14:30 – Rezai v Williams
Rankings are 24 and 3. Head to heads are 1-1. They haven’t played for 3 years.
Both women had easy semi finals for different reasons. Rezai was playing very well but Safarova wasn’t fully fit and retired after the first set.
Williams totally over powered Peer in their match and looks a very strong favourite for the title.
Rezai is hitting the ball very well and could trouble Williams in the early stages of the match.
In her last 2 matches Williams has relaxed a little having gained the break of serve and has been broken back straight away.
Back Williams on serve or back her from the start.
Update: A surprisingly one sided first set saw Rezai take the lead. Williams’ serve deserted her.
In the second it looked like Williams had sorted herself out and she held a lead throughout most of the set. Rezai broke back for 4-5. She held serve and then broke again for a 6-5 lead.
She held serve easily to take the title.
Rezai won 6-2, 7-6.
17:30 – Federer v Nadal
Rankings are 1 and 3. Head to heads are 13-7 to Nadal (8-2 on clay).
The dream final! Both men struggled more than expected in their semi finals. Federer was up against an inspired David Ferrer who played some amazing tennis at times. Federer’s serve went AWOL in the second set and that gave Ferrer the chance to level the match. Federer’s experience saw him safely through in the third set.
Nadal was up against another Spanish player who has responded well to being infront of his home crowd. Almagro made a fantastic start and took a first set where Nadal was terrible on serve. He had his serve broken 3 times in that set. In the second set Nadal sorted out his serve and the rest of his game improved at the same time. Almagro fought hard but just couldn’t live with Nadal at that level.
Today’s final should be great to watch. Both men have shown that their serves can disappear mid-match. They have also both shown some amazing ground strokes and it will be a battle of tactics more than anything else.
I was surprised to see Nadal at 1.39. I would have expected him to be nearer 1.60 to 1.70 especially after he served so badly during the opening set against Almagro.
I recommend watching the opening couple of games to see how each man is serving. Both should be ok to back on serve.
15-40 opportunities are too risky and should be taken at your own risk.
Scalping for 1 or 2 points is an option as is laying Nadal from the start. I am sure his price will be higher than 1.39 during the opening set.
Hard to pick a winner but Federer has impressed me more than the Spaniard this week. Both have had serious lapses in form/concentration though so its anyone’s title!
Update: Great match but not a classic.
Nadal served better than he had against Almagro. They exchanged breaks in the first set but Nadal took it.
Very close in the second set but Nadal took the title on a tie break.
Nadal won 6-4, 7-6.