12:00 – Chardy v Kukushkin
Rankings are 50 and 88. Head to heads are 1-0 to Kukushkin ( last week in the Kremlin Cup)
Chardy has only won 3 of his 9 matches on indoor hard courts this season.
Kukushkin’s win over Chardy last week was a surprise to me even allowing for Chardy’s poor record indoors. Kukushkin served extremely well in that match with 11 aces. I think Chardy will be out for revenge here and that defeat was down to him having an off day.
Chardy needs his own serve to be working well. He holds serve 87% to Kukushkin’s 82%.
Kukushkin’s return of serve stats are better than Chardy’s over the last month.
This match will come down to how well Chardy serves and this is his game to win or lose.
Watch the opening couple of games to see that he is serving well and then back him on serve. I expect the Frenchman to get revenge but he won’t find it easy to break down the Kukushkin serve.
Update: Chardy never looked comfortable and fell apart in the 2nd and 3rd sets. Kukushkin won 6-7, 6-1, 6-0.
16:00 – Andreev v Russell
Rankings are 81 and 87. Head to heads are 1-0 to Russell.
Both are decent servers and hold serve 80% and 76%. Both can be a little inconsistent although Andreev reached the semi finals in Malaysia where he lost to Youzhny in 3 sets.
Russell has has very little success on the main ATP tour but did reach the quarter finals at the Bangkok Challenger event last month. He has lost 4 of his last 5 matches on indoor hard courts.
Andreev is playing in front of his home crowd and if its a decent turnout they will get behing their man.
Back Andreev on serve. I find it hard to back Russell on serve even though his stats are reasonable.
Home advantage will be enough of an edge for Andreev to win this one.
Update: I should have listened to the stats. Russell won 6-1, 7-5.