13:00 – Soderling v Almagro
Rankings are 5 and 20. Head to heads are 3-2 to Soderling ( 2-1 to Almagro on clay).
Their last meeting was in Madrid 2 monhs ago( on clay) and Almagro won in straight sets.
Soderling has been taken to 3 set in every round so far. In the last 2 matches he started badly. Against Ferrer in the semi final he looked like he was going to be beaten quite easily. He was being impatient and Ferrer was getting just about every ball back in play. He came to life in the following sets and ended up taking the final set in convincing fashion.
Almagro has lost just 1 set all week which was in the quarter final and probably against the opponent that he would least expect to take a set from him. In the semi final against Robredo he was always in control taking 6 straight games in the opening set.
Soderling is defending Champion and is on home soil. He has started his last 2 matches badly and turned it around eaach time. Almagro has played solid if unspectacular tennis so far and is definately one of the top clay court players on the Tour.
Looking at the stats for this week Almagro is slightly ahead in just about all categories. This should be a really close final and I wouldn’t be surprised to see 3 sets although all their previous matches have been settled in straight sets. In every set they have played there has been just one break between them.
Home court advantage will be the difference today. The crowd will pull Soderling through.
Watch the opening service game from each player. If Soderling starts serving well then back him on serve. I expect no more than 1 break each set so backing Almagro on serve is also an option.
Update: Soderling started serving very well and looked in control. however as the set wore on Almagro started to look more dangerous. Almagro broke serve late in the set to take it 7-5.
Soderling came back ( as he had done all week) and levelled the match.
In the third set Soderling’s serve deserted him and in the end it was a double fault that handed the title to Almagro.
Almagro won 7-5, 3-6, 6-2