Rome Masters – Friday

Murray is first up aganst Mayer. The Scot played a great match against Starace yesterday. That was potentially a tricky one but he dealt with it extremely well and never really looked in trouble. He has never played the German who had a tough match with Chela. Mayer has ridden his luck so far this week and has mixed up his matches with some brilliant play and  some terrible errors.  Even so, his results have been pretty good over recent weeks so Murray will have to work very hard to take this one.

If Murray can play at the same level as yesterday then he should take this. He did have 1 bad game in the second set last night  when he threw away a service game but over all it was  an impressive display. I’d like higher odds on him though as Mayer has the ability to cause him some problems although the German really shouldn’t be taking this match. 3 sets aren’t beyong the bounds of possibility. Hopefully Mayer will continue with his ridiculous jumping backhands. This should be an entrtaining one to watch.

Update: Murray played the first game well and it was downhill from there. Mayer was encouraged by the Scot’s poor start and took the set easily. After that Murray started the next set with a break. In the third set it was all Murray. Murray won 1-6, 6-1, 6-1.


Nadal faces Cilic. Nadal isn’t in top form this week as was shown in his match against Lorenzi. Cilic has been solid enough and fought well to get past Fish in straight sets. Cilic has some big ground strokes and the slower surface allows him more time to wind up the big return. Even though he has beaten Nadal on a hard court I’m not sure he can come up with a game plan to beat him here. This has been such a weird week though anything is possible. It should be straight sets to Nadal but he’s a cheap lay at 1.08.

Update: easy win for Nadal 6-1, 6-3.


Gasquet v Berdych: Hands up who expected Gasquet to get past Federer? I certainly didn’t but apart from the first couple of games which was a Federer masterclass the Frenchman served to an incredibly high standard. The big question today is can he maintain that standard against Berdych?  Gasquet has shown in the past that he can be a little weak mentally. There was no sign of it yesterday but often when someone beats one of the top 3 they suffer from a drop in intensity in the next match.

Berdych has managed to get the job done so far this week. He has often been too passive which is surprising as when he increases the aggression he runs over his opponent.  I hope Gasquet can handle the win over Federer and give us another great display today and I give him the edge. This one will be won or lost in the players’ minds more than on the court.

Update: Very tight match. Gasquet took it 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.


Djokovic v Soderling: When will the Serb tire himself out? Head to head is 5-1 to Djokovic. The price on Djokovic assumes that he is still full of energy and he is pushing hard for the number 1 spot. That didn’t help Fed yesterday though! Soderling certainly has a chance and it could be worth a lay on Djokovic but the previous matches between them doesn’t give much confidence. Yesterday wawrinka managed a couple of break points in the first game which gave us a slightly higher price to back Djokovic and we should get the same opportunity today. I won’t be backing at 1.22 from the start though.

Update: Djokovic won 6-3, 6-0.

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