18:00 – Andujar v Mello
Rankings are 69 and 78. Head to heads are 1-0 to Mello which was also on clay.
Mello has won 12 in a row in Brazil. He has beaten 2 very capable opponents so far in Giraldo and Montanes and beaten them in straight sets.
Andujar is also in top form and took out Robredo in 3 sets.
We could well see 3 sets here but Mello has to be the pick to win. This week he has held serve 94% of the time to Andujar’s 87% so we could be looking at a tie break in the first set.
Back Mello on serve.
Update: Mello won 6-1, 6-0!
20:00 – Starace v Dolgopolov
Rankings are 46 and 32. Head to heads are 1-0 to Starace.
Dolgopolov has a game well suited to clay. He can get some cheap points with his big serve and his ground strokes are solid.
Starace is really tough to beat on clay though. The problem he has had over the last couple of clay tournaments is breaking his opponent’s serve. I think he could start to tire a little as he had a long week last week when he reached the semi final.
I’m going with Dolgopolov here. I think his serve will be too much for Starace and he has more chance of breaking the Italian’s serve.
Back Dolgopolov on serve or back him from the start with half stakes, adding the rest when he breaks.
If backing from the start make sure you have your strategy in place for how to deal with the situation if it goesd against you. Ideas for this are on the members area of TradeShark Tennis
Update: Dolgopolov won 6-3, 6-4.