2nd June 2014

Yesterday’s matches all went pretty much as expected with the exception of the Gulbis v Federer one. As I said yesterday I thought Gulbis would give Federer a hard time but I didn’t expect him to be to sustain it for the full match.

Today we have the remaining 4th round matches.

 

10:00 – Head to heads between Anderson and Ferrer are 2-2 although Anderson “won” their last one in February when Ferrer retired having won the opening set. They have only played once on clay and not surprisingly Ferrer won. That was at last year’s French Open.

Anderson knocked out the new King of Clay Karlovic in the last round when Ivo retired after losing the opening set. He hasn’t lost a set so far.

Ferrer reached the final last year and also hasn’t dropped a set so far.

It’s hard to see Anderson having much chance of taking this one but it would be nice if he can push Ferrer’s price higher than his 1.10 SP.  It is worth laying Ferrer at the start though even an opening set for Anderson won’t give us a huge price on the Spaniard.

 

10:00Petkovic was suffering from a stomach illness before her match with Mladenovic. Mladenovic too has been having injury worries and had two MTO (medical time outs) in her last match. I suppose we should be grateful that they managed to play a match at all.

Petkovic takes on Bertens who has got this far as a qualifier. She beat Soler Espinosa who has been playing well recently. Bertens won in straight sets.

If Petkovic is over her illness she may still feel the effects of it. That levels things up a bit and I think we will see a tight match.

Petkovic starts at 1.60 and I expect to see a higher price on her though I favour her to take the match. It could well get scrappy though especially if Petkovic isn’t feeling 100%

 

12:00 – I doubt Lajovic expected to still be in the tournament for week 2. He hasn’t dropped a set yet although I think he may do so today. Nadal hasn’t looked at his best and will probably struggle when the opponents get stronger towards the end of the tournament but no one expects much of a contest today.

 

The Jankovic v Errani match is covered for the Shark Tips service.

 

15:00 – I didn’t expect Sloane Stephens to get this far but I doubt that she will surprise me further by beating Simona Halep today.

Halep has been in a rush so far and only Heather Watson has avoided a bagel against her. She is the top seed remaining in the draw.

They have played 3 times before and Stephens won their last 2 meeting which were both in 2013.

Halep’s game has matured since those matches in 2013 and if she is injury free she will take this one and reach her first French Open quarter final. She has never been past the second round before! She reached her first Slam quarter final at this year’s Australian Open.

Stephens has reached the 4th round at Roland Garros for the last 3 seasons but has really been lucky with her opponents. As soon as she plays a strong player she falls. I do think she will push the Halep price up a little though in the first set.

 

15:00 –  The last time Murray and Verdasco met was at Wimbledon last season. Verdasco went into a 2 set lead before Murray started playing.

Verdasco beat a below par Gasquet in the last round whereas Murray had an epic 5 setter spanning 2 days (just) with Kohlschreiber.

Murray starts at 1.68 which feel about right. Verdasco struggled against Cuevas but will be the more rested of the two payers after his Gasquet match.

Murray has been slipping back into his wincing, hobbling and moaning old self but if he made it through the Kohlschreiber match he can’t have been that bad.

Murray’s backhand is his strongest shot and with the lefties’ forehands going predominately to that side he has a good record against them. Verdasco does like to use the inside out forehand though and I think he will push Murray hard. I don’t expect another 5 set match this time and if Murray can limit his grabbing of various body parts he has a slight edge here despite it being on clay.

 

17:00 – Is Monfils fit after his match with Fognini? Both he and today’s opponent Garcia Lopez had 5 set matches in the last round. Garcia Lopez also had 4 set matches in rounds 1 and 2 although both were finished with bagel 4th sets.

If Monfils was hamming up his injury problem in the last match then with the support of the French crowd he is rightly favourite to take this. However if he isn’t at least 90% fit then Garcia Lopez has been playing well enough to give him a real fight although almost losing a 2-0 lead to Donald Young wasn’t a good advert for his abilities.

This could be a tricky one to trade!

 

The Kuznetsova v Safarova match has been covered for the Shark Tips service.

 

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