With only 4 singles games today its a shame they aren’t staggered a little. Trading more than 1 match at a time is ok as long as you don’t get drama in both!
Murray v Chela: Head to head is 6-1 to Murray with their last 3 matches all being on clay and all being won by the Scot including at this tournament last year. Murray is 1.16 on Betfair. Chela has made a slow start in his last 3 matches and his serve has been less than impressive although has looked better as matches progress. Murray has a tear to one of the tendons in his right ankle and he has said its tough to push off that ankle when serving and also when moving for a forehand. If Chela is smart ( and he certainly has enough experience on tour ) then he will move Murray around and try to push him wide on that forehand.
Murray must feel he can take this match quite easily but if he does then surely he can’t compete against Nadal or Soderling. His movement would need to be perfect and he will be thinking of making the injury worse.
Perhaps a lay of Murray at the start is a decent idea although Chela’s serve has been little short of pathetic in his opening service games of the last 2 matches. I will be waiting for a higher price for Murray which will also give me a chance to see how his movement is in the early games.
Update: Another slow start from Murray saw him 1-4 down in the first set. He pulled it back to take the set in a tie break. He moved to a 5-2 lead in the second set but allowed Chela back to 5-5. Murray took that set. An early break in the third set put him firmly in control and he won 7-6, 7-5, 6-2.
Nadal v Soderling: Nadal beat Soderling here last year although he was playing better tennis than we have seen from him lately. Soderling seems to like the courts at Roland Garros and his A game has been working well which is just as well as there isn’t a B game. Soderling will be trying to hit through Nadal’s defense. He knows how it feels to beat the Spaniard at the French Open and not many people can say that!
But we should remember that Nadal is a champion and they raise their level of play for the big games. Soderling has a chance but he is no Djokovic. Soderling hasn’t had a slow start in this tournament which isn’t like him. He will need to come out like a steam train in the first set to rock Nadal back on his heels. Taking the firsts et would give Nadal the confidence he needs to get the job done.
I will wait to see how they start and make a quick decision on who looks stronger but whilst i can see Soderling taking at least a set I think Nadal will find a way to win.
Update: Blink and you missed it. Nadal took a 3-0 lead in the first set which set the tone of the match. Soderling took it to a tie break in the third set but Nadal won 6-4, 6-1, 7-6.
Li and Azarenka have never player on clay. Their head to heads are 3-1 to Li. Azarenka is certainly a better claycourter but 1.41 too low. Li was outplayed in the first set against Kvitova and perhaps wouldn’t have come through that match if Kvitova hadn’t had a slight injury. I’ll wait for bigger odds on Azarenka.
Update: The first set was quite tight and Li took a late break and the set. She was always in control of the second set and Azarenka’s challenge evaporated. Li won 7-5, 6-2.
What on earth was Sharapova doing in her first set with Radwanska?? She sorted out whatever the problem was but wasn’t as dominant as expected. Against Petkovic she needs to be aggressive from the start. One thing that could work in Petkovic’s favour is if conditions on court are windy. Petkovic adapts better to those conditions and Sharapova just keeps playing the same way. Sharapova needs to lift her levels from the first point or Petkovic could run away with the first set. Very difficult to pick a winner although my gut feeling is that Shara’s greater experience of the big matches will give her the edge she needs.
Update: Sharapova certainly went for it right from the first game. Not many players can bagel Petkovic. The first half of the second set was much more competitive but Sharapova won 6-0, 6-3.