Cilic v Kohlschreiber:
Kohlschreiber leads the head to heads 4-3. In their last 6 matches the winner has alternated. Cilic won their last match which was in March last year on an indoor hard court.
They have played twice on clay and won a match each. Cilic’s win came at this venue in 2009.
Kohlschreiber surprised me in the semi final against Lopez. He won the first set with a double break after Lopez had served superbly all week. He obviously has the support of the majority of the German crowd which will help him.( Although it didn’t in 2009! )
Cilic has been in superb form this week. His serve has been working well. When other players couldn’t cope with Haas’ surge in form Cilic beat the German in straight sets. Only Youzhny has been able to take a set from him which was won in a tie break.
Neither player has a good record in finals. Cilic has lost 4 of his last 5 finals and Kohlschreiber has lost 5 of his last 6.
Lopez’ serve wasn’t quite up to its normal standard in the semi final which allowed Kohlschreiber to take advantage. The German also served very well himself. In the final his opponent is unlikely to serve badly. I doubt we will see many breaks of serve today.
Cilic starts at 1.60 but is very likely to trade higher in the early games. If you can get him at 1.80 or higher I feel that’s excellent value. It’s bound to be a tight match but Cilic’s serve will be what wins it for him.
Update: Cilic waited until the final to start serving like a girl. I guess I jinxed him.
Kohlschreiber continued to serve well and took the only 2 break point chances he had. Cilic took 1 chnace of the 8 he had.
Kohlschreiber won 7-6, 6-3.
Paire v Seppi:
They have never played.
This is Paire’s first ATP final although he won his last 2 Challenger finals ( in 2011). Seppi has won his last 6 finals although just one was a main tour event ( Eastbourne 2011).
All Paire’s matches this week have been 3 setters apart from the first round when he played a tired Fognini. He played Nieminen in the quarter final after Nieminen had already played 2 sets that day to complete his rain-delayed second round match. Paire4 lost the first set 6-0 and looked like he really didn’t care whether he won or lost. He almost lost the third set having lost an early lead. Really not very impressive.
Seppi won his first two matches in straight sets against Dodig and Muller. Both are potentially tricky opponents but both were despatched in straight sets. Against Nalbandian in the semi final he made a not unusual slow start losing the opening set 2-6 but woke up in the second set winning in by the same score. In the third Nalbandian went a break up but couldn’t hold on.
Seppi starts at 1.54 which is probably about right. However if he makes another slow start we may get him a little higher. Paire has looked like he doesn’t care all week but has been lucky with his opponents. Todays he faces a player who wants towin and knows how to win. Seppi to win the title.
Update: Seppi won 6-3, 6-2.