2011 Sony Ericsson Open – Nick’s Picks – Men’s Singles Quarterfinals
David Ferrer (ESP) vs. Mardy Fish (USA)
This is the seventh career meeting between Fish and Ferrer and they have split the previous six. Fish is on a roll, having beaten Gasquet and Del Potro in back-to-back rounds. He moves well, has a very good backhand and his serve and forehand have improved so much in the last couple of years. Against Ferrer, Fish cannot make any mistakes. Ferrer gets every single ball back, and he make so few unforced errors. Ferrer is also one of the best returners of serve in the game, and he will pounce on anything defensive. I think this match goes three sets, and in the end I have to give a slight edge to Ferrer because of his consistency.
Nick’s Pick – Ferrer in 3 sets
Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs. Kevin Anderson (RSA)
Anderson is 1-0 against Djokovic, and that win came back in 2008 in the second round here in Miami. Anderson is a big boy, he stands 6’8″ and has a monster serve. He has a unorthodox wind up on his groundstrokes, but they are relentless and he never stops working. He knocked off John Isner in the fourth round and a win here would definitely be one of the biggest of his career. Beating Djokovic will not be easy though. He is on a roll and there are no signs that he will stop soon. He beat Troicki in straight sets and he is playing absolutely unbelievable tennis. Despite Anderson’s groundstrokes and serve, Djokovic just has too much of everything. He is so solid from all over the court and his confidence is at an all-time high. I look for Djokovic to advance in two sets.
Nick’s Pick – Djokovic in 2 sets
Gilles Simon (FRA) vs. Roger Federer (SUI)
Simon is 2-1 against Federer, but Roger did beat him earlier this year in a five-setter at the Australian Open. I didn’t think Simon would get by Tipsarevic in the last round, and he was down a set, but he came back and won it in three. That’s a testament to his work ethic and his fighting spirit. He has a very nice two-handed backhand, moves extremely well and his serve is solid. He’s had success against Federer in the past, and this is a dangerous match for Roger. I think this goes three, and I give the advantage to Federer.
Nick’s Pick – Federer in 3 sets
Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs. Tomas Berdych (CZE)
Nadal is 9-3 against Berdych and has won eight straight against him. Nadal has yet to be tested in his matches, while Berdych is coming off of a hard fought three-set victory over Florian Mayer. Both men have powerful groundstrokes and excellent serves. Nadal moves better than Berdych and definitely hits the ball with more spin. How can I pick against Nadal? It’s impossible!
Nick’s Pick – Nadal in 2 sets