13:30 – Troicki v Robredo
Rankings are 40 and 25. Head to heads are 2-0 to Robredo. He won their most recent match in April in straight sets.
Troicki is perhaps more comfortable on hard courts. Although he is usually fairly consistent, he has lacked the “killer” instinct when opportunities have come his way.
Robredo had a drop in form earlier in the year but has come back from that. He reached the quarter finals in Serbia where he lost to Wawrinka in 3 very tight sets 5-7, 7-6, 6-7.
Robredo wins 77% of his service games to Troicki’s 76%. In fact all their stats are fairly even but Robredo is more consistent on his first serve. If this continues today it will give him the edge as his opponent will be facing fewer weaker second serves.
Back Robredo on serve. I expect 3 close sets or maybe 4.
Update: On this form Robredo will continue to slide down the rankings.
Llodra won 6-4, 6-4, 6-3.
15:00 – Murray v Gasquet
Rankings are 4 and 68. Head to heads are 3-1 to Gasquet. They have never played on clay.
Murray has been struggling to find his form lately and clay isn’t his favourite surface. He won’t be at his most confident today.
Gasquet’s recent performances won’t be helping Murray’s confidence. The Frenchman has won back to back tournaments with a win on the Challenger tour 2 weeks ago in Bordeaux and then a victory over Verdasco in last week’s Nice Open. He has won 10 straight matches in 2 weeks.
Gasquet is in front of his home crowd again this week and that will be a massive advantage. Murray can sometimes sulk if the crowd get on his back.
Murray is favourite on Betfair at 1.58 . If Gasquet is fit ( he injured his ankle against Verdasco but played through the pain) then he is my pick for the win.
Watch how the opening couple of games go. Murray wins 82% of his service games aand Gasquet 84% so both players should be ok to back on serve.
Should be a great one to watch.
Update: Murray seemed to be out when Gasquet took a 2 sets to nil lead. In the third the Scot started to play a little better but Gasquet was feeling the strain. Gasquet came close to taking the set and the match but Murray hung in there to pull a set back.
In the fourth set Gasquet was clearly suffering and had treatment from the physio. He continued but wasn’t moving as freely as he was in the first 2 sets.
Murray took advantage to level the match at 2 sets each. Gaquet was heard to say, ” I’m running on empty”. He fought well in the final set and had a break point but Murray saved it. In the end it looked an easy fifth set (on paper) but it could easily have been another story.
Murray wins 4-6, 6-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-1