09:30 – Schwank v Hewitt
Rankings are 59 and 32. Head to heads are 1-0 to Hewitt although that was on grass.
Hewitt starts as favourite on betfair but at 1.80 there’s not much between them.
Its very difficult to pick a winner but looking through the stats suggests to me that Schwank will win.
Hewitt totally outranks the Argentinian but clay isn’t his favourite surface. He’s also a little short of match practice.
Use scalping and 15-40. I would avoid trading a third set if we get one.
Update: Hewitt’s price had dropped since my original post to below 1.65 at the start of the match. When he won an early break of serve I thought I had called this one completely wrong (not unusual I hear you all shout). Thankfully Schwank broke back and seemed to be holding serve slightly more easily than the Aussie.
The set went to a tie break with Schwank taking it.
Half way through the second set Schwank got the all important break and managed to hold on to the end to save me from yet more banter in the chatroom this evening 🙂
Schwank won 7-6, 6-4.
15:00 – Hanescu v Bellucci
Rankings are 39 and 33. They haven’t played before.
Bellucci took a couple of matches to re-adjust to the slower surface. He despatched Nieminen in the first round but should have a tougher task today.
Hanescu seems to be enjoying the clay and reached the final of the Grand Prix Hassan II. He was unfortunate to again meet Wawrinka just a couple of days after he lost to him in that final.
His first round match with Andreas Beck was very comfortable.
They both win 79% of their service games.
The Betfair market has Bellucci as slight favourite but I give Hanescu the edge.
Either or both men can be backed on serve but its advisable to watch how the opening 2 or 3 games go to see if one of them starts slowly.
Two tight sets or a three setter with Hanescu coming out on top.
Update: Hanescu started VERY slowly. He had several chances to break but couldn’t take any in the first set. Bellucci took it easily.
Totally different story in the second with Hanescu losing just one game.
Bellucci took the deciding set 7-5. he wins 6-2, 1-6, 7-5.