Ferrer v Murray:
Head to heads are 3-3. Murray has won the 3 hard court matches and Ferrer has won the 3 clay court matches. In the hard court games Ferrer has won just 1 set.
Ferrer struggled at times against Stepanek to hold serve. His workrate was as high as ever but Stepanek played an average game and Ferrer found it hard to out hit him. Murray has looked more impressive as this week has progressed and he played a very solid match against Nalbandian. Murray seems to have sorted out (or at least improved ) his first serve problems that have plagued his form over the last year or 2.
Murray is aiming to take the world number 3 position away from Federer and since Federer has missed the Asian swing of the tour and will also be absent next week in Shanghai then a good tournament from Murray will go a long way to ensure that come the end of the season he will be ranked 3.
The previous matches place Murray as strong favourite and having seen his last 2 matches I think he will be too strong for Ferrer. Ferrer often relies on long rallies and wearing his opponent down until they make mistakes but that just doesn’t work against a confident in form Murray.
I will be surprised if this isn’t over in straight sets.
Update: Murray was a class above Ferrer.
Murray won 6-2, 6-3.
Pennetta v Radwanska:
Head to heads are 2-1 to Radwanska. They are 1-1 on hard courts. Radwanska won their most recent meeting in 2010 and won easily in straight sets.
Pennetta’s form has been excellent over the last few weeks and she also reached the quarter finals of the US Open. In the last round she knocked out world number 1 Wozniacki in 3 sets. Like most Italians she uses a lot of mental and nervous energy in tight matches and those 3 sets will have left her drained. There is also a real chance of a “letdown” that players often experience when they have had a win over one of the top players in the previous round.
Radwanska has also been in fantastic form and won last week’s tournament. Looking at stats for the last 3 months Radwanska is ahead on serve and also on return of serve.
If the match gets tight I don’t think Pennetta will have enough to get through another battle.
Perhaps 3 sets but I expect Radwanska to take it.
Update: Radwanska won 6-2, 6-4.