14:00 – Cilic Soderling
Rankings are 12 and 7. They haven’t played before.
Soderling has had a slightly easier path to this 4th round match. Cilic had a tough 5 setter against Mayer but as that was 2 days ago and he has had plenty of time to rest I think it will actually help the Croat.
Soderling reached the final in Barcelona but apart from that he hasn’t had the best of times on clay this year. I certainly don’t see him matching his performances of last year’s French Open where he beat King of Clay Nadal and reached the final.
Cilic had also reached a final on clay this year ( the BMW Open in Germany) but like Soderling hasn’t had much else to talk about.
Today is the battle of the big servers. They win 85% and 84% respectively on their own serves and save 69% and 64% of break points against them.
Soderling starts on Betfair at 1.40. Cilic can sometimes take a large part of the first set to really get going so I would expect Soderling to take the first.
I can see Cilic taking a set but expect Soderling to win the match.
Either back Soderling on serve or back him from the start and green up after the first set.
17:00 – Murray Berdych
Rankings are 4 and 17. Head to heads are 1-1 but they have never played on clay.
Neither player would list clay as their favourite surface.
After a very tough first round match against Frenchman Gasquet Murray has played some aggressive tennis and has looked a little more at home than he usually does on the dirt.
Berdych has been quietly moving through the rounds and has yet to lose a set. His draw has been much easier than Murray’s and he might perhaps have wanted at least one tough match to get his game in the groove.
Neither man has been serving consistently with first serve percentages in the 50’s for both players.
Murray wins 82% of his service games to Berdych’s 87%. Break points saved are 66% and 68% respectively.
It should be a good contest which is reflected in the starting prices. Murray is 1.70 . I will be watching the opening 2 or 3 games before getting involved. If Murray starts quickly and is hitting his normal attacking ground strokes then I will be backing him on serve. If he gives too much respect to Berdych and starts looping high returns back then Berdych will have the edge.