The matches start 2 hours later tonight! Why? Jeez I didn’t get to bed until 5am this morning. I may need to forget sleep tonight altogether. It would have been better to have Nadal and Aza as games 3 and 4 as I wouldn’t mind missing those. No consideration.
Del Potro v Federer:
Head to heads are 8-2 to Federer. They have played 3 times in 2012 and Del Potro has yet to win a set this year. Their last match was in Dubai last month and was settled in 2 tie break sets.
Fed’s starting price is a little higher this time and has drifted a few ticks in the last couple of hours. This could be a difficult one to predict. Federer and his family have been hit by illness. I assume its the same flu that has hit the whole area. He lost the opening set in each of his last 2 games. Losing a set to Raonic on a tie break is no great surprise but I’m not sure many people expected Bellucci to push him quite so close. The Brazilian took the opening set and at 4-4 in the third set he took a 30-0 lead on Fed’s serve. Federer managed to hold and then broke in the next game to take the match. According to one of the mods on Tennis insight TV commentator Doug Adler saw Fed after the Bellucci match and he looked pretty sick. Adler said he was impressed that Federer was able to play through that sickness to win.
Del Potro was also looking in bad shape at the end of his match with Istomin and was breathing really heavily. He has looked strong in his two previous matches and didn’t drop a set against Verdasco or Matsoevic.
Not knowing who is fit and who isn’t makes it impossible to predict how this one will go. If Federer is lacking in energy then a fit Del Potro is in with a chance. If Del Potro is lacking in energy we may not be able to tell as he always looks like he has been drugged.
I think we could well see Del Potro take his first set from Fed in 2012 but I will wait to decide on the winner in play.
Update: I think its safe to say Fed felt better. Superb performance ffrom the Swiss player although Del Potro was poor.
Federer won 6-3, 6-2.
Ivanovic v Sharapova:
Ivanovic has had 2 great wins this week against Woz and Bartoli. Woz was well below her best and Bartoli was suffering from the flu. Ivanovic still played at a good standard.
Sharapova has also looked impressive in this tournament. Her only tough match was last night against Kirilenko. Sharapova found it tough to cope with Kiri’s standard of play in the first set and first half of the second. Kirilenko could do little wrong and everything worked for her. I was impressed by how Sharapova weathered the storm. As her coach told her during the first set, “she(Kiri) will choke”, and she did.
That match will have sapped Sharapova’s energy a little but it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary that she doesn’t deal with on a regular basis. I think Ana’s wins look great on paper but were against weakened opponents.
I expect Sharapova to win this one although it should be a great match to watch. I may need to turn the sound down however. As my wife went to bed last night she gave me a dark look as I think she thought I was watching porn during the Shara/Kiri match.
Update: A perfect start from a trading point of view. Ivanovic held her first game and then broke serve in the second. That gave a good price to lay Ivanovic. Sharapova broke back in the very next game and eventually held. Shara was struggling on serve but managed to hold and then get another break. After an MTO for Invanovic Sharapove served out tthe set.
At the channgeover it was pretty clear that Ivanovic didn’t want to continue and complained to her coach. He told her to try to continue. She held serve but then in the next game she told the unpire she couldn’t continue.
Sharapova won 6-4, 0-1(retired)