14:00 – Federer v Murray
Rankings are 2 and 5. Head to heads are 8-5 to Murray. He is 2-1 for matches in 2010.
This could be a better match to watch than to trade. Very difficult to pick the winner.
Murray was very impressive in the first match and although Soderling was poor the Scot didn’t do much wrong. His forehand was superb and his serving was above his normal standard.
Federer says he beats Murray when it matters. True he has won the 2 Grand Slam Finals they have played and he won here last year ( I did think Murray had won that match but my memory let me down)
“Home” advantage doesn’t count for much here. Most of the country can’t stand Murray as he’s a Scot and they seem to love Fed. If Murray looks like winning they’ll be on his side but I’m not sure they’ll be doing much to lift him if he looks like being turned over.
Both are strong on serve with them holding 96% and 81% over the last month.
Murray needs to get off to a quick start although when I look through their previous meetings, if Murray loses the first set and then manages to level at 1 set all he has always gone on to win the match.
If Murray can play like he did against Soderling and if he can keep the whiny face out of his body language ( if that makes sense) then he is my pick to win.
Both should be ok to back on serve but avoid the opening couple of games. Quite possible we’ll see 3 sets so if the first set is close, laying the set winner is an option.
Update: Federer’s claim that he beats Murray when it matters was backed up in this match. Murray once again isn’t able to put 2 good performances back to back. He would have had to be at his very best to beat federer in this mood but the style of the loss was very poor.
Federer won 6-4, 6-2.
20:00 – Soderling v Ferrer
Rankings are 4 and 7. Head to heads are 8-4 to Soderling. On fast courts in 2010 they are 2-2.
The playing surface is very slow here this year and that doesn’t suit Soderling. However as a clay courter it DOES suit Ferrer. Soderling’s confidence has to have taken a knock after his poor performance against Murray and the low bounce and an opponent who is chasing everything will start to frustrate the Swede.
Ferrer will need to serve much better than he did against Federer though. He could well have been suffering from nerves and as he has never beaten Fed that won’t have helped his mental preparation for that match.
Both players need a win to have a chance of reaching the semi finals so it may come down to who has the bigger heart. For me that is Ferrer.
If the Swede turns up rather than the Turnip who played Murray then he has a great chance but he will need to control his frustration. The crowd will be cheering for Ferrer as he is the lower ranked player.
Ferrer is my pick for the win, probably in 3 sets. Soderling’s price of 1.54 looks low so laying him from the start is an option. Be prepared to get out of the trade if he seems to have found his timing on the slow, low bouncing court.
Update: Ferrer hasn’t performed well in this tournament so far and that is partly down to his poor first serve success. His second serve isn’t one of his best skills.
Both players had chances here but it was Soderling who won 7-5, 7-5.