At least we won’t see any piss poor tennis this morning. They don’t start until 1pm.
Marseille, 1pm – Gasquet and Dodig have only met once before. That was in last year’s Australian Open. Gasquet won in 4 sets..
You get the feeling that Gasquet’s preparation for the new season didn’t go as he’d hoped. He retired from the Kooyong exhibition with “general soreness”. He did make the third round in Melbourne but lost as a 1.50 favourite against Robredo. He also reached the final in Montpellier where he was outplayed by Monfils. There are players with worse starts to the season but he’s ranked inside the top 10.
This is the first week this season that Dodig has put 2 wins together.
Gasquet in France should really have too much for Dodig but tthe SP of 1.39 is horrible. If Dodig can lift himself for the match he can come out all guns blazing in the first set. If he does then I don’t expect him to be able to keep it up.
Marseille, 3pm – Gulbis is obviously capable of beating Mahut. He won their only previous meeting which was in 2012 when he was ranked 147th. Today he is ranked 23rd and seems to be taking his tennis more seriously.
He didn’t have one of his best matches in the last round and was taken to 3 sets by Bautista Agut. The crowd got involved and if they think they can help one of their home players by getting under Gulbis’ skin this could be very entertaining.
As long as Gulbis doesn’t implode in reaction to crowd taunts he should come through with the win. I expect to see him trade higher though in the first set. At least 1 tie break is likely.
Rio, 18:00 – Ormaechea came through a very tight match in the last round. She won 7-5, 7-5 over Kiki Bertens. Today’s opponent Nastassja Burnett made a terrible start to her last match. She didn’t win a single game in the first set but turned in around after that to take the match 6-2 in the third.
This will be Burnett’s fifth match of the week as she had to come through qualifying before reaching the main draw. In the first round she beat Torro Flor in 2 close sets which is a solid result.
Ormaechea has a better record on clay and I am favouring her today to get the win. However this should be close to a 50/50 match so will be laying her at her 1.50 SP initially.