Some interesting matches yesterday. Let’s see what today brings.
11:00 – Federer v Soderling
Soderling got off to a fast start in his last match and was 5-1 up in the first set. Wawrinka then hit a patch of form that brought him back to a tie break. Soderling won it and then did the same in the second set but he should have been able to finish off the first set much quicker.
Federer we know all about. His desire to win won’t have dropped off for the new season. He will want to hang on to the number 1 spot and is obviously a big favourite to reach the final.
Soderling may get off to the better start having played yesterday but its difficult to see anything but a Fed win. Hopefully Soderling can keep the first set tight and competitive.
I wouldn’t expect to see many breaks of serve particularly in the first set. You could back Fed on serve or if you wish, back both players on their serves.
Alternatively, back Federer from the start and green up when he wins the first set.
Update: It seems to be the kiss of death for the player that I use a photo of in the post……
Another match that started off as expected. A close first set went to a tie break which Federer won. At the start of the second set Soderling seemed very tired and you got the feeling that the second set was going to be a little one sided. Soderling held on to take the set to another tie break. This time Fed was really struggling on serve and Soderling won the tie break 7-1.
In the decider Soderling dominated the world number 1. Federer was well below his best and Soderling won it comfortably.
Soderling won 6-7, 7-6, 6-2.
12:15 – Nadal v Ferrer
Rankings are 2 and 17. Head to heads are 8 -3 to Nadal.
Ferrer’s win against ATP Champion Davydenko has pushed Nadal’s price a little higher than it would normally be. Hopefully Nadal has had a good off-season and will be on his way back to his best form in the early part of 2010.
We could see a close first set. If we don’t then Ferrer will find it difficult to pull back Nadal as he managed to do with Davy.
I think Nadal will be keen to make it clear to the rest of the Tour that he is back and he will be hoping for an early break and a strong first set.
Back Nadal on serve or back him from the start, aiming to be greened up by the end of the first set. I’d be surprised if Nadal doesn’t win in straight sets but the first matches of the season don’t always go to plan.
Update: As predicted a very close first set with Ferrer probably looking the stronger player. Nadal looked very tired with the commentator saying it could be down to jetlag.
Nadal held it together to take the set to a tie break which he won quite comfortably. After that it was business as usual with Nadal going into a 3-0 lead. He served out the set to take the match.
Nadal won 7-6, 6-3.