14:00 – Davydenko v Llodra
Rankings are 34 and 22. Head to heads are 4-2 to Davydenko with Llodra winning their last 2 matches.
Llodra won their last match in November last year during a very poor period for Davydenko. The Russian is superb on indoor courts ( when in form ) and despite his first round loss in the Oz Open to Mayer has been playing better tennis.
Llodra went out in the second round in Melbourne in straight sets to big server Raonic and hasn’t played a competitive match since. His confidence has to be low.
Davydenko reached the semi finals here last year so has the added incentive of needing to pick up some ranking points to avoid dropping further down the rankings.
Llodra is an excellent doubles player and he will try to use his serve volley tactics today. If Davy is on his game this will provide him with a target at the net. On an indoor court that is a dangerous tactic. Both these players can be brilliant one day and terrible the next but I think Davydenko has more motivation. He wants to get back up the rankings ladder whereas Llodra must be close to his career best ranking.
Davydenko starts at 1.50 on Betfair and I will be backing with half stakes from the start. Alternatively wait for a couple of games and then back both on serve in the first set. They both hold serve more than 80% of the time.
I expect a tight first set with Davydenko taking it and also the match.