11:00 – Soeda v Schuettler -edit- game brought forward to 9:55
Rankings are 117 and 93. Head to heads are 2-0 to Schuettler.
Schuettler is 34 and so is coming to the end of his career on the main tour. He still has a bit longer as he keeps himself suprememly fit. As its early in the season his “old” bones will still be fresh.
Soeda has had a couple of great weeks reaching the semi finals in both the Singapore and Toyota Challenger events. However he has had a long journey to Johannesburg and he could suffer a little for that.
Soeda doesn’t have the best serve in the world and holds 67% of the time on the main tour. Schuettler holds 76% of service games.
Both their previous matches went to 3 sets with Schuettler taking the first set.
Schuettler surely has too much experience for his opponent. I will be backing from the start but if you choose the same option make sure you are comfortable with your strategy for if it goes wrong.
Alternatively, if Schuettler starts the match serving well he can be backed on serve.
Update: Soeda won 3-6, 6-4, 6-4. Schuettler started very strongly but he isn’t as fit as usual and perhaps the altitude didn’t help him.
13:00 – Brown v Van Der Merwe
Rankings are 89 and 170. Head to heads are 1-0 to Brown.
Brown seems to like conditions in South Africa. He had a decent Tournament last year reaching the 3rd round. He dealt with Serra well yesterday breaking serve in the very first game.
He often starts quickly but can fade a little in the next set. I expect him to take the first set so will look to be green by then.
Back him on serve. Van Der Merwe doesn’t cope well against big servers.
Update: Brown had a great chance to take this match. He took the first set and was up in the second but allowed Van Der Merwe back into the match.
Van Der Merwe won 4-6, 7-5, 6-3.