12:00 – Djokovic v Monfils
Rankings are 3 and 12. Head to heads are 5-0 to Djokovic.
Monfils had an easy win against Tipsarevic but whilst the Frenchman played well, Tipsarevic was terrible in the first and third sets.
Djokovic is the form player and winning for his country is all the motivation he needs. As the French won the doubles yesterday he has to win to level the tie. He is 1.20 on Betfair which seems too low even allowing for the 5-0 H2H.
In the past Monfils just hasn’t known how to hurt Djokovic. However he ended the season in great form. I don’t think he can win this match but I expect him to put up more of a fight than normal.
Interestingly, 3 of their 5 matches have been in Grand Slam events and therefore over 5 sets. In each of these matches Djokovic won 3-0. The remaining best of 3 set matches both went to a third set.
As today’s match is best of 5 sets the omens aren’t great for France.
1.20 is a little low to be backing from the start. You could lay from the off but as I don’t expect Monfils to win a set you would have to be very careful not to stay in too long.
Another option is to wait for a better price to back Djokovic at.
Update: In the first set Monfils was serving at 1-2 and 30-0. He was under pressure at the baseline and clown-mode kicked in. He jumped up to hit the ball under his feet making a complete hash of it and almost broke his racquet on his foot in the process. If Djokovic needed any further motivation that will have provided it in my opinion. Had I been in Djokovic’s shoes I would have been thinking, ” oh you think you can piss about and still beat me?”. Monfils didn’t win another point in that game as Djokovic took a 3-1 lead.
It was one way traffic after that with Djokovic winning 6-2, 6-2, 6-4.
14:00 – Tipsarevic v Simon
Rankings are 49 and 42. Head to heads are 1-0 to Simon.
The pressure of playing in front of his home crowd seemed to get to Tipsarevic. That was a surprise as he normally steps up his level of play in those situations. He put up a better fight in the second set but sets 1 and 3 were terrible for the Serb. His unforced errors were often weak shots that hit the net half way up.
Simon has been in decent form towards the end of the season. He put up a good fight against Djokovic especially in sets 1 and 3. His defensive capabilities can make him a tough player to beat.
Perhaps the biggest question about this match is whether Serbia will leave Tipsarevic to battle for the deciding rubber. If Djokovic wins the earlier match to tie at 2-2 they may bring in Troicki for this match. I think France will be happy enough to leave Simon in based on his recent form.
Whether Simon faces Tipsarevic or Troicki I’d expect him to take the match.
Update: Both players were substituted with Troicki and Llodra coming in to decide the Final. I think this was a mistake by France as I would have fancied Simon to beat Troicki.
Troicki beat Llodra 6-2, 6-2, 6-3.