Not too many surprises yesterday. Melzer went out and Roddick confirmed that he will be playing Challenger events from next season ( or maybe WTA ). I’m sure Wawrinka didn’t expect to have to play 5 sets against Cipolla. Venus had a minor scare when she lost the first set to Ormaechea but once she cut out the errors she won the next 2 sets easily.
Live scoreboards were not very reliable yesterday. The slam tracker wasn’t switched on until around noon and even then certain matches would freeze or slow up badly. No scoreboard performed well all day so “shop around” and if you don’t have live video make sure you have at least 2 scoreboards open.
Babos v Zvonareva:
Zvonareva is playing her first match since losing badly to Cetkovska in Madrid. She was suffering with a shoulder injury and didn’t play in Rome because of it. She hasn’t had a good year so far although reached the quarter finals in the Family Circle Cup in April before her most recent injury.
Babos bounced onto the main tour last year in her home tournament. She is a lot heavier now and any bouncing will leave some serious indentations in the clay. She isn’t quite as quick around the court and seems to find clay tough going. However if Vera is below her best then Babos’ big ground strokes could cause her problems.
If Zvonareva starts the match with a lot of errors then a lay on her is worth a go.
Update: Zvonareva pulled out before the match. Babos took on the Lucky Loser instead and got BATTERED 6-1, 6-0!
Malisse v Baker:
Brian Baker has a tough first round match with Belgium’s Malisse. He starts as favourite at 1.64 . He reached the Final in his first main tour event since he was given a wild card entry to the US Open in 2005. He lost in the second round back then to Malisse.
Baker has played some incredible tennis as players struggled to work him out. He has played a lot of tennis recently though and had 8 matches last week due to having to go throughh the 3 qualifying rounds before the 5 main draw games.
Malisse can be a tough guy to break if he’s in the mood. He lost to Isner in Nice in 2 tie break sets. However if Baker has enough energy left then he will have enough variation and imagination to deal with Malisse. Baker says one of his strengths is his return of serve so Malisse may find himself having to hit better and better serves which usually leads to errors.
Baker to win in 4 sets as long as he doesn’t run out of fuel.
Update: No fuel shortage here. Baker won 6-3, 7-6, 7-6.