Andujar v Rosol: A few of the Spanish players seem to have taken part in an exhibition of tennis on sand at the weekend. I’m not sure that is the best prep for playing an ATP tournament.
Andujar was poor against Bachinger last week. Perhaps he wanted to make sure he was available for the sand exhibition. Rosol took Benneteau to 3 sets and the previous week he was able to stay with Almagro and beat Starace so he is in good form on the clay.
Its worth an initial lay on Andujar from the start. They haven’t played before and their rankings aren’t that different with Andujar at 47 and Rosol at 66.
Update: The lay worked well as Rosol took the opening set. Andujar won 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Seppi seems a solid bet against Istomin. Istomin isn’t the smartest player on the tour and clay often needs a little more thought than on other surfaces. Seppi has been playing some decent tennis on the clay and won their only previous match which was on a hard court for the loss of just 1 game.
1.38 is a little tight and I will probably place half stake at the start and wait to see if I can add the rest a little higher.
Update: Terrible performance as expected from Istomin. Seppi won 6-2, 6-2.
Stepanek takes on Petzschner in Washington. Petzschner has been poor on the clay so I imagine he’ll be happy to be back on a fast court. His big serve can be an excellent weapon if he can get it going consistently and he could over power Stepanek in his own service games. He played this event in 2009 and reached the third round beating Fish and losing to Berdych in 3 sets.
Stepanek has only won 1 match at this tournament when he beat Paul Goldstein ( who?) in 3 sets. He lost in the first round last year when he lost to Chiudinelli in 3 sets.
The surface favours Petzschner and I expect him to take the match although it could be a tight game.
Update: It did turn out to be a tight first 2 sets. Petzschner took the opening set in a tie break and Stepanek levelled at 1 set each. Petzschner then caved in to give Stepanek the win 6-7, 6-4, 6-0.
Razzano takes on Hradecka. Razzano reached the quarter finals last week but was struggling with the heat ( as they all were). Hradecka will be getting used to the hard courts having lost in the first rounds of the last 2 events which were both on clay.
They have never played on a hard court and Razzano won their only previous encounter on a clay court in 2004.
The prices have switched on this one and Razzano is now slight favourite on betfair. I expect her to come through a tight match possibly in 3 sets.
Update: Razzano won 6-7, 7-6, 6-1.