13:30 – Riba v Starace
Rankings are 79 and 72. They haven’t played before.
Riba knocked out Montanes who won last week’s tournament. He has also beaten Mathieu where he had to come back from a set down.
He has done well recently on the Challenger tour reaching a quarter final this month and winning an event in June.
Starace came through a tough 3 setter with Robredo. He also reached a final on the Challenger tour earlier this month on clay.
Starace’s first serve percentage is excellent at 73% which is the best on the Tour. He wins 78% of service games.
Riba serves just 57% of first serves in. His second serve can be vulnerable too with him winning 48% of points on it.
Starace is a strong favourite for me. Back him on serve.
Update: Starace won 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.
17:30 – Reister v Istomin
Rankings are 121 and 59. They haven’t played before.
Reister has a first serve percentage of 73%. He wins 66% of points on it and a respectable 59% of points on his second serve. He is playing in front of his home crowd and will be getting plenty of support having beaten 2 “big” names in the previous 2 rounds.
He has reached a couple of semi finals on the Challenger tour in recent weeks, both of them on clay.
Istomin is more at home on faster courts. However he beat clay court specialist Almagro in the last round which can’t be ignored and gives an indication of his current form. Almagro’s motivation may have been lower than normal as he won the Swedish Open last week.
In the last 6 months he has served 69% of first serves in and won 71% of points on it. Points won on second serve are at 55%.
This could be a tight match but does look like one of those situations where the local lower ranked player will find some inspiration and play above his ranking. If Reister can keep his serve going then he will have the edge today.
Watch the opening couple of service games. I will be looking to back Reister on serve. Istomin can also be backed on his own service games.
Update: Istomin won 3-6, 6-3, 7-6.