There seems to be a little confusion over the start time. Betfair’s tennis page shows 1pm but Flashscores ( who I find to be most accurate more often than not ) have it starting at 12.
The RG site shows a start time of 1pm but if thats local time it gives us a noon start UK time.
12:00 – Soderling v Berdych
Rankings are 7 and 17. Head to heads are 6-3 to Soderling ( 1-1 on clay).
In all their previous meetings on faster courts the win has come in straight sets. In the two clay court matches it went to three sets.
The market has Soderling as a pretty strong favourite at 1.51 . He beat Federer in 4 sets in the quarter final and is certainly playing very well.
Berdych hasn’t lost a set so far. He has beaten Youzhny and Murray to get to the semi final.
Soderling has the advanatge of having been in this situation before. Last year he made it to the final where he lost to Fed. This is Berdych’s first Grand Slam semi. He’s very level headed and won’t be overawed by the occasion.
It should be a great match.
They win 84% and 87% od their service games respectively and save 64% and 68% of break points against them.
Tough to pick a winner. Soderling has beaten Federer but that isn’t so unusual on clay this year. Berdych has come through without dropping a set which shows that his level of play hasn’t dropped in any of his matches.
Thats all I can find to separate the two and is why Berdych is my pick to reach the final.
Both men can be backed on serve. Don’t be surprised to see a tie break or two.
Update: What a match! Both men got off to good start holding easily but it was Soderling who got the first break. That was enough to give him the set.
Berych came back strongly in the second set to level at 1-1. A very tight third saw both men breaking serve and it was eventually Berdych who took it.
After that it was very close but Soderling had a slight edge. he took the 4th set to take it into a decider.
In the end it was Berdych’s serve that let him down. His first serve deserted him completely and that was enough to give Soderling the advantage he needed.
Soderling won 6-3, 3-6, 5-7, 6-3, 6-3.
15:00 (approx) – Melzer v Nadal
Rankings are 27 and 2. Head to heads are 2-0 to Nadal.
Melzer made an amazing comeback against Djokovic from two sets to love down. He was hitting the ball incredibly hard at times and serving strongly too.
Nadal was definately below his best against Almagro. He seemed almost timid on serve, certainly in the first set and had to rely on greater experience to see him through.
Even in a tournament that has seen some very surprising results does anyone ( including Jurgen Melzer) really believe that Nadal will lose today?
Melzer has had the tournament of his life and should be very proud of what he has achieved. He has the ability to hurt Nadal in the opening games but the Spaniard has been here so many times. He is one of the smartest players around and has so many weapons to call upon. If it comes down to a battle of mental strength there will only be one winner.
Lay Nadal from the start and hope Melzer comes out swinging. The trouble is that even if Melzer takes the same 3-0 lead that Almagro did I don’t think we will see Nadal’s price move over 1.20 .
Nadal’s starting price of 1.05 gives us low liabuility for the lay so its worth a shot.
Update: Melzer was soon showing signs of fatigue after his marathon match against Djokovic.
Nadal was playing better than he had in the rest of the tournament but still below his best.
Melzer fought hard especially in the third set tie break but the result was never really in any doubt.
Nadal won 6-2, 6-3, 7-6.