French Open 2012, week 1 Friday

Seppi v Verdasco:

Verdasco leads the head to heads 6-1 and has won the last 6. They have only played once on clay which was in 2005 which Verdasco took in straight sets.

Seppi is in great form with recent clay court wins over Davydenko, Wawrinka, Isner and  Nalbandian. He had a tough 5 setter with Kukushkin in the last round.

Verdasco recently beat Nadal on clay and has found some of his old form. He never makes things easy for traders and this match won’t be any different. Verdasco starts at 1.41 and I can’t back him against Seppi at that price. A concern is that in their last 6 matches Seppi has only managed to take one set from the Spaniard.

Verdasco as usual made a slow start  in the last round against Muller losing the set in a tie break. He also went a break down in the second set before coming back to win the match in 4 sets.

I’ll watch the first couple of games but am very tempted to lay Verdasco. I think Seppi has  decent chance of taking the opening set or at least of going a break up. I will be backing Verdasco at the higher price as I expect him to come through for the win.

Update: I’m glad I waited a couple of games as Seppi was broken in his first service game giving a better lay price. Seppi immediately broke back. Despite being broken again Seppi broke Verdasco a further 2 times to take the set.

Sets 2 and 3 were shared and won by a single break. In the 4th Seppi was broken at 4-5 to take the match into a 5th set. Seppi took the set with a double break.

Seppi won 7-5, 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2.


Goffin v Kubot:

Lucky Loser Goffin has taken advantage of his fortune so far. He has needed 5 sets in both rounds taking out a tired Stepanek and aging Clement. A big test for him today comes in the shape of Lukasz Kubot who has yet to lose a set. He hasn’t had it easy though and needed to win 2 tie breaks against Serra in the last round and also had two 7-5 sets in round 1 against Karol Beck.

I can only find 4 main draw clay court matches for Goffin. He hadn’t won one until this week .

Kubot looked shaky against Serra especially in the opening set when it was impossible to pick a winner.

Goffin is playing well enough to trouble Kubot and a starting price of 1.59 feels a little too low. I’d be happier with 1.80 as an initial entry point on him but I expect the graph of this match to be like a rollercoaster.

I have to go with Kubot to scrape through but this could easily be 4 or even 5 sets.

Update: Goffin started off serving exceptionally well but having lost just 1 point in his first 2 service games he was broken in his next. Kubot struggled tohold but did so from 15-40. However in his next game he again faced 15-40 as he served to win the set but this time he was broken. The set went to a tie break that Goffin won easily.

The 2nd set was remarkably similar with Kubot breaking first and being broken when again serving for a set. This time Goffin broke again to take a 2-0 lead.

Kubot faded badly in the 3rd set.

Goffin won 7-6, 7-5, 6-1 to be the first Lucky Loser to make it into the 4th round at the French Open.

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