11:30 – Bellucci v Kohlschreiber
Rankings are 31 and 33. Head to heads are 2-0 to Kohlschreiber.
Bellucci is probably more comfortable on clay than his opponent.
Both are good servers so we should see a close match.
Watch the opening games. If Bellucci is holding comfortably, back him on serve.
Alternatively use the scalping method on this match. 15-40 can also be used however if in previous games the current server has held easily then I’d be wary of getting in at 15-40.
Bellucci should take the match.
Update: Bellucci took the first set easily and seemed to be in control. However Kohlschreiber came back strongly in the second set to level the match. A tight 3rd set saw Kohlschreiber take the match in a tie break.
He wins 2-6, 6-3, 7-6.
15:30 – Monaco v Nieminen
Rankings are 24 and 71. Head to heads are 2-0 to Nieminen but both games were on hard courts.
Monaco is a clay court specialist and starts as strong favourite.
Nieminen has been playing well but he is up against a very tough opponent. He has a very consistent serve and tops the stats table for 1st serve percentage at 75%. However it is not a massive serve and its effectiveness is reduced by the clay courts.
Back Monaco from the start or back him on serve. Monaco to win in straight sets.
Update: Monaco did win in straight sets but it was one of the worst games of tennis I have seen in a long time. 4 consecutive games in the first set were breaks of serve with neither man able to get a grip of the match. Monaco started the second set much better for the first few games but then the standard dropped again.
Monaco goes through but if this is an indication of his current form then he won’t be going far in this tournament.