13:30 – Starace v Melzer
Rankings are 72 and 15. Head to heads are 1-0 to Melzer.
Starace’s favourite surface is clay and he is usually difficult to break down on the slower surface. I was surprised to see Riba take him to 3 sets yesterday though and he was a little lacking in ideas when it came to breaking his opponent’s serve.
Melzer reached the quarter final last week losing to eventual title winner Montanes. He has been below his best recently although the heat last week wouldn’t have suited him. A lot of the top players have been knocked and he is probably now favourite to take the title. Add that to the fact that its an ATP500 tournament with 500 points to the winner and he shouldd have all the motivation he needs to bring his best aggressive tennis to the court.
Starace has an excellent first serve percentage of 73% over the last 6 months and wins 64% of points on it. Melzer hits 61% of first serves but it is more effective with him winning 73% of points on it.
Back Melzer on serve. If he starrts the match aggressively he will be able to break down Starace’s serve.
Update: Melzer won 6-4, 6-1.
18:30 – Golubev v Istomin
Rankings are 82 and 59. Head to heads are 1-0 to Istomin.
Golubev beat Davydenko yesterday in straight sets although his fellow Russian is well below his best since his return from injury.
Istomin beat an in form Almagro although players who won the title the previous week can often suffer from a dip in motivation in the following tournament.
However both wins show that we have 2 players in decent form.
Istomin’s serve is much more effective with a first serve percentage of 69% on clay to Golubev’s 59% although both players win 69% of points following a successful first serve.
Istomin saves 70% of break points agaiinst him to Golubev’s 61%.
I expect a very close game with at least 1 tie break.
Back Istomin on serve. If Golubev’s first serve is consisstent in the opening couple of service games then he can be backed on serve too. As the players are pretty much even on Betfair I recommend laying on the receiver’s ladder as if the game turns against you it will be easier to get out of the trade if you are doing it below 2.00 .
Istomin has a slight edge for me.
Update: Istomin was poor today. Golubev won 6-4, 6-1.