Rain in Korea meant the qualification rounds were moved indoors but it looks like the first round proper will start tomorrow, weather permitting.
Qualification roundsPare also being completed at ATP Metz and we have just 3 matches at the St Petersburg Open.
In Russia Bachinger takes on Rajeev Ram who reached the semi final of the Farmers Classic in July. Since then however he has lost his 3 first round matches which included the US Open and 2 Challenger events.
Bachinger narrowly went out in the first round of the US Open to Baghdatis when he lost in a 5th set tie break. The rest of his recent tournaments have all been Challengers including a quarter final a couple of weeks ago on the hard courts of St Remy.
Ram won their most recent match which was in march in Miami on a hard court. Their only other meeting was on an indoor hard court in Sweden last year. That was won by Bachinger in straight sets which included a bagel in the second set.
This match could be close as Ram is capable of serving well. However he doesn’t play his best tennis away from home. In fact he hasn’t won a main draw match outside of America since he beat Andujar in the first round of this event 2 years ago.
It’s Bachinger’s match to win or lose. If he serves anything like his best he should take the win.
Update: Bachinger was broken in his second service game. That was to be the only break of the opening set although both players wasted break points.
In the second set Bachinger took a 3-0 lead. He also led 4-1 but didn’t win another game.
Ram won 6-4, 6-4.
At ATP Metz Frenchman Albano Olivetti takes on James Blake. The story goes that Olivetti got his first name due to the fact that when he was born he was all white with red eyes. I don’t believe it personally.
Olivetti’s best result on the main tour was in Marseille in February this year, also on indoor hard courts. He reached the quarter finals beating Bachinger and Mardy Fish. He came close in the quarter final against Llodra but lost 6-7, 5-7. More recently he reached the final and a quarter final of his last 2 events ( both Challengers and both on hard courts).
Blake has a knee problem and saves himself for the American section of the season. He hasn’t been in bad form and reached the quarter finals in Washington and the third round at the US Open but I suspect that knee is in need of a rest. He has won just 2 main draw matches away from home since October last year.
Olivetti serves well and will have the home crowd right behind him. Worth a lay of Blake from the start.
Update: Olivetti managed to stay level for 2 games before he was broken. A second break meant the first set was easy for Blake. In the second set Olivetti was broken straight away but this time he eventually managed to break back. The set went to a tie break which went the way of the American.
Blake won 6-2, 7-6.