Berdych v Verdasco:
Berdych leads the head to heads 9-4. He has won their last 3 matches. They are 2-2 on clay.
So, be honest. Did you expect Verdasco to beat Nadal yesterday? Yes? How about when he was 2-5 down in the third set? A shame to hear that Nadal has threatened to boycott the tournament next year if they continue with the blue clay. Its the same surface for everyone. isn’t it a big part of the game to adapt to conditions? I bet Verdasco loves the stuff!
Verdasco’s reaction at the end of that match was understandable. Nadal had beaten him in all their previous 14 matches. On clay he had never even taken a set from Nadal. On top of that to do it in his home town, no doubt in front of more friends and family than normally get to see him play live. How much sleep do you think he got last night? How much mental energy will he have for today’s match?
This surface has proved to favour the big servers. When Berdych serves well there are few better. Anderson and Monfils were both despatched in straight sets.
11 aces against Anderson with just 2 double faults. Surprisingly only 4 aces against Monfils with no doubles.
The one concern with Berdych is that he withdrew from Barcelona with shoulder problem.
Its great to see Verdasco playing well again but he isn’t known as a mental giant at the best of times. I really feel that the Nadal win will have drained him significantly. Also in the second round he had another 3 setter with Falla which was exceptionally tight.
I don’t see anything here except a Berdych win. 1.39 seems a little low though but I’m sure we’ll see 1.60+ in the early exchanges.
Update: No higher price. Verdasco was more drained than I thought.
Berdych won 6-1, 6-2.
Federer v Ferrer:
Federer leads the head to heads 13-0.
A massive part of Ferrer’s game is his defense. Running down every ball to frustrate his opponent. Blue clay doesn’t make that any easier. Ferrer doesn’t have the biggest serve in the world and as we have seen this surface favours the big servers. Whilst Federer is a massive favourite anyway if he serves near his best this could be embarrassing for Ferrer today.
Raonic came close to upsetting Fed but even his superb serving couldn’t quite get the job done. The Canadian actually won more points than Federer in that match but as is so often the case Fed won the important ones.
I really think that 1.32 is bordering on being generous. Anything can happen in tennis as we know but it will take a bad performance from Federer to allow another Spaniard into the semis.
Update: Ferrer limited Federer to a single break in each set but the result was never really in doubt. The break came late in the second set at 4-4 and Federer served out the match. Federer seemed to playing within himself and doing enough to get the job done.
Federer won 6-4, 6-4.