Lopez v Ferrer:
Head to heads are 6-4 to Lopez. He has won their last 4 matches on a hard court. However their only match in the last 2 years was played on a clay court in April this year. Ferrer won that with the loss of just 2 games.
Ofcourse this match is on a hard court. Ferrer has only beaten Lopez once on a hard court but in the 2 years since their last meeting on the faster surface Ferrer has improved his hard court game almost beyond recognition. That improvement has seen him climb the rankings and has enabled him to now stand at number 4 in the world number 5. Who would have given him a chance against Roddick a couple of years ago?
Ferrer has ridden his luck this week but played well against the American from the first point. Not many people beat Roddick in a tie break but Ferrer won the third set breaker very easily when Roddick couldn’t hold himself together any longer.
Lopez has played great tennis this week, anchored by his impressive first serve. His style of play doesn’t suit Ferrer too much and whilst he is a big server similar to Roddick Lopez is more aggressive. He also likes to serve and volley. Stepanek has caused Ferrer problems for years with serve and volley when you would expect him to have no chance. Ferrer doesn’t like to be rushed.
This is another tough one to call. We didn’t see Ferrer’s slow start against Roddick and you would expect him to focussed on holding his own serve right from the start with this being a semi final of a Masters event.
The importance of the match could work in Ferrer’s favour. he has been in many big games in his career but Lopez has never been in a Masters final. He reached the semi final in 2009 and even though he was up against Nadal his performance was terrible. He lost the first set 6-1 and was 3-0 down in the second when he faked injury and quit.
I think Ferrer’s improvement over all and especially on hard courts together with his greater experience of really big games will allow him to hold his game together better than Lopez.
Update: A very tight match but not a classic. Both were holding well generally but allowing the occasional glimpse of hope to their opponent. However we ended up in a tie break which Ferrer looked liked winning but it swung back to Lopez. Such a tight first set and Ferrer a set behind…….has to be a lay! No brainer really and that proved to be correct wehn he won an early break. He held on and took the set with a second late break.
In the third set it started off tight again but Ferrer’s greater consistency shone through as Lopez started to fall apart a little.
Ferrer won 6-7, 6-3, 6-3.
Kvitova v Jankovic:
They have never played before.
Kvitova has been impressive this week and her serve has looked very solid. Of the 6 sets she has played this week 5 ended 6-2 and the other 6-3.
Jankovic has struggled with her serve this week. Koethavong took the opening set against her. Her ground strokes have been ok though but she will need her serve to be greatly improved if she is to stand a chance against Kvitova in her current form.
The surface suits Kvitova and if Jankovic has more serve problems then this could be over very quickly.
Update: Kvitove struggled with her serve and went 2 breaks behind. She pulled one back but it was set to Jankovic.
In the second set Kvitove was again broken in her second service game. That was the first of 5 breaks shared by the 2 players with the final break giving Kvitova the set.
In the third set it was Kvitova’s turn to get the first break as she raced to a 3-0 lead. Most games after that were very close but there were no more breaks.
Kvitova won 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.