A lot of people expected at least some of the players who will fight it out in London next week to put less than 100% into their matches this week. Previous years would seem to back up that theory yet here we are at the last 8 stage and all 8 will be in London!
David Ferrer has been in the final for the last 2 weeks. Fognini reached 3 consecutive finals back in July and was a wreck by the end of the third week. Ferrer is fitter than Fognini but has already admitted to being more tired than usual. Ferrer is evens against Berdych in a match covered for the SHARK TIPS service.
Djokovic took a short break after Shanghai and will want his number 1 ranking back as soon as possible. I don’t see him giving Wawrinka an easy time today. Wawrinka didn’t start well against Almagro but the Spaniard had a mental breakdown after 4 games and pretty much gifted the match to Stan.
Djokovic wasn’t able to break the Isner serve in the first set but as the American tired towards the end of that first set it looked a matter of time until he started to falter. Isner took the set in a tie break but a double break for Djokovic in set 2 took them into a decide which Djokovic won easily.
They have played twice this year and both were in grand slams. Djokovic won both but needed 5 sets in each match. Djokovic has won their last 12 matches.
I don’t think Wawrinka is anywhere near playing his best tennis of the year and with his first serve percentage this week being just 43% I don’t give him much hope of the win.
Federer v Del Potro is another SHARK TIPS match. A full match preview along with the pick has been emailed to subscribers.
Nadal also took a break after Shanghai to be fresh for this week and next. He leads the head to heads with Gasquet 11-1 and it is over 5 years since the Frenchman took a set from Nadal. Not wanting to kick a man when he’s down but Gasquet’s single “win” came in 2003 when Nadal retired after the first set of their Challenger match.
Nadal will give everything today and should come through again in straight sets.
I have to admit I have found it difficult to get excited about the Tournament of Champions. The title seems to be on a par with a binman calling himself a Refuse Technician, a secretary calling themselves a Personal Assistant or indeed a gambler calling himself a Sports Analyst!
Ivanovic is attempting to win her first title of the season. She had a wild card for this event ( I mean SERIOUSLY?? Surely they should have had to win SOMETHING?? ). If she had entered an Ana Ivanovic lookalike contest this year she’s have been the underdog.
She has managed some decent performance though and yesterday was one of them. She out played Stosur for most of their 3 sets and took the decider 6-2. In her first match she lost just 2 games to Pironkova. ( Don’t get me started ).
Vesnina looked like she was going to make a match of it against Stosur. having lost the opening set she took a 3-1 lead in the second but failed to win another game. She managed to beat Pironkova in 3 sets ending the match with a bagel.
They have played 3 times with Ivanovic leading 2-1 although Vesnina won their most recent match at Eastbourne. Recent form has to favour Ivanovic although I would want to back her when a set behind in the first set.
Pavlyuchenkova starts as 1.59 favourite against Cornet. The Russian has won all 3 of their previous matches although they haven’t played for almost 3 years.
Cornet has had a good year by her standards and has improved her all round game.
Stats for the last 3 months all favour Pavlyuchenkova but if we compare their performances against common opponents it is Cornet who comes out on top.
This one goes to 3 and I have to give the edge to Pavlyuchenkova. We should see lots of breaks of serve!
Stosur was disappointing for me against Ivanovic but shouldn’t have any trouble beating local “champ” Pironkova who has been handed a bagel in both her matches.
Nothing to see here unless Stosur goes a break behind.