A good day for the tips service yesterday with Tsonga and Berdych both hitting our entry points and winning in 3 sets.Both were very tight matches but class shone through.
Serena Williams starts at 1.05 against Medina Garrigues. Whilst there is always a chance of a slow start I really don’t see the world number 1 trading too much higher today. Cue a straight sets double bagel win for MG.
Update: No idea what Williams was doing after the first set. She went a break down and just seemed to give up. MG was playing well but no one expected her to win the set 6-0! Williams scraped through the third to win 6-3, 0-6, 7-5.
Sharapova’s serve wasn’t too inspiring in the opening set against Lisicki. She was broken twice but thankfully was able to break her opponent’s serve 4 times in that set.
Does Kanepi have more of a chance than Lisicki? Perhaps as her serve should be more reliable. There is an injury doubt over her though as she had an MTO yesterday which the market appeared to think was serious enough as traders began to panic lay her. She was still able to take the set and the match from Hantuchova who I also believe had an MTO!
A slight chance we get a higher price on Maria but not massively hopeful.
Update: Sharapova won 6-2, 6-4.
Errani started poorly in her match with Lepchenko or to be more accurate Lepchenko started extremely well. Errani came through the barrage of big hits to take the match in straight sets having recovered from a double break, 0-3 deficit in the opening set.
Today’s match won’t be any more straight forward as she takes on an in form Makarova. Makarova has beaten Safarova, Azarenka and Bartoli to reach the quarter final.
Errani won their most recent match but the head to heads are 1-1. ( The betfair page has Errani leading 3-0 including a win at the French Open last year. That match never happened. Don’t trust their stats they are more and more frequently complete bullshit ).
I would be surprised if Errani takes this in straight sets but I do expect her to win.
Update: Erran won. 6-4, 6-3.
Can Ferrer upset Nadal today? No.
In the last 3 years Nadal has won 11 of their 13 matches. Ferrer’s 2 wins were on hard courts. In their 9 clay court matches in the same period Ferrer has yet to win a single set.
Update: There were times in this match where the upset looked not only possible but likely. Nadal was too passive at the start and was angered by a time violation.
Ferrer went a set and a break up but Nadal pulled back to a tie break. At 1 set all Ferrer’s spirit was broken and it was a bagel third set.
Nadal won 4-6, 7-6, 6-0.
Ivanovic is my pick to beat Kerber. Kerber has been lucky to get through this far. She wasn’t impressive against Cornet and saved 15 of 19 break points against Kuznetsova. Saving so many is good. Having that many in the first place most definitely isn’t good.
Ivanovic had looked pretty good until her match with Robson. The Brit’s serve collapsing as the match wore on was one of the major factors in Ivanovic’s win.
Over all I have seen more positives in Ivanovic’s game this week and the 2-0 head to head over Kerber including the recent Fed Cup win on clay in Germany does nothing to convince me that she is the right pick.
Update: Easy win for Ivanovic 6-3, 6-1.
Federer himself said that Nishikori hadn’t needed to play all that well to beat him yesterday. A very Rusty Fed was dumped out in 3 sets. Nishikori now faces Andujar who was perhaps a little fortunate that Gimeno Traver retired at 5-5 in their first set. ( more furtunate than I was as that lost me a sizeable green ).
Andujar hasn’t had a good season but has found some inspiration in front of his home crowd with wins over Isner and Cilic. I expect Nishikori to win but I think the first set will be close and could even go Andujar’s way.
Update: Nishikori just couldn’t take his chances today. Andujar took the opening set but was choking like crazy when serving for the set. Set 2 was quite similar with Andujar serving for the match. This time he was broken but Immediately broke again to give himself another chance. Yet another painful service game was eventually won to give him a straight sets win.
Andujar won 6-3, 7-5.
The best 2 matches are saved for last today.
Murray’s matches with berdych are very hard to predict. Murray’s clay form hasn’t been good despite his “improved” prep for the clay season. His last 3 matches have been a battering from Wawrinka in Monte Carlo, a tight 2 tie break win over Mayer and a third set tie break win over Simon last night.
Berdych as usual has served well most of the time but he hasn’t been a clinical as backers might hope from the line.
They have played 8 times and head to heads are 4-4. Only 1 of the 8 matches was won in straight sets ( Murray in Dubai 2012 ) and my selection process suggests Berdych takes at least a set.
Other than that I can’t pick a winner here.
Update: Murray won an early break but he couldn’t hold onto it. Berdych looked fresher and was more consistent.
Berdych won 7-6, 6-4.
Tsonga struggled for 2 sets with Verdasco but in the third set he really turned on the style. The problem with him is that it takes so much for him to play as we know he can.
Wawrinka has been in superb form and the new coach seems to be getting the best from him.
He has always had it in him to play excellent attacking tennis but he usually waited until he was a set down before he started trying. Those matches seem to be becoming fewer and he is my pick to win this one.
The first player to kick in with their aggressive tennis will be the one who takes the win. Tsonga won their most recent match which was in Monte Carlo but I expect Stan to have the edge today.
Update:Wawrinka won 6-2, 6-7, 6-4.