14:15 – Nadal v Djokovic
Rankings are 2 and 3. Head to heads are 14-6 to Nadal although Djokovic has won their last 2 matches.
Nadal is well short of being on top of his game. He has lost both his matches in straight sets and that will have dented his confidence. He admitted after his defeat to Soderling that his confidence was low so the defeat to Davydenko won’t have made him feel any better.
Djokovic must have been many people’s favourite to win this week but his ego will have taken a knock with the defeat in straight sets to Soderling.
Coincidentally, both men lost their last match with set scores of 6-1 and 7-6.
Nadal has nothing to play for this week other than pride. I don’t think that will be enough. Djokovic can still get to the semi’s and will be encouraged by the departure of both Nadal and Murray.
I expect a Djokovic win. Back him on serve.
Update: A strange start to the match with the first 3 game being breaks of serve. Djokovis seemed to be in control after that but Nadal kept fighting. He fought back to take the set into a tie break. Djokovic won the set.
Nadal called for the trainer in the second set and had treatment for a back injury. He could have been forgiven for retiring as he was already out of this tournament and has the Davis Cup final in a week’s time. But he kept playing. Djokovic won the set and with it the match.
Final score: 7-6, 6-3
I missed most of the first 2 sets and was looking for a quick trade or 2. After Soderling had broken serve at the end of the 2nd set I backed him in the next game at 30-0 thinking I could nich a few ticks. He won thegame and i actually lost 10 ticks. In the 3rd set I manahed to back Davydenko at 30-0 against serve and he completed the break.
20:45 – Davydenko v Soderling
Rankings are 7 and 9. Head to heads are 6-3 to Soderling who has won 3 of their 4 matches this year.
I said earlier in the week that Soderling plays better indoors and, from memory, all his titles were indoors. (someone please correct me if I’m wrong).
Their last 3 matches were on hard courts and all 3 went to 3 sets. I’d be surprised if this one doesn’t go the same way.
Soderling has the bigger serve and its obviously working well this week so backing him on serve is an option. Davydenko is one of the best receivers in the game so be careful.
Davydenko’s serve isn’t as big a weapon although it is very consistent. He won’t get as many cheap points and has to work harder to win his service games.
If scalping, laying the server at 0-30 ( or using the 15-40 method)will work well. Dont stay in a trade if it doesnt go your way almost immediately as the first break of serve will bring about a 40+ tick price swing from the opening prices.
I give Soderling the slight edge here.
Update: Davydenko won the first set in a tie break. The second set was going with serve until near the end when Soderling broke serve. He held serve in the next game to take the set.
A tight 3rd set was going with serve until Davydenko broke to go 4-2 up. He managed to hold serve to the end to win the match.
This result means that both players progress to the semi finals and Djokovic goes out.
Final score : Davydenko won 7-6, 4-6, 6-3