Rome 2013, Thursday

For a player who has looked like an extra from The Walking Dead so many time in the past Andy Murray very rarely retires. So when he went behind to Granollers yesterday, lost the first set and then had an MTO in the second it was easy to think we had seen all this before and he would come back to win. He did make a comeback and pulled back from 1-4 in the second set to take it into a tie break which he won. Then he quit.

That is actually only the second time Murray retired in his career and oddly they were both on his birthday! ( the stat from @tennistweetscom ). I bet this one screwed a few people’s books. I was green before the tie break and was considering laying Murray in the third when the retirement came. I shouldn’t have thought about it so long!

He has hinted that he won’t play at the French open and his mum  has said his priority is to be fit for Wimbledon.

Other than that there weren’t too many surprises yesterday. Tsonga went out in straight sets to big serving Janowicz but that’s about it.

The betting tips had a win and a void bet yesterday. Troicki was more interested in arguing with the umpire and at one stage actually physically dragged a cameraman over to a mark that he claimed was from Gulbis’ last shot. A replay of the point showed that he was looking at the wrong mark and the ball clearly hit the line! Gulbis won easily and our entry price wasn’t reached. Cibulkova was our winner at 1.50.


Berdych has a strong 7-0 head to head record over Anderson. His last 4 sets against the South African have been close including the 2 last week in Madrid which finished 7-6, 7-5. Anderson had looked like winning the first set before a late break back for Berdych took them into the tie break.

Last week Berdych started at 1.36 and this week he is at 1.30 . I have to think that is too low and Berdych is quite likely to  falter in at least one of his early service games.

Anderson has beaten Cilic and Melzer this week so is clearly playing well. I think he has a chance to get a set today but Berdych will come through in the end. A lay from the start for me.

Update: The lay worked perfectly but once again Anderson can’t close out a set against Berdych. He led 4-2 in the first set but lost it.

Berdych won 7-5, 6-2.


Chardy has hit one of his form periods. he didn’t face a single break point against Nishikori yesterday and broke the 15th ranked player in the world 3 times in the second set.

Today he plays Granollers who “beat” Murray yesterday. Granollers trails 1-3 in the head to heads to Chardy and whilst he is a very competent player and especially on clay as long as Chardy’s form continues I see this one going to France.

Murray’s retirement was an odd one with him retiring after WINNING  a set. I’m not sure how Granollers can take too many positives from that. “Murray was injured enough to retire for just the second time in his career……but he still beat you in that set”.

Update:Granollers broke early in the match. Chardy had so many chances to break back but wasted them all. In set 2 Chardy took a 5-0 lead and the set 6-1. Chardy was a break up in the decider but it was Granollers who came through.

Granollers won 64, 1-6, 7-5.


Kvitova and Stosur start at evens today. Kvitova leads the head to heads 4-0. Their last 2 matches went ot 3 sets with Stosur taking the opening set each time.

If Stosur is to get that first win over Kvitova it will probably come on clay. On the faster surfaces Stosur’s brain doesn’t seem to be able to keep up. She plays on instinct and it either works or her shots hit the ball  kids. On the clay she has a little extra time for shot selection.

Kvitova was a little fortunate in the last round. She was bageled in the second set by Lisicki and scraped through the third set. She hit 6 double faults in that match.

Stosur hasn’t served badly this week. She has given just 5 break point chances in each of her matches.

I will wait for Stosur to take the lead in this one. She has started the better of the two in their last couple of meetings. Kvitova to win a tight match.

Update: Kvitova took an early lead but Stosur fought back to take the set. Kvitova broke early in the second and whilst the early games were tight she ran away with the set.

Surprisingly it was Stosur who took the third set easily.

Stosur won 7-5, 2-6, 6-1..


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3 thoughts on “Rome 2013, Thursday”

  1. Thanks for this Paul – any thoughts on the Vinci v Halep match? I have been really impressed with Halep recently. When she gets her nose in front when underdog she has been pretty relentless. Think she is too short at SP. Havent seen much of Vinci of late so a bit cautious.


    1. Now that Vinci is able to compete at singles as well as doubles she really seems to thrive on playing at home. Helep was excellent against ARad so I expect a 3 setter. hard to pick a winner but slight edge to Vinci as long as she isn’t saving energy for the doubles.

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