Very few games stood out to me from the list today as blog picks.
Nishikori takes on Nalbandian and they start fairly even on Betfair with Nishikori slight favourite at 1.70. He hasn’t played since Wimbledon and Nalbandian is yet to show his true form since the hernia operation. If Nalbandian plays a smart game then he could out wit the Japanese player but he will need his serve to be a lot better than it was last week. I’d advise either leaving this one alone or waiting to see what the Argentinian’s serve is like in the opening games.
Update: Nalbandian won 6-4, 6-4.
Dolgopolov plays Gasquet who starts at 1.52 on the exchanges. Gasquet played really well in his first 2 matches last week beating Bellucci and Mayer and seemed to be well in control against Almagro in the third round. However he let a big lead in the firsts et get eaten away and lost the match in straight sets.
Dolgopolov lost in the second round last week against Berdych. His play was erratic at times and he will need that to improve if he is to have a chance against the Frenchman. Last week could have been a “hangover” from his title win the week before.
I’ll go with Gasquet to win this one. I’m not sure what happened with him against Almagro but he was playing great tennis before then. I’d expect Dolgopolov to play well again this week and if he can keep his first serve consistent then gasquet could find it difficult to break down. However Gasquet’s class ahs to give him the edge.
Update: Gasquet won 6-1, 7-6.
Medina Garrigues makes one of her limited appearances on a hard court and starts as favourite against Petra Cetkovska. Midina Garrigues leads the head to heads 2-0. Their only recent match was on clay and it was a tight game.
Cetkovska has been in great form this season and even though she has had to come through qualifying here her opponent is much happier on clay courts.
Medina Garrigues starts at 1.69 and I think she will have some problems today. I’ll be laying her from the start with part stake and hope to lay some more lower down the ladder if the opportunity arises.
Update: Terrible start from Cetkovska. She went 2 bresks down in the first set but sorted herself out for the rest of the match.
Cetkovska won 2-6, 6-2, 6-2.
In other matches Verdasco would seem to have a good chance against Bellucci who has gone off the boil a little. I want a higher price than 1.43 though.
Update: Verdasco won 6-3, 7-6.
Safarova served well last week but didn’t believe she could beat Williams. Her opponent today is Zakopalova who leads their head to heads 4-1. Saf has to be a lay at 1.36 .
Update: Very poor from Zak. Easy win for Safarova 6-2, 6-2.
Ginepri has an outside chance against Bogomolov Jr. He won their only previous encounter in 2009. Looking around at other opinions on this match though suggests I am the only one who thinks so. If Robby can serve well he could keep it close. If the first few games are tight its worth a lay at 1.56 .
Update: Ginepri got a break in the first game. He had 3 break points to lead 4-1 but wasted them all. He was broken the next game and that was pretty much the match gone.
Bogomolov won 6-4, 6-3.