Sunday 24th February

Berdych v Tsonga

This should be a decent match to watch. Berdych has had a couple of 3 set matches with Gulbis and Janowicz refusing to go down in straight sets. In both of those matches Berdych took the opening set and lost the second in a  tie break. In his semi final Berdych was in total control against Tursunov who offered little resistance.

Tsonga took out Davydenko in his first match although needed a first set tie break before closing out the match in straight sets. Against Tomic in the quarter final Tsonga found himself a set behind and didn’t look comfortable for much of that match. In the end it was a third set tie break that took the Frenchman through to the semi finals.

His semi final was against Simon who had played some superb tennis to knock out Del Potro in the quarter finals. It has to be said that Del Potro was poor compared to the standard we expect from him but Simon was very consistent and kept the pressure on the Argentinian. It was the best I have seen Simon play for quite a while.  I expected Simon to keep the semi final close but Tsonga didn’t give him time to settle and broke serve in the very first game. Tsonga won that match convincingly 6-2, 6-2.

Berdych leads the head to heads 5-2 and has won their last 3 meetings. The 2 most recenty matches were on indoor hard courts and were settled in 3 sets.

So we can expect a close match with both men serving well. Berdych lost 3 of the 5 finals that he reached in 2012. One of his wins was against Tsonga in Stockholm. Tsonga won 2 of his 4 finals in 2012 with his other defeat coming to Djokovic in Beijing.

I think home advantage tips the balance for Tsonga today. He looked very focused in his match with Simon and whilst Berdych has looked good in his opening sets he has taken his foot off the gas once he has that first set in the bag.

3 sets are likely but I am going with a lay of Berdych below 1.5 .

Update: Berdych was so strong on serve that it was hard to see how Tsonga would get a break. Tsonga himself took a while to settle and it  wasn’t until fairly late in the second set that he started to play as we know he can. Having lost the opening set Tsonga managed to scrape through to a tie break in set 2 which he won.

The third set was another tight one with Tsonga taking the only break in the third game. He hung on to take the title.

Tsonga won 3-6, 7-6, 6-4.

 

In Argentina Ferrer takes on Wawrinka who has looked impressive all week. Stan hasn’t lost a set and beat Almagro in the semi final.

Ferrer is a fairly strong favourite at 1.34 . He leads the head to heads 6-3 and on clay he has won 4 of their 5 meetings. Ferrer’s 4 wins on clay were all straight sets. Wawrinka’s single win was in Barcelona in 2006.

1.34 is too low to get involved at the start and I will be waiting for 1.60 .

Ferrer has won 8 of his last 10 finals with the losses coming to Nadal and Djokovic. Wawrinka has won just 4 of his last 10 finals but his losses were to Djokovic (twice), Nadal, Federer, Murray and Cilic.

Ferrer will need to be badly off his game for Wawrinka to win this one.

Update: Ferrer was broken first to give us out higher entry point. He immediately broke back and broke again in Wawrinka’s next service game.

The second set saw Ferrer again broken first and whilst he  broke straight back he was broken again straight after that!. Wawrinka took the set.

In the deciding set it was all Ferrer and he took it easily.

Ferrer won 6-4, 3-6, 6-1.

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