Rome Masters – Friday

12:00 – Verdasco v Djokovic

 

Rankings are 9 and 2. Head to heads are 5-3 to Djokovic.

 

Verdasco won their last match which was this month and also on clay.

 

He won the Barcelona Open last week and is playing great tennis.

 

Djokovic will be out for revenge for that last defeat which was embarrassingly one sided at 2-6, 2-6.

 

This should be a much closer match but I give Verdasco the edge.

 

Back Verdasco on serve. If Djokovic is holding comfortably you could also back him on serve.

 

There’s also the option of laying Djokovic from the start. If he gets an early break of serve trade out.

 

Update:  Verdasco won 7-6, 3-6, 6-4.

 

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19:30 – Gulbis v F Lopez

 

Rankings are 40 and 35. Head to heads are 1-0 to Lopez.

 

Gulbis starts as favourite on Betfair probably mainly due to his victory over Federer.

 

Lopez is also in good form and if his serve continues to work well he has the edge. He should also be fresher as Ljubicic pulled out of their match yesterday.

 

Both players can be backed on serve.

 

I expect Lopez to win a very tight match.

 

Place trades on Gulbis’ ladder as most of the traders’ money will be placed on there from the start ( at least until Lopez breaks.)

 

Update: Lopez probably started the better player and his serve was working well. He won an early break of serve but Gulbis broke back. Both players had minibreaks in the tie break but it was taken by Gulbis.

 

The second set was one way traffic. Gulbis won 7-6, 6-1.

 

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Alternative match:

 

Tsonga v Ferrer – Back Ferrer on serve. – Ferrer 6-4, 6-1.

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