Lots of tennis this week. Today has a lot of qualifying round matches but they are also covered by Betfair.
Garcia-Lopez v Fognini: (clay)
Fognini leads the head to heads 2-1 with both his wins coming on clay. He has played just 1 event since the Oz Open which was last week in a clay Challenger tournament. He needed 3 sets to beat a player ranked 1104 in the world and then lost in the second round, again in 3 sets, to the Netherlands’ Matwe Middelkoop who is ranked 305. Clearly all is not well with the Italian.
Garcia-Lopez has shown some good form on the hard courts this season beating Murray In Indian Wells. The transition to the slower surface can be tricky. Surprisingly for a Spaniard he hasn’t had a lot of success on the clay. He starts as favourite on Betfair.
Fognini is more talented on the dirt but a concern has to be his performances last week. However he will probably make the faster start as Garcia-Lopez gets used to the clay again. I can imagine that Fognini wasn’t particularly motivated for the Challenger event and he can be an awkward character at the best of times..
I think we could well see 3 sets and this will perhaps be the Spaniard’s best chance to get a first win over Fognini on the clay. However I expect Fognini to make the faster start and I will be laying Garcia Lopez from the start.
Update: Well I was right about 3 sets but completely wrong about how the first 2 would go. G-L served for the match in the third set at 5-3 but was broken. He finally broke to get his first win against Foggy on clay.
Garcia-Lopez won 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.
Young v Paire: (clay)
Really not sure why Young is playing on clay in Casablanca when there is a tournament in his home country. Since the French Open 2008 he has only played clay events in America. His most recent event was in May last year. It was a Challenger and he reached the final but the standard of the field was low.
Paire has played 3 main tour events on clay this season. In each one he was beaten by excellent clay courters in Nalbandian (7-6, 6-3), Wawrinka ( 3 sets) and Almagro ( 3 sets ).
Apart from the very top players Americans don’t travel well. Add to that the clay court performances of both players and you have to favour Paire. However I don’t want to get involved at the starting price of 1.43 . I will be waiting for Paire to be broken early in the first set to give us a price of 1.90+ before backing him. I won’t be placing all my stake at once and will add more if Youngs goes below 2.00.
Update: What an awful match! Paire started on top as expected although it was actually Young who broke first! Paire broke back and broke again for a nice swing trade. It was then that the bizarre errors started to appear. Youngs were just down to him being crap on clay but several of Paire’s looked deliberate. He made enough to hand the set to Young.
In the second set Paire was up a double break at 5-2 but twice failed to serve it out. In the tie break Young was 5-2 up and lost!
Paire took the third set easily to win 4-6, 7-6, 6-2.