is it just me or has tennis been more random than normal this year? I suppose coaching methods evolve and also those small “secrets” that the top players have get discovered by the teams of the middle ranking players.
ATP Open Sud de France, 13:45 – Gasquet v Janowicz
Gasquet is in the final for the third straight season. He won the title in 2013 and lost to Monfils last year. He had some revenge over Monfils yesterday with a straight sets win. The first set could have gone either way. Both men had an early break but it was Monfils putting more pressure on the serve as the set progressed. However it was Monfils who put in a poor service game at 4-5 and Gasquet broke for the set.
Janowicz has looked impressive this week. His win over Simon in particular saw some excellent serving from the Pole. Sousa gave him a run for his money in the semi final but the third set was one way traffic. Janowicz won it 6-1.
Gasquet leads the head to heads 2-1 and has won both their hard court meetings. Their last match was in the semi finals of this event last season. Gasquet won in 2 tie breaks.
Taking everything into account, their last match, Janowicz’ form this week and the fact that it is a final, Gasquet’s start price of 1.42 offers little value for me.
Betfair has a tie break to be played at around evens which may be worth a pound or two although Janowicz has been broken 9 times in his 4 matches this week. Gasquet has lost serve just twice. Their last 2 matches gave us 3 tie breaks.
Gasquet’s record at this event is superb and he will obviously have the crowd behind him. I expect him to take the title but I’ll need a better price before backing him.
Update: Janowicz retired after 3 games!
ATP Ecuador Open, 18:00 – Lopez v Estrella Burgos
They have met just once before. That was last season on a hrd court in Washington. Estrella Bugs won in straight sets.
extremal Burgos’ clay stats for the past year on the main tour are stronger.
Lopez has a great win over Verdasco in the semi final. He won in 2 tie breaks.
Estrella Burges also had a title straight sets win in the semi. He beat Bellucci who many had tipped for the title. He won 7-6, 7-5. He has not dropped a set in the tournament so far. He has been pretty good at converting his break chances this week and will certainly need that to continue today.
Top seed Lopez has played one match fewer so may be a little fresher going into the final.
This is Estrella Burgos’ first main tour final. He has been in 7 finals on the Challenger tour and won 5 of them. He has only lost 1 final on clay.
Lopez doesn’t have an amazing record in finals although to be fair to him all his losses were to top players with the exception of his very first final when he lost to Nieminen back in 2001. He has more experience on the main tour and has looked very solid this week. We may well see 3 sets but I expect to see Lopez lifting the trophy this evening.