A hectic day at Shark Towers.
I only have a few minutes to post some thoughts on today’s finals.
Benneteau has had one hell of a week. He knocked out Federer in straight sets in the quarter final and did the same to fellow Frenchman Gilles Simon yesterday.
Its incredible how often over the last few weeks long established players have been meeting each other for the first time. Benneteau and Del Potro are yet another example.
Del Potro has also had an excellent week and also is yet to lose a set. He has beaten in form Gulbis, Nieminen and Dimitrov ( oh and also beat Monfils in the first round! ).
Given that this is a final and that Benneteau is playing so well Del Potro’s starting price of 1.22 is just too low. It has to be a lay from the start for me until I can assess their respective form on the day ( if I get chance to trade it at all which seems unlikely ).
Update: If 1.22 was a lay at the start, when Del Potro broke in the second game of the match it had to be a top up lay. Benneteau broke straight back. Del Potro broke again. Benneteau levelled again at 5-5 and Del P’s price was pushed up to around 1.50 giving us an ideal opportunity to remove out liability or to green up. They went to a tie break which Del Potro took. Benneteau was never in the second set.
Del Potro won 7-6, 6-3.
New world number 1 Serena Williams plays the player she will knock off the top spot Azarenka in the final in Doha.
Williams leads the head to heads 12-1 and whilst I would expect both to go into today’s match trying to prove a point it is so difficult to go against the American winning this. Her raw desire to win is immense but Azarenka will be hoping Serena has a poor day at the service line as she has done in the rounds prior to the semi final.
As we saw in that semi final with Sharapova Serena lives for the big matches. It can be difficult for her at times to lift her game against lower ranked players as she knows that usually an average performance is enough to get the job done.
I think we have a fair chance of getting a higher price than Williams’ SP of 1.47 but I also feel that if she gets broken she will crank it up a level or two. I also feel that Azarenka is being distracted a little by her new relationhip with the RedFoo-kin idiot who looks like a giant microphone.
I’ll wait for 1.75+ before backing Serena.
Update: Williams didn’t have an easy day on serve and was broken in the third game. That was my entry point and she broke back a few games later for 4-4 . They went to a tie break and as members are advised not to trade tie breaks unless its with green I sat it out.
Azarenka took the tie break having saved 1 set point. That had to be a lay. World number 1 and 2 go to a tie break in a final? You could get matched around 1.33 during the first game of the second set.
Williams took the second set with a double break. In the decider Williams was broken in her first service game and that was to be the only break of the set.
Azarenka won 7-6, 2-6, 6-3.
In Brazil Nadal has been taken to three sets in his last 2 matches. Its not a great surprise after such a long absence that he isn’t at the level that we have come to expect from him over the years.
Nalbandian has also had an extended break from the tour and made a slow start but he has found his form pretty quickly after a sluggish start in round 1. He knocked out Almagro who has won the event for the past 2 years.
If Andujar and Martin Alund can take a set from the current Nadal you have to feel that Nalbandian will be able to at least match that.
The starting price of 1.51 on Nadal has already taken his form into account so it is a good plan to wait to get a lower lay price. I really feel that Nalbandian has an excellent chance to take the title today.
Update: This one didn’t go quite as well as the other matches. Nalbandian was the one holding serve easier in the first half of the set but it was Nadal who broke first. That seemed a good entry point as the Spaniard wasn’t winning his own service games without pressure from Nalbandian. Unfortunately the Argentinian wasted a break point in the very next game and was broken for a second time to lose the set.
I laid Nadal at the start of set 2 and a double break for Nalbandian allowed me to reduce my red but it was Nadal who took the set with 6 straight games.
Nadal won 6-2, 6-3.