China Open – Thursday

12:30 – Ljubicic v Dolgopolov

Rankings are 17 and 56.  They haven’t played before.

Ljubicic is starting to feel his age. He can still trouble most players but can often struggle to maintain his standards for a full match. He has a big first serve which wins him 73% of points. His second serve is much weaker winning  just 45% of points. If his first serve breaks down there isn’t much of  back up plan.

Dolgopolov is racing up the rankings. A big serve and great powerful ground strokes can make him difficult to play although his lack of experience and discipline can let him down. He is likely to over use the drop shot and his opponents soon see it coming. He can go to sleep if he gets into the lead and his shot choice can let him down wih him going for big winners when a more patient approach would be better. He has made improvements to these issues recently.

I expect a close first set which could go either way but if Dolgopolov takes it I don’t think Ljubicic will have enough left in the tank to come back.

Watch the first couple of games to let them settle but I will be looking to back both on serve in the first set.

Dolgopolov should take the match. mnn

Update: Before the match started the prices on betfair moved drastically. Dolgopolov was 1.80 but a short time before the match started Ljubicic was around 1.35 and his starting price was around 1.70 .

Perhaps there was a  rumour of Dolgopolov being below par which affected the price.

In the end he played poorly and Ljubicic won 6-3, 7-6.

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