Rain delays again yesterday so still some first round matches to be completed/started.
4 retirements in the ATP side of the tournament and at least 1 that should have retired!
Troicki has been his usual unpredictable self recently and he doesn’t have an easy opponent today. Gimeno Traver was getting up some real momentum in Madrid with wins over Lopez and Gasquet. He looked the stronger player against Andujar before being forced to retire with injury. On his return this week he knocked out Monaco in 5 sets coming back from 2 sets down. He was helped by the fact that Monaco had played the final the week before and will have been low on energy but it is still an excellent victory for the Spaniard.
Troicki wasn’t able to defend his title in Germany and was dumped out by Pella in straight sets. He did beat James Blake in straight sets in the first round but as it was on clay and not in America that is no big deal.
I would expect Troicki to come through this one but I don’t expect straight sets. Gimeno Traver’s 5 setter with Monaco won’t have helped him much especially if there is any remaining effects from his injury. A lay on DGT below 1.70 is a good place to start.
Update: Gimeno Traver took the opening set. In set 2 Troicki had a 4-0 lead that he threw away but managed to win the set in a tie break. DGT didn’t win a game in set 3 and it looked like it was all over for him but he came back from a break behind in the 4th set to level the match at 2-2. Troicki took a tight 5th set.
Troicki won 4-6, 7-6, 6-0, 6-7, 6-4.
Ursula Radwanska beat Venus Williams in the first round. That looks great on her CV but it wasn’t the most convincing performance from either player. Today she is up against a qualifier Dinah Pfizenmaier from Germany.
Pfizenmaier reached the final of an ITF clay tournament before coming through the French open qualifying rounds. Her serve is above average and her return stats are better than URad’s although she has been up against weaker opponents.
I think this will be a close one and 3 sets are possible. We could see a minor upset.
Update: Pfizenmaier won 6-3, 6-3.
Monfils had a long week last week when he lost in the final in Nice to Montanes. He then faced Tomas Berdych in the first round at Roland Garros and won in an epic 5 setter. He could probably do with a rest!
Unfortunately for Monfils he is up against Gulbis who is in the form of his life and has taken Nadal to 3 sets twice recently. The French crowd will certainly try to unsettle Gulbis but being fresher than Monfils will give him even more of an edge. If we can get on Gulbis above evens, take it.
Update: Great match! Gulbis took the opening set but it was Monfils who found the strength to take the next 3 sets as Gulbis began to fall apart towards the end.
Monfils won 6-7, 6-4, 7-6, 6-2.