Cilic v Tipsarevic:
I expected it to be Youzhny in the final so I clearly underestimated Cilic this week. Underestimating the Croat is often easy to do if you watch him play the early rounds. Three sets against Devvarman and also threes est against Seppi who had been pretty poor in the previous match didn’t fill me with confidence about Cilic’s chances against Youzhny in the Russian’s back yard. Yet he won in straight sets.
Tipsarevic has probably played just the one poor set this week which was the opening set against an inspired Starace. He did call the trainer after just one game in the semi final against Bogomolov but the problem didn’t seem to hinder him in taking the match easily.
Cilic leads the head to heads 5-1 although Tipsarevic won their most recent match in straight sets.
If I had to pick one of these two to have my money on then it would be Tipsarevic. Yesterday’s MTO is a concern but he has started to win the big games. He has to be one of the most improved players this year. One of the big differences between these players is the way they adapt their game mid-match if things aren’t going well. Cilic tries to hit the ball harder but Tipsarevic concentrates even more on his opponent’s weakness.
Its a tough one to call and I think the prices should be nearer evens but I am going for Tipsarevic. Part stake on from the start as there’s a real chance we’ll see a higher price in the first half of the opening set.
Tsonga v Del Potro:
Del Potro leads the head to heads 3-0.
Anyone watching Tsonga’s match against Malisse could be forgiven for thinking he was below his best this week. Watching that match it was tough to keep faith in the Frenchman but looking at the stats of the game he was broken just once in the opening game of the match. Malisse has a style that Tsonga struggles with when its going well and Malisse was playing the set of his life. Once Malisse’s level dropped a little Tsonga took charge of the match.
Del Potro has been struggling to find his best form lately. All three of his matches this week have been against big servers although only Anderson has been able to take a set from him.
Tsonga has truggled with his first serve a little this week but has found the big serve when it has been needed.
Tsonga probably has greater motivation to get the win. Tipsarevic has a good chance to imprive his ranking before the end of the year as he ended last year badly. Tsonga needs to take every chance to increase his ranking points.
Is added motivation enough to get him the win? It can work against a player as they can become tense at key moments.
Del Potro is a class act but I’m not sure he is near enough to his best form to take the win today. I am banking also on the fact that Tsonga has enough experience that the added motivation I spoke of above won’t adversely affect his performance.
Either way it will be tight. Tsonga to win in 3 sets.