French Open 2013 – week 1, Thursday

The rain stayed away long enough for them to get back on schedule.

No shock results although Robredo had to come back from 2 sets down against Sijsling and Benneteau seemed to be on his way out through injury when he lost a 2 sets lead in what seemed little more than heartbeat. He found the strength to win the 5th which was good to see as I had tipped him ( and Robredo) to win.

On the women s side Wozniacki was dumped out in straight sets by Jovanovski ( unfortunately also one of my tips). Barty had a great win over Hradecka that will do her confidence the world of good.

Hampton beat Safarova in 3 sets although Saf had so many chances to win that match but her serve kept letting her down.

Qualifier Rogers almost earned a shock win over Suarez Navarro as she was a set and a break up but Captain Caveman managed to rescue the situation.

 

 

Tursunov leads the head to heads 3-1 over Hanescu but they   have never played on clay. They also haven’t played since 2009.

Hanescu starts as favourite at 1.61 but that has to be too low. Tursunov has proved himself as a very capable clay courter with a recent win over Ferrer and a straight sets win over Dolgopolov in the last round. Hanescu’s serve gets him out of trouble so many times in a match but he will also come up with an occasional shocking service game that can hand a set to his opponent.

I’d like to see Hanescu take the first set and will lay him. At least 4 sets here.

Update: Another of Hanescu’s opponent’s quits!

Hanescu won 6-4, 6-6(ret)

 

Verdasco and Tipsarevic have met 6 times and Tipsarevic leads 4-2. This is the first time that the lower ranked played has started as favourite. Perhaps partly because this is their first match on the clay but also due to the fact that Tipsarevic’s form has been dire and Verdasco has managed to find some of his old form especially on the dirt.

Both has straight sets wins in the first round over mediocre French opposition.

This should be an entertaining match to watch. You would expect that Tipsarevic will be more motivated than we have seen him recently and maybe falling out of the top 10 will make him work harder. Verdasco is rightly favourite on clay but I will be waiting For Tipsarevic to go a break ahead before even thinking about entering the market.

I expect the crowd to get involved as these are two big characters who usually play up to the spectators. A tough one to call but I will be favouring Verdasco’s return to form.

Update: Delayed until Friday

 

Its not often we see a world number 13 starting at 1.80 against a world number 162 qualifier in a Grand Slam.

Bartoli comes across as a very complex individual. I’d be amazed if she didn’t have some sort of OCD. Her problems on court are almost entirely down to her serve. Against Govortsova she served 12 double faults and 16 against Giorgi last week.

In contrast Duque Marino served just 1 double fault in her first round match and hit 3 aces. She won 82% of her first serve points and 60% of her second serve points.

Bartoli is very tough mentally when her game is working but the doubts she must feel when preparing to serve must be crippling.

Duque Marino has won a couple of ITF clay events this year which included wins over Scheepers, Candela and Burnett. If Bartoli serves like she has in her last 2 matches then we are likely to see 3 sets and stand a good chance of seeing Bartoli dumped out of her home Grand Slam.

Update: Delayed until Friday

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