A long list of games today with some exciting looking match-ups. Normal red clay this week!
Fognini v Baghdatis:
Their only previous meeting was a couple of weeks ago. Fognini won that in 2 tight sets. Today Fognini is on home soil. He has lost his last 3 on clay although 2 were to Simon and the other to Paire which was after he reached the final the previous week and was exhausted.
Bagdhatis isn’t in the best form at the moment. Since his loss to Foggy in Bucharest he has won 2 of his 4 matches. Those were both 3 setters to Dustin Brown and Kamke. If he was in form they would have been straight sets wins.
You would imagine that Fognini is more motivated as its in his home country but trying to figure this guy out is near impossible. At first glance he doesn’t have a good record in this event but losses have come to Tsonga, Djokovic and Roddick ( when Roddick was ranked 5). 2010 saw him lose in the first round to Ernests Gulbis which wasn’t a good loss. His recent form is pretty good though and surely he sees it as a great chance to make an impact in Rome.
Fognini starts at 1.71 . If he is in the right frame of mind then that is a decent price. Baghdatis has a poor record on clay and I have to favour the Italian here. I will back at the start with part stake and hope to add more at a higher price in the first few games.
Isner v Kohlschreiber:
They have played just once before which was on a hard court in 2010. Isner won in 3 sets.
This should be very close. Isner’s serve we all know about but Kohlschreiber also possesses a superb serve. It just fails him occasionally. Isner lost his first match in a few weeks against Cilic. Cilic has been in great form and to lose in 2 tie break sets was a good sign for Isner as he was bound to be rusty. The blue clay also wouldn’t have been good for giraffe-like Isner.
Back on the normal red clay he will be confident going into this tournament. He has proved himself to be an excellent clay court player in recent months.
Kohlschreiber hasn’t lost in the first round in Rome ( he lost in the second round for the last 3 years). I expect him to serve well and this could easily be a standard Isner match. Very few breaks. 1 set to be a tie break. 3 sets. Isner wins.
Isner starts at 1.67 which has shortened from around 1.72 in the last few minutes. Could be a decent match for backing serves at those prices. If I can get a price over evens on the American I will be taking it.
Update: More breaks than I expected but we did have a tie break. We did have 3 sets and Isner did win!
Isner didn’t show up in the first set. the market was so unprepared for how he played that when Kohlschreiber had his first break point the market hardly moved. People just expected the American to serve an ace. he was broken twice in that set. He went behind in the second set before coming back to take it in a tie break. In the third Kohlschreiber who had played superb tennis for a set and a half went into meltdown.
Isner won 2-6, 7-6, 6-2.