13:00 – Djokovic v Nadal
Rankings are 3 and 2. Head to heads are 14-5 in Nadal’s favour. Djokovic won their last meeting.
Nadal is well below his best. We haven’t often seen him start a match as the underdog.
Djokovic this season has won me over with his performances. He has won more matches this season than anyone else has ever managed.
Nadal will fight to the end as he always does but I would expect Djokovic to go through to the final.
As the players are quite even and both solid servers, Back the Server is a good option. Normally I recommend hedging out for a loss if the receiver gets to 30 first. In this case you have the option of staying in the trade a little longer as both can serve their way out of trouble. That is an option but its up to you if you take it. You decide how much risk you want to take.
I would not recommend the 15-40, however if one player gets to 3 break points ( 0-40) I would back the receiver and then green up when they hold their next service game. (assuming they complete the break)
I feel the scalping method suits this match quite well. Don’t stay in the market for very long on each trade.
2 tight sets or a 3 setter and I expect Djokovic to win.
Update: Superb display from Djokovic. After the first 3 or 4 games Nadal was never allowed an easy point and the result wasn’t really in doubt.
Djokovic won 6-2, 6-3.
I managed to back Djokovic at 30-0 up against the Nadal serve. I backed him again at 40-0 up. I hit the hedge button at the end of the set.
15:00 – Monfils v Stepanek
Rankings are 16 and 14. Head to heads are 2-1 to Monfils.
2 big servers here and we need to look to more recent form to pick a winner. Monfils has more raw talent but as I have said before his problems are usually in his head rather than on the other side of the net. The fact that he only has 2 titles to his name suggests to me that he can rarely hold it together for a full week. However he has performed well this week.
Stepanek has a great service action and his recent results speak for themselves. Not least in him beating Murray in the 3rd round.
Treat each set as an individual match as I can see them being quite different. See how the first 2 or 3 games go to see who settles first and who holds serve more easily and back them on serve.
Alternatively this is also a good match to use the scalping method on.
I expect Stepanek to win a very tight match.
Update: A very tight match. Stepanek looked a little more comfortable at the start. I decided to try to scalp this match and layed Monfils at 0-30 on his own serve. Stepanek completed the break. Good start. Stepanek was 2-0 up but Monfils straight away had 40-0 against the Stepanek serve soI backed him. He completed the break.
When Monfils broke again later in the set I managed to nick a few ticks there too. So by the end of the first set with Monfils winning it 6-4, I had a decent green figure.
I often find it frustrating that by the end of the first set it is tempting to leave the big green on the guy thats just won the first set and leave yourself a red figure on the other player. All too often the player who lost the first set gets an early break in the second and all your green figure is gone. If you’re lucky you can hedge out for a tiny profit. I tried something new ( new to me anyway) and it worked. I’ll discuss that more in the forum later.
In this instance it was Monfils who got the early break and was serving for the match at 5-4. Stepanek was still battling and won the next 3 games to take the set. I thought that would be the end of Monfils.
The deciding set was a real rollercoaster ( damn I meant to get a screen shot of the graphs). Again, Monfils got an early break and Stepanek broke back. Monfils broke once again to take a 5-4 lead. This gave him an opportunity to serve for the match simliar to the situation in the second set.
This time he held on to take the set and the match. the final score was 6-4, 5-7, 6-4.