11:00 – 3rd Place play off
Berdych v Soderling
Soderling won their last match which was at the French Open in 2010. Berdych won their only other match in 2010 which was on a hard court in Miami. Soderling leads the head to heads 7-4.
Soderling has played well and managed to stay with Federer in the first set of their match taking it in a tie break. He was too strong for Tsonga in the quarter finals and will be satisfied with his performances.
Berdych has also played well but has also showed signs of lacking the killer instinct. In the second and third sets against Baghdatis he was a break up and let the lead slip. He played better against Nadal but never really looked like causing an upset. However his return of serve was at times superb.
2 big servers who are hitting the ball well, I think the winner will be the player who consistently returns serve well. Soderling has been serving more consistently and he is my pick to take the match.
On hard courts their matches have always been settled in straight sets so I expect Soderling to win in 2 sets.
If we should get to 1 set all the match is settled by a champions tie break where the winner is the first to 10 points ( 2 points clear).
13:00 – Final
Nadal v Federer
Very hard to predict a winner here. Both men started slowly in the semi finals which was perhaps to be expected as their opponents had already experienced the court in the quarter finals. However both struggled with serve in the opening set, especially Federer.
Fed was arguably playing a stronger opponent and some of his shots were amazing.
Nadal started to relax in his second set and his ground strokes were of a fantastic standard. Maybe he relaxed a little too much and allowed Berdych to pull a break back.
If forced to pick a winner I will go with Federer. I don’t see it turning into a battle as there are no ranking points at stake and both are involved in main Tour matches in the next few days.