Barthel v Scheepers:
Scheepers won their only previous match which was at the US Open last year. She won in straight sets.
Barthel started the year well winning the second event of the season in Hobart. Since then she has reached a couple of quarter finals and had wins over Bartoli, Ivanovic and Goerges but has lost her last 4 matches as favourite. Two of those 4 matches saw her start under 1.10 on Betfair.
Scheeper’s ranking has slipped a little since the start of the year but she is still insde the top 50. Her best results came in America where she beat Kanepi and took Stosur to 3 sets in Miami. She also took Errani to 3 sets on the blue clay in Madrid.
Both players have big ground strokes but of the two I would say Scheepers is probably ahead in the confidence department. Barthel’s recent losses must be making her doubt herself a little. This has shown itself in her serving. Normally she will get a lot of free points with her excellent serve but we have seen that serve fail again and again in the last few weeks.
The markets are keeping faith with Barthel and she starts at 1.54 . If she can hit some form ( and grass should suit her game perfectly) then that is a generous price but until she shows some signs of that form I will be laying her.
Scheepers is capable of keeping this close and for me is the slight favourite.
Update: Barthel found some fight in the second set but it was another poor performance.
Scheepers won 6-1, 4-6, 6-1.
Ito v Fucsovics:
Fucsovics has come through 3 qualifying rounds but hasn’t faced anyone inside the world’s top 290
Ito lost in the second round at Queens to Benneteau. It was 7-5 in the third set. That’s further than Murray got! He has improved his ranking a lot in the last 12 months as all the top Japanese players have. He has a reasonable serve and has held 76% of his service games in the last 6 months.
Looking at the stats Fucsovics has a good serve and holds 85% of the time. Many of his matches have been against lower quality opposition though which should be taken into account.
Ito has proved himself a worthy opponent against top players in the last few months with wins over Stepanek and Brian Baker. I expect his greater experience to bring him through this one although it remains to be seen whether Fucsovics’ serve will enable him to keep this close.
Ito starts at 1.51 which is worth a part stake back until we see how they match up.