10:30 – Kukushkin v Stepanek
Rankings are 74 and 37. They haven’t played before.
Kukushkin easily beat Chardy in straight sets which not many people have managed over recent weeks. He is serving extremely well and over the last month has held serve 85% of the time.
Stepanek was very poor in the first set yesterday against Hanescu and although he won the set in a tie break he had a high number of unforced errors.
I am not over confident with Stepanek’s attitude at present and he virtually threw his match against Bai in Shanghai.
Stepanek will need his forehand to be solid today ( which it wasn’t yesterday) and Kukushkin will have the majority of the crowd on his side.
Back Kukushkin on serve.
Update: Stepanek won 6-3, 6-2.