEN 2012
Nick's Picks Day 11
by Joe McGovern|
Legendary tennis coach Nick Bollettieri offers his commentary and predictions for two of the hottest matches on Thursday's schedule.
 Maria Sharapova vs.  Caroline Wozniacki
This is the toughest match to call so far. It’s got all the combinations of intrigue that tennis fans love. Maria has to come out on the court like she’s in a Western movie, guns blazing from both hips. Caroline has to keep up the adrenaline level she reached in her terrific win over Serena. On one hand this match could be determined by which one of the girls can dictate the pace of the match. Caroline has the better movement and if the rallies between them goes four or five shots and Caroline moves like she did against Serena, then watch out Maria. On the other hand the determining factor could be which girl has the mental discipline not to lose. That favors Maria and could break down Caroline. I’d give the edge—the very slight edge—to Maria, because she wins a few more points in the mental categories, but this is going to be a duel.
NICK’S PICK: Sharapova in 3 sets
 Novak Djokovic vs.  David Ferrer
We all know about Djokovic. But let me tell you, David Ferrer is the unsung hero of tennis. The guy does not miss. He hits very few unforced errors, he has a good serve, he’s mentally quite strong, he moves great. He doesn’t stand back eight or ten feet behind the baseline. And when it comes to making zero or very few mistakes, David is as strong as anybody out there. Ferrer has to know that Novak was breathing pretty heavy after those long rallies against Gasquet. It was a good thing Novak pulled out that first set against Gasquet.
Against Ferrer, Novak has the edge, of course, because of his more devastating serve and his bigger forehand. But you better believe Novak is not about to take this one lightly. Novak will avoid the upset, but this is going to be one interesting match.
NICK’S PICK: Djokovic in 2 close sets
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