12:00 – Melzer v Almagro
Rankings are 12 and 16. Head to heads are 1-0 to Almagro (which was on clay).
Defending champion Melzer didn’t have to play his quarter f inal as Kohlschreiber dropped out before the match. So he has reached this stage by winning just 1 match so he should be well rested.
Almagro has needed three sets in both his matches. In each round he won the opening set after a struggle, then lost the second before finally winning the deciding set 6-3.
I tipped Kohlschreiber to beat Melzer. The Austrian’s form seems to have taken a slight dip after beating Nadal. There is no doubt the home crowd will be very much behind their guy and that could wind up the temperamental Almagro who has been touchy all week.
Melzer starts at 1.56 on Betfair but he has a tendency to start slowly. I would expect Almagro to take the first break of serve but whether or not he can hold on for the set is anyone’s guess.
They have been serving generally well over the last month with them holding serve 79% and 84%. Melzer is much better on return of serve especially when he decides to be aggressive. However he often starts matches by playing safe which isn’t his best game and often means he gets broken early in the first set.
Laying Melzer from the start is a decent option although I expect him to win the match in the end.
After the opening 2 or 3 games as long as they have settled and are holding well then both can be backed on serve. If Melzer starts to be more aggressive when receiving then don’t back Almagro’s serve. When Melzer does this it is VERY noticeable as the power he puts into the returns is in stark contrast to his “safe” play.
Melzer to win in 3 sets.
Update: Melzer won 6-4, 6-4.