Larsson v Hercog:
Larsson made a slow start in her semi final but somehow managed to get a break of serve before the lengthy rain delay. I thought she might be worse affected by the delay than her opponent but when they resumed hours later she breezed past Arvidsson.
Hercog didn’t look comfortable in the opening games of her semi against BZS but once she had got used to the damp clay she won the first set easily. She lost the second set and came through a very tight decider.
Larsson is in front of her home crowd who greet a successful point with loud support and a point for their opponent with almost silence. I don’t expect that to change for the final.
Hercog is just 12 ranking places higher and they have played only once before which was at this years Wimbledon. The match went to Hercog in 3 sets. Hercog is the better clay courter and Larsson plays her best tennis on hard courts. Larsson starts as favourite on Betfair but if Hercog plays her best tennis I give her the edge.
Also in Hercog’s favour is their record in finals. Hercog has won 5 of her last 6 finals and Larsson has lost her last 3. If its a tight match I’d want my money on Hercog’s mental strength.
Update: The first few games were cagey but although Larsson had chances to put Hercog under pressure it was Hercog who won the first break of serve. That was enough to take the first set. In the second Hercog won an early break and held on until she was serving for the title at 5-4. Larsson broke her but was unable to back that up with a hold giving Hercog another chance to serve for the match which she did easily to win 6-4, 7-5.
Vinci v Zakopalova:
Vinci has been doing things the hard way in her last couple of matches having to come back from a set down. Zak on the other hand has yet to lose a set and started her quarter final with a 6-0 set yesterday.
Head to heads are 2-1 to Vinci and she won their only previous match on clay. They have never played a 3 set match.
If they come into this match in the same form as yesterday you have to favour Zak. However if Vinci probably feels inVINCIble having come back from the dead in the last couple of matches.
Very difficult to pick a winner without seeing how they start the match so I’ll stick with my head to head strategy 😉
Vinci to win in 3 sets.
Update: Both player struggled with the heat, especially Zak. Vinci won 6-4, 6-4.