Raonic takes on Petzschner. The German plays some of his best tennis in his home country. They have never played before but Petzschner has a good record against big servers. If Petzschner is serving well the this could be very even. His sliced backhand will be useful on the grass although Raonic gets down well to the low shots for a 6ft5 guy. Quite difficult to pick a winner with any confidence although backing Raonic on serve is an obvious choice. You have to feel that Raonic will be harder to break and a couple of loose service games from Petzschner could be enough.
Update: Raonic looked nervous at the start of the match and was broken early. Petzschner served well and took the set. The Canadian played better in the second set and they went to a tie break which Raonic won. Petzschner won the decider to take the match 6-3, 6-7, 6-3.
Verdasco v Roddick should be an interesting one. Roddick’s had a couple of games to get himself and his serve moving and whilst Verdasco is playing a lot better than he has been I think he will find it very tough to get a grip on the Americans serve. This puts pressure on Verdasco’s serve as he will know he can’t afford to lose one service game. The head to heads are 9-3 to Roddick. Their last match was last year and Verdasco took it in 3 sets on a hard court. Roddick won their only previous meeting on grass in straight sets. Roddick deals better with pressure and I can see Verdasco getting frustrated as ace after ace whizzes past his head.
Update: Roddick was in a different league. 6-2, 6-2.
Hewitt and Kohlschreiber: I am never comfortable putting money on Kohlschreiber. He can play and serve well for a few games and then lose the plot. I’m much happier relying on Hewitt on grass. Hewitt has won here 4 times in the past and has to fancy his chances this year. Not sure how realistic that is but you know he will fight to the end. I’ll be backing him with half stake from the start.
Update: I thought Hewitt looked the better player in the first set but he lost it in a tie break. Kohlschreiber won 7-6, 6-3.
Troicki v Berdych….both unreliable. Gut feeling is a Troicki win. Berdych should be out by now. I won’t be taking a position from the start.
Update: Berdych won 7-6, 6-1.
Monfils v Mayer: Its time for Monfils to show his class. He has looked good so far but Mayer is the first decent opponent he has faced. Mayer’s first 2 matches followed a similar pattern with him winning a tie break in the first, losing the second and taking the third. I think on current form Mayer is the player most likely to go AWOL mentally. This should be a good match to watch and I am backing Monfils from the start.
Update: Very tight match. Monfils won 6-4, 6-4.
Murray should get past a shaky Cilic but I aren’t confident enough to back him at 1.23 . For me thats a match to monitor and take a higher price on Murray. If it doesn’t come then I am more than happy to give this one a miss.
Update: Cilic withdrew before the start.