18:00 – Baghdatis v Chardy
Rankings are 20 and 72. Head to heads are 1-0 to Chardy.
Baghdatis is in a very good spell of form. He reached the final of the Legg Mason tournament last week and the quarter finals of the Farmers Classic the week before.
Chardy is also in decent form and reached the quarter finals of the Swiss Open 2 weeks ago. However this will be his first hard court match after the clay court seeason and he will take a set to adjust to the quicker surface.
Baghdatis continues to struggle with his first serve and over the last month has hit only 50% of first serves in. However his excellent ground strokes mean that he wins 63% of points on serve and holds serve 80% of the time.
Chardy has a slightly higher first serve percentage at 56% and holds serve 82% of the time.
Break points saved and points won against serve are very similar for both players.
As it’s Chardy’s first hard court match for a while and Baghdatis has been in great form lately I give the edge to Baghdatis.
Back Baghdatis from the start or back both on serve.
Update: Chardy won 7-5, 2-6, 7-6.
20:00 – Gulbis v Soderling
Rankings are 28 and 5. They haven’t played before.
Soderling hasn’t played since his loss to Almagro in the Swedish Open Final. Even though he hasn’t played on hard courts competitively since then this is one of his preferred surfaces and I am sure he has spent many hours practicing. He will be looking to have a decent run here to prepare for the US Open.
Gulbis is back from injury but dealt with Bellucci well enough in his last match. He doesn’t have much successs against top 10 players and has lost 11 of his last 12 matches against top players.
First serve percentages over the last 3 months are 60% and 62% and they hold serve 79% and 86% respectively. Soderling converts 44% of break point opportunities to Gulbis’ 35%.
This should be a decent match to watch as Gulbis can up his game against the top players but doesn’t seem to be able to sustain that level for the whole match. The first set could be close but if Soderling takes it we could see a very quick second set.
Back both on serve.
Update: Soderling won a very tight match 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.