Kuala Lumpur, 11:00 – Cibulkova v Vekic
Cibulkova starts at 1.19 and it would be a real shock result if she were to lose this one. their only previous meeting came earlier this season in Indian Wells and ended in an easy straight sets.for Cibulkova.
She hasn’t sailed through to this final though and lost the opening sets in her quarter and semi finals.
Vekic has lost the opening set in 3 of her 4 matches. In two of them including her semi final she only won a single game in set one. If she makes the same start today I don’t expect her to make a comeback.
I will be hoping that Vekic can take an early lead although with her starts this week it seems unlikely. 1.19 is no price to back any women in a final.
Update: Vekic won 6-7, 7-5, 7-6
Monte Carlo, 14:00 – Wawrinka v Federer
This will be a great match to watch and no tennis fan should miss it.
Many were expecting a repeat of the Australian Open final but Djokovic wasn’t good enough on the day to beat Fed. Federer beat the world number 2 in straight sets but needed 3 to beat Tsonga. He started well against Tsonga but his mind switched off towards the end of that opening set.
Wawrinka has already beaten one of the best clay courters in the world who had just beaten THE best clay courter in the world. Wawrinka has spent all his career in Federer’s shadow. It can’t have been easy to come from a small country and have the best player ever to play the game to be getting all the attention. In the past Wawrinka just didn’t believe he could beat Federer. Their head to heads are 14-1. Fed has won their last 11 matches. Interestingly Wawrinka’s only win came in Monte Carlo in 2009.
Wawrinka has matured a great deal over the last 12 months and has proved he can beat one of the top players in a huge final when he took the Oz Open in January. Now we have the one he has really been waiting for. They have only met in one final before but that was an exhibition tournament in 2009. Today its the real deal and I just have a feeling Wawrinka can pull this off.
In the battle of the back hands Wawrinka has the edge. He loves to push his opponent wide with angled back hands that hit the court around the service line. I think we will see this tactic a few times today.
In the past Federer has had the advantage mentally but Stan has improved immeasurably in this area under Magnus Norman.
Update: I wasn’t sure if he was going to make it. Wawrinka was creating chances but not taking them. He leveled the match at 1-1 with a second set tie break and took control in the third.
Wawrinka won 4-6, 7-6, 6-2.