Madrid Opem 2012, Thursday

Simon v Tipsarevic:

Simon leads the head to heads 4-0. Their last 3 matches went to 3 sets and the other was settled in 2 tie breaks! Their most recent match was in Monte Carlo in April and was their only previous meeting on clay.

Tipsarevic had his first match on the blue clay yesterday. Whilst he served pretty well I expected him to deal with the Delbonis serve better than he did. They took a tie break each and in the third set Tipsarevic broke at the first attempt but that was the only break of the set.

Simon won the title in Bucharest at the end of April and reached the semi finals in Monte Carlo the week before. He seems to be over his poor run of form that he suffered in the South American clay events earlier in the year. This week he has beaten 2 in form players in Fognini and Garcia-Lopez.

Despite the fact that Tipsarevic is the top 10 player Simon is rightly favourite on Betfair at 1.54. If either player is likely to start slowly my money is on Simon. Their previous encounters have all been close so I want a better price before backing Simon. Tipsarevic has twice won the opening set although in the only clay court match he lost the first set 6-0!

I don’t recommend getting involved at the starting prices. I am looking for nearer evens at which point I will back Simon. There is no reason to think this won’t be another close match so we need  a good value entry point.

Update: The first 2 sets were extremely tight. In the first I felt that Simon was on top. He was holding serve easier than his opponent but couldn’t get the break through on return of serve. the set went into a tie break. It was Tipsarevic who was able to take advantage of a couple of poor points from Simon early in the tie break.

In the second set Tipsarevic seemed to be getting the upper hand as the set went on but when he served at 5-6 he was broken and we were going into a third set. Surprisingly the third was very one sided and Tipsarevic got his first win over the Frenchman.

Tipsarevic won 7-6, 5-7, 6-1.

 

Djokovic v Wawrinka:

Djokovic leads the head to heads 11-2. He has won their last 8 matches. Good luck Stan!

Wawrinka played a great match to beat Melzer in the last round. His trouble against the very top players though is that he gives the impression that he doesn’t rally believe he can win.

Djokovic had his first experience of the new blue clay. He had tweeted earlier in the week that it was very slippery. He was unhappy with the surface from the start and had to make adjustments to his play. The impact of the new surface was clear and it wasn’t until the third set that he started to dominate.

Djokovic starts at 1.26 . He isn’t as dominant as he was last year and is certainly capable of being broken as Gimeno Traver showed yesterday. I see it as very unlikely that even with the blue clay levelling the playing field to some degree that Wawrinka is able to win this. However i don’t think it will be a walk in the park for Djokovic and am hoping for 1.50 or better before jumping in.

Update: No entry for me. Djokovic was always one step ahead. No breaks in the first set and Djokovic took the tie break. Wawrinka was broken twice in the second set. He pulled one of those breaks back but Djokovic took the match.

Djokovic won 7-6, 6-4.

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