Tsonga is a lay at 1.30. Head to heads with Nieminen are 3-3. They have won alternate matches in their series and it’s Nieminen’s turn! ( Totally irrelevant but I love patterns).
Tsonga hasn’t looked rock solid this tournament anyway and Nieminen has shown some real fight.
Tsonga hates playing around noon. He says he has no feeling for the match at those times and that it has always been the same for him.
Update: Tsonga traded higher in the early games as he was under pressure on serve but it was the Frenchman who got the first break.
Tsonga won 6-3, 6-3.
Errani starts as favourite against Ivanovic. The slowish court will help clay courter Errani but having seen the opening set from Ivanovic against Kuznetsova I feel she has a chance to take at least a set. Ivanovic was hitting the forehand better than I have ever seen from her. She was taking the ball so early and hitting it with so much power that Kuznetsova could only stand and watch as ball after ball flew past her. Obviously errors started to creep in later in the set as there was no way she could maintain that standard. If she brings that forehand to the court today then even Errani will find it difficult to stay with the former world number 1.
They have just 1 recent meeting which was at the French open last year. Errani won that in 3 sets. Ivanovic won their other two matches although they were both in 2009 before Errani’s improvements in her game.
Its worth noting that in all 3 matches it was Ivanovic who took the opening set.
I will look to lay Errani below 1.40 .
Update: Ivanovic ran away with the first set but it was Errani who came through in 3 sets.
Errani won 1-6, 6-4, 6-2.
During the first set of his match with Kubot Sam Querrey looked pretty poor. He was broken in his first service game and Kubot remained very solid on serve for the rest of the set. In the second set Querrey needed Kubot’s level to drop and as so often happens, it did. Querrey won a late break to level the match. Kubot’s confidence faded and Querrey took the deciding set.
Against Raonic the American will need to be on his game from the first point.
Querrey leads the head to heads 2-1 but Raonic won their only 2013 meeting which was last month in San Jose. He won in straight sets.
Both men obviously have big serves but both have also improved their ground strokes over the last 12 months. Querrey has fought back well after an injury and made an impressive return to the world’s top 20.
Raonic is ahead in almost all the most relevant stats with Querrey edging it in the return of serve stats.
If both serve well then everyone expects the sets to be tight. Having seen Querrey’s last match there’s no way i can favour him in this match. Having said that 1.56 is too low on Raonic in a match that could be settled by just a few key points. I will wait for 1.80 or better.
Update: Raonic withdrew from the tournament before the match with sickness.