I think its safe to say that Errani has found her confidence again. Today’s opponent is Bartoli who recently ditched her father as coach and seems to be thriving with a more professional team behind her.
Bartoli strikes me as the type of person with an OCD. In pretty much every match she looks like she is on the edge mentally. Maybe she is stressed thinking about all the invisible children that she sees in front of her when preparing to receive serve. She deals with it by whacking the little sods with her racquet. Watch her. It makes sense of what she is doing when you know about the children.
Errani leads the head to heads 2-1 and has won both their matches since her rise to the top 10. All their previous meetings were on hard courts.
Bartoli has been in excellent recent form but may get frustrated with Errani’s consistency. She will almost certainly be trying to put pressure on the Italian’s second serve and often stands just behind the service box to take the weaker second serve of her opponents.
Bartoli’s power will suit Errani as it means she doesn’t have to generate power of her own and can simply direct her returns.
I expect Errani to trade higher but feel she will be the more consistent of the two players. Bartoli has been having issues on serve with more than the average number of double faults this week.
I’ll look to back Errani above 1.80 .
Update: Bartoli was the first to break serve which was in the 4th game. Errani won the next 5 games to take the set. In set 2 6 of the 8 games were breaks of serve!
Errani won 6-3, 6-2.
Almagro is favourite on Betfair at 1.65 against Tommy Haas. Really?
Yes Almagro is world ranked 11 but Haas isn’t too far behind at 19. The German has won both their previous matches including their most recent in Shanghai last October.
Almagro usually takes time to get into matches and his opening sets are often very tight even against much less able opponents. He is better known for his clay court expertise so his lack of patience on the faster courts is a little surprising. He can hit some amazing winners especially with he superb one-handed back hand but he often pulls the trigger too soon in a rally.
When Haas is in form his consistency is solid and his serve will get plenty free points as will Almagro’s. I expect this to be 3 close sets and feel it’s a little more likely that Haas takes the opening set. I will look to lay Almagro around 1.50. I give a slight edge to Haas to progress to the next round.
Before someone asks I have no idea if either players sees small children in front of them when preparing to receive.
Update: Wow what a match!
A single break in the 4th game of the opening set was enough to secue set for Haas. Set 2 saw Almagro get the first break but he was immediately broken back. The set went to a tie break which Almagro won.
The deciding set was on serve until Haas was broken while serving at 4-4. Almagro served for the match. He had a match point but Haas saved it and went on to get the break. We went to another tie break and this time it was Haas with greater consistency.
Haas won 6-3, 6-7, 7-6.