Dimitrov starts as underdog against Monaco. Monaco leads the head to heads although they haven’t played on clay since their first meeting in 2011. Dimtrov has never taken a set from him.
Something hasn’t been right with Dimitrov this week. The Swedish wildcard Ymer and Volandri both took the opening set from him. He will need to get over whatever his issue is if he wants to record his first win over Monaco.
Monaco himself made a slow start to his match yesterday but soon put that behind him to easily take the match in straight sets.
Monaco has drifted a little this morning and if I can get above 1.80 I think its a good place to start. Obviously if Dimitrov sorts his problem which seems to be in his head rather than anything physical then he can make a match of this but I would prefer to have my money on the Argentine today.
Update: Perhaps Dimitrov had underestimated his opponents in previous matches but he wasn’t making the same mistake this time. Monaco wasn’t at his best but it was an excellent performance from Dimitrov.
Dimitrov won 6-3, 6-2.
Hanescu has looked impressive this week. Bellucci wasn’t able to offer much resistance and whilst Tursunov took the opening set of their first round encounter Hanescu stayed consistent and his serve helped him to come through in 3 sets.
Today’s opponent is Benoit Paire who made short work of Davydenko in the last round. Davydenko is obviously far from his best but Paire looked focused and eager to win. I didn’t watch the whole match but didn’t see any of the pissing about that the Frenchman does when he is “bored”.
Paire is favourite at 1.63 despite the fact that Hanescu has won all 3 of their previous matches including a straight sets win on the clay in Portugal in April this year.
Hanescu has the bigger serve and even on the clay Paire will have problems with it. Their service hold percentages over the last 3 months are very similar at 77-78%. Paire has posted better stats on return of serve and converts a higher percentage of break points.
Better over all stats from Paire but not when they play each other. This should be close but I am favouring Hanescu. Having got thi far there’s no reason for him not to give it 100% but he and Paire are both capable of sulking and throwing a game or 3.
Update: Hanescu frequently went a point behind on his serve in the opening set which gave us several chances to get a decent price to lay. Paire was getting more frustrated as the set wore on and Hanescu won a late break and took the set. A different sort of set in the second with Hanescu getting an early break and he ended up taking the match easily.
Hanescu won 7-5, 6-2.
Ramos and Berlocq will have a very tight match. Ramos is so solid on clay and won’t have used up much energy in beating a scarf wearing lethargic Robredo in the last round.
Berlocq has won 3 of their 4 matches which were all on clay although this season they are 1-1 with Ramos winning the most recent in April.
Backing either player a break down could work well and if the opening set is as tight as i expect then laying the first set winner seems like a good option.
Return stats are very even but Service stats favour Ramos and I am favouring him if I can get on at a good price.
Update: Berlocq won an early break and he held on for the set. A lay after the set worked perfectly as Ramos levelled the match. I didn’t follow it after that but Ramos didn’t win a game in the third.
Berlocq won 6-3, 3-6, 6-0.
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