Japan Open – Semi Final

04:00 – Stepanek v Monfils

Rankings are 37 and 15. Head to heads are 3-2 to Monfils.

Monfils played a great match against Roddick. There were short glimpses of the clown antics and the odd dive but generally he focussed on the task in hand.

Stepanek is in the semi final due to Nieminen pulling out. An in form Nieminen would have been strongly fancied to win that match. In his second round match Stepanek was also hamded the win due to his opponent retiring so maybe fate has decided its his turn to reach a final.

The stats very strongly suggest a Monfils victory and if he can continue with the form he showed against Roddick then he looks a certainty. One concern is a dive he made during the Rodddick match where he fell with his full weight onto his lower back. He managed to complete the match without any obvious complications but he will feel that injury in the morning.

They hold serve 72% and 82%. Monfils saves 59% of break points against him to Stepanek’s 51%.

Monfils wins more points against serve.

Back Monfils on serve or from the start but if backing from the start be wary of that possible back injury.

If fit, Monfils wins.

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