17:00 – Istomin v Lacko
Rankings are 46 and 72. Head to heads are 2-1 to Istomin. Lacko’s win came in February when Istomin retired midway through the second set.
Istomin had a very good win over big serving Becker in the last round. Lacko has had to play 2 matches to get to the third round and has beaten clay courters Bellucci and Serra.
Istomin has been is decent form this season. He serves 68% of first serves in and holds serve 84% of the time. lacko hits 59% of firsts erves and holds 83% of the time.
Istomin, over the last 3 months, has saved an amazing 71% of break points against him. Lacko saved an also impressive 65%.
I expect a close match but Istomin has the better recent form. Back him on serve.
Update: Istomin won 6-2, 2-6, 6-3.
20:00 – De Bakker v Mayer
Rankings are 53 and 44. They haven’t played before.
De Bakker made heavy work of his second round match against Kukushkin. He couldn’t find a way to break serve in the second set and lost it on a tie break. He won the third with just 1 break of serve seperating the players.
Mayer had the expected easy win over Hajek who spends most of his time on the Challenger Tour.
Both have a very effective serve and hold 90% and 86% of the time over the last 3 months. The difference between them is in their returning ability. De Bakker wins just 25% of points against a first serve and 44% against a second serve. Mayer wins 32% of points against a first serve and 50% against second serves.
Mayer creates more break opportunities than his opponent although De Bakker converts a higher percentage of his break point chances.
The first set could be tight. De Bakker’s level of play seems to have dropped slightly in his latest matches. If he goes behind he can be a little fragile and starts making poor shot decisions. Mayer can play consistently well under pressure and I expect him to take this one.
Back Mayer on serve. If De Bakker’s serve is working well then he is ok to back on serve too although his serve wasn’t anywhere near his best in his last match.
Update ; De Bakker won 6-7, 6-1, 7-5.