Lu v Serra:
Serra’s first event of 2012 was a Challenger where he reached the Semi Final, losing to Menendez-Maceras. In the 1st round in Melbourne he was at 1 set all against Darcis when his opponent retired. He has come through the qualifying rounds which included a straight sets win over Robby Ginepri.
Lu has played 3 matches in 2012 with 2 wins. His loss was when he joined the list of Sugita’s victims in Chennai. His first round match was a 5 setter against Rik De Voest.
This a great chance for Lu to reach the third round and he will be giving it everything. He doesn’t have the best record in Australia having lost 4 of his last 5 matches Down Under.
Serra won’t make it easy for him and I don’t think this will be over in straight sets. Part stake on Lu from the start but there’s a good chance he will trade higher in the first set. At least 4 sets here.
Update: Easier than expected for Lu. He won 7-5, 6-2, 6-2.
Lacko v Young:
Lacko could have been forgiven for losing heart when he was 2 sets and a break down against former world number 3 Ljubicic. Lacko has failed to fulfill the potential that he showed over 12 months ago. However in recent weeks he has again found some of the exciting tennis that caught my eye. An excellent server with a strong return game, he loves to go head to head with higher ranked players.
Young’s first match of 2012 saw him start extremely well against Falla and he raced into a 4-0 lead. Falla almost pulled him back in that first set but then took the next 2 sets and the match.
In the first round of the Oz Open Young looked to be cruising into the second round but allowed Gojowczyk to take the match into a 5th set.
They have played just once before in Young’s back yard at last year’s US Open. That saw a straight sets win for Young.
Lacko has a poor record against left handers and that could be the edge for Young today. It definitely won’t be over in 3 sets but ideally Young will get off to another fast start. Don’t expect his level not to drop though. Don’t stay in too long. Slight edge to Young who starts at 1.91 on the exchanges.
Update: Strong performance from Lacko. He won 6-3, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.