17:30 – Anderson v Cuevas
Rankings are 35 and 62. They have never played.
Anderson has played just 1 match on clay recently which was against Fognini. He started well and took the first set but had problems later in the match with his back. He was struggling with serve and won just 28% of points on his second serve. He lost in 3 sets.
Cuevas reached the semi final of the US claycourt Championships losing to Nishikori. He is definitely more at home on clay and has been in great form.
Anderson’s big serve is obviously less effective on the slow courts and it is Cuevas who has the better stats on return of serve stats (on all surfaces). He creates slightly more break chances.
I expect Cuevas to take the match and would be surprised if it isn’t comfortable.
Back Cuevas on serve or from the start.
Update: Its going to be one of those weeks isn’t it?
Anderson seemed to serve extremely well judging by the pattern of points and the stats. Generally Cuevas also served well but lost his nerve right at the end of the first set. Anderson took it.
Cuevas came back to level at one set all but Anderson again lifted his consistency level and took a well earned win.
Anderson won 7-5, 3-6, 6-4.
18:30 – Monaco v Dimitrov
Rankings are 37 and 70. They have never played.
Dimitrov is in decent form and won a Challenger event on hard courts last month. He has played just 2 matches on clay in the last 6 months. In those matches he won 72% of points on his first serve. Unfortunately he only got that first serve in play 48% of the time. As a hardcourt player he may have been trying to get some easy points on serve as he was losing out on the long rallies. This could have made him try to force the first serve and create more mistakes. If you don’t like long rallies on clay you don’t want to see someone like Monaco on the other side of the net.
Monaco has recently taken Ferrer to 3 sets and has beaten Cuevas. He also pushed Federer quite close on a hard court to lose 6-7, 4-6 at the Sony Ericsson tournament.
I expect Dimitrov to try to serve Monaco off the court as its really his only chance. Monaco will wear him down and will never stop running. Like all good claycourters he is supremely fit.
I’ll be backing Monaco with half stake at the start. Ideally Dimitrov’s serve will keep it close for a few games and I can get the rest on at a better price.
Update: The only thing about Cuevas making a mess of his match was that I missed Monaco being broken early in the first set. Dimitrov was 4-1 up when I joined the match so I got a better price on Monaco. Every cloud………….
Monaco came back to take the set and raced through the second set to win 6-4, 6-1.