Midnight – Mayer v Nishikori
Rankings are 36 and 82. Head to heads are 1-0 to Nishikori.
Nishikori has had a fair bit of attention recently when he reached the quarter final in Chennai. However in his second round match with Falla Nishikori looked exhausted and was barely managing to compete. He had been involved in a few 3 set matches and had run out of energy. If Falla hadn’t sulked about some umpiring decisions then he would have beaten Nishikori. Nishikori had a tough 4 set match in the last round this week.
Mayer was up against Davydenko in the last round. Davydenko seemed to be getting back to his best form but Mayer beat him in 4 sets having lost the opening set.
So both players have had hard first round matches. Both have tendencies to suffer a drop in energy levels and intensity after a tough match.
Mayer is the form player and is my initial pick to win. However I don’t want to commit full stakes from the start and want to see a couple of games to assess the players on the day.
Both are consistent on serve so I may back Mayer with half stake from the start and manage my position from there, topping up if he breaks serve. If it goes to 4 or 5 sets (which I doubt) I would expect Mayer to be in better condition to take the match.
Update: Not Mayer’s best day and Nishikori played extremely well except for the third set which he lost to 0.
Nishikori won 6-4, 6-3, 0-6, 6-3.
06:00 – Montanes v Malisse
Rankings are 26 and 45. Head to heads are 1-0 to Malisse.
Montanes threw away a 2 set lead in the last round against Dustin Brown. He finally won the 5th set 7-5.
Malisse recently reached the final in Chennai where he lost to Wawrinka in 3 sets.
Malisse is very much the form player and is rightly favourite on Betfair but 1.46 is way too low. Malisse can be frustrating to trade on his serve as he can serve an ace followed by a double fault followed by a fantastic drive followed by a unenforced error into the net.
I can’t see him winning in straight sets so will be going with a lay of Malisse from the start. If it turns into a long match Montanes may run out of gas and I expect Malisse to win in the end.
Update: More one sided than I expected. Malisse won 6-4, 6-0, 6-1.