Just the 4 matches tonight but plenty of quality.
First up is Kerber v Stosur. They have played twice before and Stosur has won both times.
Both players are coming off a run of bad form. Kerber’s was down to injury which she now appears to be over. Stosur’s was down to her being a total mental fruitloop.
Stosur started badly against in form Barthel and went 1-5 down. She then started to find her serve and pulled back to 4-5 but Barthel served out the set. It was no surprise that Stosur’s momentum continued into the next two sets and her dominance secured the match.
Kerber has breezed through the previous 3 rounds without dropping a set. The head to heads favour the Aussie but the recent stats are better on Kerber’s side.
The market has them at evens which is totally understandable. Stosur’s weak wing is certainly her backhand whereas Kerber is strong on both sides. Their previous matches are a concern but I am favouring Kerber. We are in for a tight match and 3 sets won’t be a surprise.
Update: Stosur withdrew from the tournament with an injury.
Berdych has won all 5 of his previous matches with Anderson. He has had a great start to the season and has become very difficult to beat. Zverev, Mayer and another in form player Gasquet were all unable to take a set from him.
Anderson has already won 4 matches to reach this quarter final. Ferrer and Simon took him to 3 sets. Having won the first set against Simon with a double break it was a surprise to see Anderson’s game fall apart in set 2. However he was able to find hiis first set form and a single break won the decider.
Whilst I expect Anderson to keep it close I feel that he will need Berdych to have an off day if he is to have a realistic chance of victory.
Berdych starts at 1.28 and since the sets are likely to be settled by a single break or tie break that pricee is too low. I will wait for 1.50 .
Update: Two very tight sets with Anderson being broken in both sets at 4-5.
Berdych won 6-4, 6-4.
Wozniacki has won her last 3 matches against Azarenka. Azarenka’s starting price of 1.26 does seem a little crazy. When you also consider that she has said her ankle has been troubling her throughout the tournament and her breathing has been affected by a cold it makes that price all the more strange.
All the stats point to an Azarenka win but if Flipkens can take a set from her then surely a lay is a decent idea when she plays Wozniacki. Woz has been playing well and we have seen her trying to be more aggressive.
An Azarenka retirement is a possibilty. Thankfully we have live video. Watch it carefuly.
Update: Azarenka withdrew before the match.
And then we have the main event of the night. Nadal v Federer.
The last time they met was in the semi final of this tournament last year. Federer won that in straight sets. Nadal has won 7 of their last 10 matches and leads the head to heads 20-10.
Against Wawrinka last night Federer was clearly feelling his back injury. Wawrinka had so many chances in that match and even went a break up in the final set. Stan doesn’t believe he can beat Federer ( he managed to fluke a win once back in 2009 ) and blew his chance last night.
Nadal lost the opening set against Gulbis but in just his second match on a hard court since he returned from injury his groundstrokes grew more consistent and effective as the match progressed. He seemed to be moving fine although occasionally he didn’t chase down a ball that he normally would to protect the knee.
Neither man is at his best but I feel Nadal is actually the player who is in the best physical shape for tonight’s contest. Fed wasn’t serving at full power due to his lower back problem and Nadal will punish any weak serves. Federer may try to put more into the serve but this would aggravate his injury.
I am going for a Nadal win.
Update: Nadal won 6-4, 6-2.