May 23rd 2012

Van Uytvanck v Scheepers:

No I didn’t just fall asleep on my keyboard. The 18 year old from Belgium is a potential star of the near future.  Ranked 312 in the world but in her last match beat 38th ranked Pervak in 3 sets. I traded that match and when you thought she must be due to choke she held it together. When Pervak took the second set you could be forgiven for thinking it was all over. The kid had put up a great fight but the more experienced player would now cruise through the third. Not this time. She served 62% of her first serves in winning 70% of those points. She served 8 aces and no doubles faults. She saved 10 of the 12 break points she faced. This girl’s a tough cookie.

Scheepers isn’t having a bad season at all. She reached the third round in Rome losing to Li Na in straight sets. She has taken Sam Stosur to 3 sets and beat Kanepi in Indian Wells.

In the last round she won as underdog against Pavlyuchenkova although the Russian fell apart towards the end of the first set having controlled the match up to that point.

Scheepers starts at 1.28 which is crazily low. Van Uytvanck’s serve can keep her in this match and in the early part of the opening set Scheeper’s serve is often fragile.

This is a definate lay for me.

Update: I thought I had given her the kiss of death. Van Uytvanck was broken early and Scheepers held on for the set. Scheepers immediately broke at the start of the second and took  a 2-0 lead. Van Uytvanck broke back and broke againn for the set. As in her last match she was the stronger player in the third set.

Van Uytvanck won 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.


 Ferrero v Bellucci:

They have played twice before and head to heads are 1-1. Bellucci took their only clay court match in Brazil in 2009.

Both players had 3 set matches yesterday. The surprise was that Donald Young won the first set against Bellucci. Order was restored after that and Bellucci won the next 2 sets 6-0, 6-3.

Ferrero’s match with Haase was about as close as you’ll see. One break in the first set gave the set to Haase. In the second set Haase had a match point in the tie break. Ferrero saved it and went on to win the set.

In the third set each player was broken once and they again went into a tie break. Ferrero took a 3-0 lead but was pulled back to 4-4. Ferrero finally ended up with a match point on his own serve which he took. How much will that match have taken out of him both physically and mentally? He had a great week in Rome beating Anderson and Monfils and taking Federer to 3 sets.

Bellucci has been in decent shape on the clay. He beat Ferrer in Monte Carlo in straight sets. In Madrid he lost in a third set tie break to Gasquet and lost in 3 sets in Rome to Youzhny. Both those opponents have been in excellent recent form.

Both players are strong on serve. Ferrero has the greater experience but his legs must be feeling a little heavy. If Bellucci can hold it together then the younger, fitter player will come out on top.

Bellucci starts at 1.83 which is about right. Ferrero will be trying to win this quickly. He won’t want another 3 setter. There’s a fair chance he takes an early lead which is when I will back Bellucci.

Bellucci to win in 2 tight sets or another 3 setter.

Update: Bellucci won 6-4, 6-3.

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