When Monfils, serving for the first set against perhaps the greatest player ever to hold a racquet, hit a behind-the-back volley you knew you were watching the most entertaining match of the day. He lost the point but completed the hold and later completed the job in the third set.
Ferrer was outplayed for much of the match as Florian Mayer could do little wrong. Even his patented wanky jumping drop shots were coming off. The writing was on the wall early as Ferrer lost his serve and Mayer fully deserved the straight sets win.
In Osaka Bouchard has had it pretty easy up to this point. She has lost a total of 7 games in her 2 matches but has a tougher opponent in the quarter finals.
Zahlavova Strycova came through a 3 setter with American Vania King in the last round.
Bouchard should be too strong over all and her stats are better over the last 3 months although BZS converts a higher percentage of break point chances. I think we will see a higher price on Bouchard than her SP of 1.27 . Back her if she goes a break behind.
Doi benefited from Date Krumm being unable to serve out the opening set and took the set in a tie break. As the second set progressed on serve Krumm injury became too much and she was broken at 4-4.
Stosur has quietly gone about her business this week and is yet to lose a set. She really shouldn’t have any problems with Doi but if she can go a break behind that would be superb. Stosur starts at 1.25 .
Hercog has found her hard court form this season and starts against Nara as a 1.55 favourite. Home player Nara hasn’t lost a set but had to fight hard against Puig who led in both sets.
If Hercog continues to serve as she has been then she has a massive advantage. Nara’s stats for return games are much better over the last 3 months than Hercog’s.
I’d expect this to be quite swingy and we will see a much higher price on Hercog but unless her serve deserts her she will come through in 3 sets.
The Flipkens v Suarez Navarro is one of the Shark Tips picks.
Stephens and Voegele have met twice before. their head to heads are 1-1 but Voegele’s win was back in 2008. Stephen’s win was last month in Tokyo and ended a comfortable 6-3, 6-2.
Voegele’s predicted holds aren’t high and she has held serve just 62% of the time in the last 3 months.
They create about the same number of break points per game but Stephens converts significantly more of them. The American also saves more break points than her opponent.
I think over all Stephens will have too much fire power but so often her casual attitude gets her into trouble. Voegele has had to fight very hard to get this far with both matches being 3 setters. I expect her to push the Stephen’s price above the SP of 1.30 and I will wait for her to get the break or break point before backing Stephens. Voegele will run out of steam if this becomes a long match.
Mayr-Achleitner has justified her wild card by reaching the quarter final stage of her home tournament. If she is to threaten Kerber today she will need the German to repeat her opening set from her match against Niculescu earlier this week.
I’d rather wait for the higher price to back Kerber. She starts at 1.10 .
The late match is Ivanovic v Cibulkova.
Cibulkova leads the head to heads 2-1 but Ivanovic won their only recent match. That was in Carlsbad in July and saw Ivanovic come back from a set down.
Cibulkova’s predicted holds are low which isn’t surprising as she is smaller than the net.
Over the last 3 months their stats aren’t really so different but Ivanovic is ahead in most categories. Cibulkova creates more break point chances.
Both players can start slow. In their 2 matches that were completed ( Ivanovic retired in one of their matches) they went to three sets with the winner coming from a set down.
I’d love to see Cibulkova get the opening set and will be looking to lay Ivanovic under 1.30.
Ivanovic to win in 3.