14:00 – Soderling v Murray
Rankings are 4 and 5. Head to heads are 2-2 with Soderling winning their only match in 2010 in straight sets.
This one could have more swings than a WTA match. Two players who, more often than not, get the job done but against decent opponents they rarely do it the simple way.
Soderling won the most recent tournament in Paris for his first Masters 1000 event win. That also moved him to his highest world ranking ever, overtaking Murray. There are reports that he has suffered from a stomach complaint which has caused him to lose a few pounds.
Soderling can be a frustrating player to trade on as he can serve superbly and lull you into a false sense of security before being broken to love.
As for Murray, I wonder what his ailment will be today. Wrist hurting? Knee? Maybe his foot. Perhaps his hair will be hurting. Will we see the player who has the ability to beat anyone in the world or will it be the whiny little ginger kid who often turns up in his place?
Murray will obviously have the crowd on his side although I’m not sure that will have much effect on the Swede who is used to being unpopular both on court and in the dressing room.
If both players bring their A game on court then we are in for a treat. Fingers crossed.
Serving stats put Soderling firmly in the lead with service games being held 93% and 78%. Soderling wins a massive 81% of points on his first serve.
Return of serve stats over the last month also have Soderling ahead with 38% of points won against serve conpared to Murray’s 32%.
Their records over the last month? Soderling has played 9 matches and won 8 of them. Murray has played 5 and won 3.
So looking purely at stats and recent form I have to go with Soderling. The one thing that may change that is the “home” advantage for Murray but as I said earlier I’m not sure that will change much. Murray played well here last year beating Federer when perhaps he ought to have been conserving energy for the next round ( he had already qualified). His talent has got him to the top 5 in the world. Now his brain needs to kick in occasionally too on the big stage.
Soderling to win a topsey turvey match.
Back both on serve but watch out for the “brain fart moments” ( ie when they throw a service game away to o ).
Update: Soderling was poor in the first set although looked worse due to Murray playing one of the best sets I have seen from him for quite a while.
Murray won 6-2, 6-4.
20:00 – Federer v Ferrer
Rankings are 2 and 7. Head to heads are 11-0 to Federer although in the last 7 matches it has gone to 3 sets 5 times including their last match in May 2010.
Ferrer will be putting 100% into every point this week and often just the fact that he can seem impossible to break down or tire out can frustrate his opponent. As the head to head shows it doesn’t seem to work with Fed. Federer has the variety of shots and tactics to run the Spaniard all over the court.
I think Federer’s price of 1.14 is a little on the low side even allowing for the 11-0 h2h. Ferrer has had a good season and ended it strongly. I won’t be at all surprised to see this go to 3 sets.
Lay Federer at the start and hope that Ferrer’s set win comes in the first!. Alternatively wait for a better price to back Federer at, perhaps around 1.30 to 1.40.
Update: Nothing there for the layers. Federer won 6-1, 6-4.