18:00 – Robredo v Young
Rankings are 28 and 143. Head to heads are 1-0 to Robredo.
Most people will have expected to see Murray in this match. Young’s win over him has to be the biggest of his career. It often happens after a big win that a lower ranked player’s performance level will drop signifiicantly in the next round. I expect this to be the case here. Young’s win in his own country will have brought him an overwhelming amount of media and public interest that he won’t be used to which will take his concentration way from this match.
Robredo has been having a decent start to the season. He reached the 4th round at the Oz Open and has since won the Movistar Open (clay) annd reached the semi finals of another clay court tournament in February.
I expect Robredo to use his experience to outwit Young. He will certainly put up more of a fight than Murray did.
Both players have held serve over 80% in the last month. Back Robredo on serve or from the start. In his matches in the Oz Open and all those since then, Robredo has only lost 1 match in straight sets which was to Almagro on clay. In every other match if he lost the first set he came back to win the second.
Update: This one went pretty much as expected. Robredo won the opening set 6-0 with Young looking a little bewilldered. He put up more of a fight in the second set but the result was never really in doubt.
Robredo won 6-0, 6-4.
Midnight – Simon v Karlovic
Rankings are 31 and 239. Head to heads are 3-1 to Simon. Karlovic’s win came on grass and all the others were on hard courts. They haven’t played since 2008.
Karlovic beat David Ferrer in the last match which is no easy task as Ferrer is one of the best returners.
Simon got past Schuettler relatively easily in straight sets.
Karlovic holds serve 91% of the time (in the last 3 months) to Simon’s 77%.
Where Karlovic is weak is his return of serve. He wins just 18% of points against first serves. (Simon 32%) and 39% against second serves (Simon 57%).
Karlovic creates an average of 0.18 break points per game compared to 0.66 per game from Simon.
I expect Simon to find a way to break down the Karlovic serve but it may not be until the second set. A good chance of a tie break in the first set. Back both on serve in that first set.
In their last 2 matches which both went to 3 sets the first set went to a tie break which was won by the eventual match winner. The remaining 2 sets included 1 tie break and a 6-4 set so serve is vital to the outcome of this match.
Simon to win in 3 sets.
Update: Simon was intimidated by the bombs that Karlovic as serving and didn’t seem to have much idea about what to do about them. I think he won just 1 or 2 points on Karlovic’s serve in the first set. He made a little better attempt in thr second set.
Karlovic won 6-3, 6-3.