Llodra v Seppi:
Llodra leads the head to heads 3-0, however they were all on hard courts. He is poor on clay and has lost his last 5 matches on the dirt.
Seppi won the title in Serbia last week and reached the quarter finals the week before. That means he has played a lot of tennis in the last 2 weeks. Will that affect his energy levels? Ofcourse it will but whether its enough for him to lose against Llodra remains to be seen. I would suggest its more likely to hurt him should he reach round 2.
Llodra has a new coach who he says is making him work harder than he has been doing. He reached the quarter finals in Madrid last year losing to Nadal. Of the 3 players he beat none of them were up to the level of Seppi.
Seppi didn’t play in Madrid last year and has little motivation to fight back if he goes behind.
Seppi starts at 1.56 and I will be laying him from the start. If Llodra can serve well as he usually does then Seppi could get frustrated. I feel that if Llodra can get into the lead then Seppi may not have the heart for the fight with last week’s cheque in his pocket.
Update: Seppi won 7-5, 6-4.
Medina Garrigues v Cirstea:
Cirstea knocked out Bartoli in the first round. Not surprisingly she lost the first set. In her last 9 matches the only opening set that she won was against an injured Hercog. However this time she only lost it in a tie break to the world ranked 7th player.
Medina Garrigues easily beat Pironkova in round 1 for the loss of just 2 games. She reached the semi finals in Barcelona losing weakly to Cibulkova and then a surprise loss to Soler Espinosa in the first round in Estoril.
Both players often make slow starts to matches but with Cirstea’s record in opening sets it looks like M-G is favourite to take it. An ideal situation would be for Medina Garrigues to be broken early to give us a higher price ( around evens) and for her to then win the set. Lay her after set 1 in time for Cirstea to start playing.
Tough to pick an eventual winner but I am slightly favouring Cirstea’s fighting spirit to bring her through.
Update:Medina Garrigues was broken in the opening game. She then reeled off the next 6 games to take the set. Perfect!
In the second set it was going on serve until towards the end when Cirstea broke her opponent and then served out the set. Perfect!
Medina Garrigues won the third set ( but I don’t generally trade third sets anyway! )
Medina Garrigues won 6-1, 3-6, 7-5.