Saturday, 2 April 2011
Eight in a Row
I'm now enjoying one of my best ever spells as a trader. It's a pity I'm not getting the financial reward that I would like from it but I will not be upping stakes for a while yet. One swallow does not make a summer, and all that. Djokovic faltered a little in the first set, which enabled me to get involved at a better price than the stingy one offered pre-match. Nadal simply blew away Federer, who really does cut a forlorn figure against Nadal these days. I almost feel a little sorry for him!
So to the Miami finals. I have a real fancy for Azarenka. She is in 100% top form, having just beaten the world number 2 and 3 in consecutive games. Her confidence is sky-high and I think she has the game to beat Sharapova. There are two big question marks over Maria. One, her serve. She still gives away cheap double faults too often. Vika was attacking every single second serve that Clijsters gave her and won the point emphatically nearly every time. Two, her ankle. Sharapova might even be fave without the ankle doubts. She claims it did hurt during the semi final and that is the last thing she needs against Vika, who is great at pulling opponents from side to side. Sharapova's movement cross-court is not great and I think Vika will take advantage, as she did against Clijsters, who is a much better athlete than Sharapova. That said, if Maria is serving well and gets into her stride early, she could blast Vika off the court. Tough call but the ankle could be the deciding factor here and I'm going with Azarenka. As for the men, I won't even attempt to analyse this one as it's about as 50-50 as you will ever get! I'm just going to sit back and enjoy what should be an awesome spectacle.
The tour moves into the clay season next week, which will be an interesting period. Last year, my strategy for the red-dirt was different to the hard courts. I'm not so sure about how much I will be adjusting things this year. Some of these clay courts are basically just a thin layer of grit covering a concrete base, so the difference in speed from a slow hard court (such as Miami) is often not that great. The amount of 'top-dressing' varies from tournament to tournament but there is a definite difference with most of the courts and I am certainly more wary of backing anyone on serve. Scalping is often more effective, as a greater number of points tend to be won against the serve, particularly with the men. You also get more breaks of serve and whilst this is not good for long-term swing trading, it is better for short-term swing trading.
However you look at it, some adjustments will need to be made by most traders, even if it's just changing how you view certain players and match-ups. I played a lot of matches during the Latin American Golden Swing this year, and I actually did really well in those games without doing a great deal differently. I played mostly ATP games and because the serve is less effective on clay, it enabled me to get more breaks of serve a lot more easily. Hopefully, this will continue in Europe. The season will also bring an end to late night sessions and 4am finishes, which is a welcome relief. I might actually regain some sort of a social life in the next few months!
Just a quick note to finish on. I have taken down a couple of blog links. This is purely because they are links to paid subscription websites. I don't want to put them on this blog because I've been scammed myself in the past by sites like these and don't wish to publicise any that I have not used and can't validate they are genuine and worthwhile. I'm not claiming that they are all scammers but it's a fact that many are. The only one I know and have used successfully is Tradeshark Tennis, which is just a small one-off life-time payment anyway. Sorry, no offence to the individuals concerned, I just want to keep the blog free from these things.