10:00 – Gabashvili v Melzer
Rankings are 114 and 27. They haven’t played before.
Gabashvili has yet to lose a set and knocked out a below par Roddick in the last round. He has reached two semi finals on the Challenger tour in the last month.
Melzer reached the quarter finals in Madrid where he beat Verdasco in the third round. He has performed well in this tournament and beat David Ferrer in straight sets in the last round. Melzer rarely has a bad match and always gives 100%.
His first serve percentage is good at 61% and he wins 81% of his service games.
Either back Melzer on serve or back him from the start to green up after the first set.
Update: Very tight match with quite a few swings in price.
Melzer won 7-6, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.
This was a game for not staying in a trade any longer than you needed to. Unfortunately if you backed from the start you had some work to do as he went a break down quite early. So even though he won the set on a tie break it would take a brave man ( or a gambler) to let it run.
15:00 – Verdasco v Almagro
Rankings are 9 and 21. Head to heads are 3-0 to Verdasco, all on clay.
These two men have proved to be among to best clay court players this season. Both can be fiery characters and there can be a fine line between being getting pumped up and losing the plot. In Verdasco’s recent loss to Gasquet in the final in Nice something in the crowd triggerd an angry reaction from him and it distracted him from the task in hand.
However this s a grand slam and they will be very focused and will be keen to perform well.
Both players’ first serve percentages have dropped to around the 50% mark which is poor. However they win 81% and 84% of their service games respectively.
They both save 63% of break points against them which makes up for the poor first serves success.
The Betfair market has them pretty even with Verdasco at 1.82 .
Watch the opening service game of each player before getting involved. I will be looking to back Verdasco on serve but if Almagro is holding well I will be backing him on his own serve.
I expect Verdasco to win. Almagro can get a little disheartened if he goes behind against the top players but has a real chance of taking the first set close.
Update : Another match on clay with swings galore.
Verdasco’s price was poor and seemed to lack conviction. Almagro took full advantage.
Almagro won 6-1, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4