13:00 – Vilegen v Nieminen
Rankings are 307 and 62. Head to heads are 3-1 to Vilegen although they haven’t played since 2007. Vilegen was ranked a lot lower at that time and has slid down the rankings since whereas Nieminen has maintained his position.
Nieminen had a good win against Becker in the last round. That was a match I didn’t expect him to win.
Vilegen had a 3 set win over Del Bonis which is nothing to write home about.
This will be a straight sets win for Nieminen especially given that he is clearly playing well. His normally consistent yet weak first serve had more bite in that game and I can’t see him having much problem today.
Back Nieminen from the start and green up after the first set. I think the head to head record has pushed his price up although it has been coming in over the course of the morning.
19:00 – Zverev v Mahut
Rankings are 155 and 158. Head to heads are 1-0 to Mahut.
Mahut has moved from 245 in the rankings to his current position and Zverev has moved from 50 in the world to the same level as today’s opponent.
Mahut got his place here as a replacement for the injured Monfils ( and they appear to have used Gasquet’s photo on the betfair tennis page!)
Zverev beat Zeballos in straight sets in the last round and Mahut hasn’t played in a main draw since retiring from a Challenger event in August.
We know Mahut can serve consistently when in form and has better stats over the last 3 months than Zverev. He holds serve 89% of ther time.
Zverev is better on return of serve so he needs to get his once impressive first serve working to take this match.
I would watch the opening 2 or 3 games to see who is serving better. Ideally I will be looking to back Mahut on serve but I want to see that he is holding comfortably before getting involved in the market.
This could go either way and you’ll have to toss a coin to pick a winner, although watching the opening games could give a massive clue of who’s the form player on the day.