Pilot Pen Tennis – Semi Finals

19:00 – Stakhovsky v De Bakker

Rankings are 47 and 53. They haven’t played before.

Stakhovsky beat number 1 seed Baghdatis in a third set tie break last night.  He has played 4 tie breaks in 3 matches and won them all.

De Bakker beat Korolev in straight sets. It took him a few games to get used to the serve of his opponent but once he did it was a straight forward match for him.

This should be a great match and I expect it to be very close.

Stakhovsky is in great form but doesn’t usually deal with an opponent with a big serve. In fact he has lost his last 5 matches when facing a big server.

De Bakker’s serve was starting to fire yesterday which will have given him a lot of confidence.

First serve percentages are 63% and 62% and they hold serve 76% and 90% of the time.

Stats on return of serve are very similar although De Bakker converts more break point chances.

Stakhovsky’s win over Baggy was impressive but Baghdatis looked very tired at times and probably wasn’t too worried at having a few extra days rest before the US Open next week.

Back both on serve. I favour De Bakker to reach his first ATP final.



21:00 – Troicki v Istomin

Rankings are 45 and 46. They haven’t played before.

Troicki started his quarter final with a break of serve. He then lost serve, broke again and then lost his own serve yet again. In the end it was a fairly comfortable win over a terrible Stepanek.

Istomin raced away with the first set in his quarter final. He then allowed Gabashvilli to get back into the match with some poor tennis. This inspired Gabashvilli who made a fight of the third set despite having a foot injury. Istomin won in a tie break.

So neither man really impressed in their last match. Both, on paper, should have won their games easily and whilst Troicki’s match score looks impressive the opening games were embarrassing.

Troicki has more experience than his opponent and he will need to call on that to get him to the final. Once he had sorted out his serve yesterday he looked the more solid of the 2 players although Istomin played some good tennis at times.

One thing I noticed yesterday was that when Gabashvilli put pressure on Istomin then he was very passive and chipped the ball back. At least with Troicki you know what you are going to get which is aggressive play at all times.

I expect Troicki to come through this one but a slow start by either player could land them in trouble.

Wait to see how they start serving but both should be ok to back on serve. Over the last month they have held serve 82% and 84% respectively.

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