Friday’s games

Tipsarevic v Davydenko:

Davydenko leads the head to heads 2-0 though they haven’t played since 2008.

Tipsarevic starts as favourite at 1.67 . Despite a medical timeout for blisters after just a few games he came through easily enough against Cipolla. Davydenko should provide him with more of a test. The Russian hasn’t lost a set but has looked a little shaky on serve at times.

Davydenko won the title in Munich in April this year but since then has not won 3 matches in a tournament.

This should be a great match to watch and I am going with the greater power and consistency of Tipsarevic. Davydenko is still showing short glimpses of the standard of pay that saw him reach  a world ranking of 3 in the world 5 years ago but those days are long gone.

There is a slight possibility of 3 sets as both players are capable of switching off in the second set ( if they won the first) but I expect Tipsarevic to progress to the semis.

Update: 3 breaks in the first 3 games. During the third game Davydenkohad some pain in his hip while serving and took a short break. He then continued but was broken. He called foer the trainer and had a medical time out. He tried to continue but retired during the 4th game.

Tipsarevic won 2-1(ret).

 

Almagro v Nishikori:

Almagro could have been expected to be rusty against Ramos as it was his first match since the US Open. He was also a little jet lagged.  In the first set he didn’t really start to wake up until he was set point down and then played a superb tie break. In the second set he was again taken to a tie break but came through.

Nishikori was able to take advantage of Petzschner’s poor attitude in their first set and took the set. However after that the German calmed down a little and started to compete more. Both had chances to take the third set but Nishikori made a few less unforced errors.

These two haven’t played before though obviously world number 11 Almagro starts as favourite and is currently at 1.61 in the match odds market. He needs points this week to capitalise on the fact that Berdych has had to pull out. Berdych is 1 place ahead of Almagro in the rankings and as it is the top 10 ranked players who go to the Tour Finals in London at the end of the year all the top guys are keen to secure a place there.

Nishikori has a chance for a win today but will need to be more consistent than in his last match. I expect Almagro to be more rested than he was for the Ramos match. He has said he is here to try to win the tournament and that Troicki is his biggest opponent. Er no, I’d say Nishikori is your biggest opponent right now! I hope he isn’t underestimating the Japanese player.

If Almagro can play at the level we saw in that first tie break yesterday then he will win this.  He can’t afford as many errors as he got away with against Ramos and his first serve must improve. He will need all the free points he can get but I do expect Almagro to win.

Update: Almagro started well and broke a nervous Nishikori in the very first game. He wasn’t able to hold on though and despite having a point for a second break he was broken himself and we went into a tie break. Nishikori went a mini break up but Almagro broke back and managed to take the tie break which it could be argued wasn’t deserved.

I tight second set finally went Nishikori’s way and he was able to break Almagro in the very first game of the third set. Almagro wasn’t able to break back and Nishikori was a deserved winner.

6-7, 6-4, 6-4.

 

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