13:00 – Tipsarevic v Monfils
Rankings are 49 and 12. Head to heads are 3-2 to Tipsarevic. Monfils 2-1 on hard courts.
In today’s other match Djokovic has a great record against Simon (5-1) so the pressure will be on Monfils to get France off to a good start. He will also have to cope with a very loud and potentially hostile Serbiam crowd. Monfils plays better tennis when the crowd is on his side.
Tipsarevic thrives on playing under pressure for his country. It was his win over Stepankek that won Serbia the place in this final.
Monfils, on recent form, looks favourite but home advantage here is a massive factor.
Monfils is 1.56 on Betfair which is probably about the right place to start. If the match is close then the crowd will get more involved which will lift Tipsarevic.
I have to go with Monfils though as he has started to show that he can play under pressure. The clown antics are still there but he is getting a little more reliable.
Both players are excellent on serve but nerves give us the potential for breaks in the opening couple of games. From game 3 back both on serve.
Update: Monfils won in straight sets.
15:00 – Djokovic v Simon
Rankings are 3 and 42. Head to heads are 5-1 to Djokovic who has won their last 5 matches.
The market has Djokovic at 1.14 which normally I would say is too low but the Serb is exceptionally patriotic and will be going all out to win his country a point, especially if Monfils wins the opening match.
Both players have been in good form at the end of the season. Apart from their most recent match they have always had tight encounters but I really can’t see Simon having much success today. I also suspect that he won’t react well if the crowd really get on his back. They will increase the pressure on the Frenchman if he manages to get ahead and Simon reminds me of a sulky schoolboy under these circumstances.
Very little value in backing Djokovic so laying him is the only option. Simon has showed he can take sets off the Serb although I don’t see it happening today.
Update: Djokovic won in straight sets.