V Williams v Halep:
Williams won their only previous match earlier this month. It was settled in a third set tie break.
Williams is a long way short of her best form since her return from illness. However since her come-back match in March she has had wins over Kvitova, Ivanovic and Jankovic. She has taken Stosur to 3 sets which was in the quarter finals of the Family Circle Cup.
Halep has been in decent form on the clay. She reached the quarter finals in Barcelona and the semi finals of the Grand prix de Sar although as seeds dropped she was expected to win that title.
Williams starts at 1.50 which seems too low based on their previous match. How much that result is relevant is unknown with the blue clay situation. We have live video for this match and I will wait before getting involved. You would expect Williams to get stronger with more games under her belt and if thats the case then Halep really shouldn’t be taking her to three sets this time.
An early break for Halep would be a bonus to give us evens on Williams.
Update: Both struggled with their serves but Williams slightly stronger in the rallies.
Williams won 6-3, 6-4.
Ferrero v Monfils:
Ferrero leads the head to heads 2-0. They have never played on clay.
Ferrero has come back after another injury break of over 2 months. He lost to Andreev in Madrid but fared better in the first round in Rome when he beat Anderson in straight sets.
Monfils came back from a break of a few weeks and beat an in form Kohlschreiber in 3 sets. Berdych made him look very ordinary though beating him 6-1, 6-1. Monfils beat Bogomolov Jr. in straights sets in the first round although Junior hasn’t been the same player since he decided he was Russian again.
I’m not sure how much longer Ferrero will keep putting his body through the rigours of the ATP tour but for now he is back with us. Obviously the former world number 1 is more comfortable on clay and if he can stay injury free for long enough to find some form he is still able to compete.
I’m not sure he will get his third win over Monfils today though. If Monfils is able to serve well then he ought to win this in 2 sets. When does Monfils ever do what he ought to?
Monfils starts at 1.54 on Betfair. If he is on top form then that seems a decent price but the scoreline against Berdych gives an indication of his current level. I will wait for a healthier price before backing Monfils. A shaky service game in the early part of the opening set should give us 1.70+.
Update: Monfils’d price drifted prematch to a more acceptable entry point. He raced into a 4-1 lead. I traded out and moved on. Just as well as he ended up losing the set!
I didn’t really follow the second set but I’m sure he was a berak up in that set and also lost it.
Ferrero won 7-5, 6-3.