Qatar Open – Thursday

12:30 – Garcia-Lopez v Tsonga

Rankings are 33 and 13. Head to heads are 2-1 to Tsonga (2-0 on hard courts. G-L’s only win was due to Tsonga retiring)

Tsonga is still getting back to match fitness. There is no substitute for playing competitive matches. He is committing too many unforced errors at the moment and Garcia-Lopez is able to take advantage.

Garcia-Lopez has come through 2 potentially tricky matches fairly easily although needed a tie break to take the second set against Kukushkin. He has served well winning 90% of his service games this week.

An in form Tsonga would take this match comfortably  but he’s not at his best yet. He has shown what he is capable of in patches over the last few matches but will need to be more consistent to take this one.

I feel Tsonga’s starting price of 1.40 is a little low and is based on his chances when at his best. A lay of Tsonga at the start is an option.

If Tsonga settles into his serving after a predicted slow start then he is ok to back on serve.

Could be a close match but I expect Tsonga to come through, possibly in 3 sets.

Update: A very close match with both players struggling to find consistency in the first set. Tsonga won 7-6, 7-6.



18:30 – Davydenko v Karlovic

Rankings are 22 and 73.  Head to heads are 5-1 to Davydenko.

Karlovic has played 5 sets so far this week and every one has been a tie break. That suggests that his serve is working well but he is unable to break his opponent’s serve down in regular games.

Karlovic’s best hope is to win the sets on tie breaks. The problem with that is that he has never won a tie break against Davy.

I was surprised that Kohlschreiber wasn’t able to break his serve but today he is up against one of the best returners in the game. Admittedly Davydenko is not back at his best but he has enough experience to outplay Karlovic.

I can see the opening set being a tie break while Davy works out the Karlovic serve. That will be followed by a quick second set.

Davydenko to take it in 2 sets. Back serve in the first set.

Update: Davydenko won 6-3, 7-5.

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