15:00 – Fish v Benneteau
Rankings are 15 and 81. Head to heads are 2-1 to Fish.
Fish’s first serve percentage still isn’t that great at 57% but he does manage to hold serve 81% of the time. His second serve is very solid.
Benneteau has been holding serve 77%.
Fish attacks the second serve of his opponents and this could be the difference today. Fish creates more break opportunities than the Frenchman.
Benneteau has shown little form recently and with Fish being on home soil I expect him to win comfortably.
Back Fish from the start. Make sure you have your strategy in place for if things go against you.
Alternatively back with half stake and use the other half to back Fish on serve.
Update: Not as comfortable as I expected. Benneteau served extremely well, especially in the first set and Fish left it late to get the break.
Fish won 6-4, 6-3.
17:00 – Bellucci v Blake
Rankings are 30 and 173. Head to heads are 1-1. Both matches went to 3 sets.
Bellucci beat Blake in this tournament last year. The slightly slower surface could favour the clay court player and Blake hasn’t been in the best form lately.
Both hold serve around the 80% mark. Bellucci is better on return of serve so Blake’s serve should be under threat a little more than the Brazilian’s. Bellucci creates slightly more break points than Blake.
Blake beat Russel in 3 sets in the last round with tie break wins in the second and third sets. Bellucci has a little more intelligence in his game than Russell.
Going on their past matches it is likely we will see 3 sets so as long as the opening set is close laying the first set winner is a good option.
Blake tends to start slowly so I recommend backing Bellucci on serve in the first set or backing him from the start to green up after the first set.
I expect Bellucci to win the match.
Update: Bellucci won an early break of serve and took the set easily. Blake then came back to level the match at 1 set all and to take it into the expected third set.
A very tight set went to blake in a tie break.
Blake won 2-6, 6-4, 7-6.