The great thing about tennis is that it never fails to surprise me. You can spend hours pouring over stats and videos and think you have worked out how a match will pan out . Then………BAM!! Players like Giorgi decide they need to try to kill birds with her ground strokes. At times it was like she was having some sort of fit. I had to take a break after the first set as I was in danger of breaking my desk. She was stuck in fast forward.
Was Kerber just trying to make her match with Niculescu interesting? She lost the first set 6-0. Honestly! 6 LOVE.
In Osaka Zhang v Keys is a hard one to decipher. Zhang has had an amazing few weeks and you can’t help wondering when her level will drop. She has played Keys twice before and they took 1 each.
Predicted holds are fairly high and are even. Over the last 3 months Zhang’s stats are better in all my key categories. That makes her value at 2.16 and she will trade lower but I can’t pick a winner. It should be 3 sets.
Del Potro faces another player who he has never lost to. In fact Haas has failed to take a set in their previous 5 meetings including 3 matches in the last 2 seasons. They were all on hardcourts.
He is currently at 1.46 but is reported to have been suffering with a fever which would have sapped his energy.
Del Potro’s serve got him through the last match. Haas has more chance of dealing with the serve and can see him taking a set but we know how well Del Potro copes with illness and injury.
Nishikori has beaten Tsonga in all their 3 previous matches. None of them were straight sets.
Tsonga’s service holds are higher but Nishikori’s superior return figures mean that predicted holds are higher for the Japanese player.
It has to be a lay on Tsonga.
Berdych leads the head to heads 9-3 over Almagro. He has won their last 4 matches.
All the stats favour Berdych. His back appeared fine against Lopez.
Neither player has been broken this week so I’m expecting tight sets. Their last match was in November and went to 5 sets (Davis Cup). A good chance of 3 sets and at least 1 tie break..