15:30 – Dodig v Lopez
Rankings are 56 and 42. They have never played.
Dodig has faced 2 big servers this week in Soderling and Raonic. Today he faces another one. Lopez has been serving really well this week but his return of serve has been poor.
Dodig has also been serving well and over the last 2 weeks his stats for return of serve have been significantly better than Lopez’. Dodig also converts a higher percentage of break point opportunities.
Despite this Lopez is a slight favourite on Betfair at 1.78 .
I’d expect this to be extremely close and backing the server should work well. I’d wait until the 3rd game before entering the market to let them warm up a little.
Very hard to pick a winner but as Dodig has come through against 2 of the best servers on the tour I’d give him the edge today. My slight concern is that Lopez is in front of his home crowd.
Update: Dodig won 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.
In the other matches Nadal takes on Monfils. On clay Monfils has never had more than 3 games in a set. Nadal’s price is 1.03 so a lay is worth a go. Monfils would have to be inspired to challenge for a set. Not likely but its a cheap lay.
Update: Nadal’s price touched 1.07 but he won 6-2, 6-2.
Melzer and Ferrer go head to head this afternoon. Melzer beat Ferrer in last year’s French Open in straight sets. However when they played in Monte Carlo last week it was an easy win for Ferrer 6-3, 6-2. Ferrer is on a roll at the moment and playing in front of a Spanish crowd will lift him a little more. Maybe Melzer’s heart will start beating faster again. He seems to play better after it happens!
Update: Ferrer took the opening set but suffered an injury in the second set. He was still able to take the second set and the match 6-3, 6-3.
Almagro’s win over Davydenko lifts him into the top 10. It was clear from his reaction that it was a special moment for him and to do it in Spain will have made it even more special. Almagro is a confidence player and that confidence is sky high. Ferrero had a really tough 3 set match yesterday and as he has been out of the game for a few months I’d expect his body to be aching this morning. If Ferrero manages to get through the match I expect a comfortable win for Almagro.
Update: Almagro won 6-3, 6-3.