12:00 – Soderling v Ferrer
Rankings are 5 and 12.Hhead to heads are 6-2 to Soderling ( 2-2 on clay)
Soderling has been well below his best this week. He has said he has found it difficult to adjust from grass to clay. His timing has been off and has been taken to three sets in both matches.
Ferrer on the other hand is a master on clay and a very difficult player to beat on this surface. He has looked good so far and has yet to lose a set.
Looking at just the stats for this week Soderling’s first serve percentage is poor at just 56% although Ferrer’s is almost as bad at 57%. Soderling has saved 40% of break points against him to Ferrer’s 71%.
Its on receiving where we see the biggest difference though with Ferrer taking advantage of second serves more at 65% of points won to Soderling’s 44%. Break points converted by Ferrer are 57% compared with 43% by Soderling.
The fact that Soderling is in front of his home crowd should not be ignored. The Swedes don’t have as many tennis stars as they used to and will be hoping Robin goes all the way.
There is an 80% chance of rain. Some think that would suit Soderling more as a wet court would make the ball bounce lower but I feel it would suit Ferrer more as it will slow the court down and make Soderling’s big ground strokes less effective.
Watch the opening couple of games to see how both are serving. Soderling needs his serve to get him some cheap points. If it turns into a baseline battle then Ferrer could frustrate the Swede as he somehow manages to reach just about every ball no matter how wide it is placed.
Ferrer on top form and on his favourite surface v Soderling who is out of form but with home court advantage……………….My money’s on Ferrer.
Both can be backed on serve if holding well. I would stay out if the first set reaches 4-4 until we know which way the set is going.
Update: Soderling was pretty poor in the first set and Ferrer took advantage to take it 6-4.
In the second set it was quite close but Soderling took it to level the match. In the decider it was close for the first few games but then Ferrer fell apart.
Soderling won 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.
14:00 – Almagro v Robredo
Rankings are 20 and 36.Head to heads are 1-0 to Almagro which was on clay in 2007.
Prior to this week Robredo has been poor. He lost his first match at the French, Unicef and Wimbledon tournaments. However this week he has found some form losing just one set so far and beating Verdasco in straight sets in the last match. His first serve percentage this week has been excellent at 80% although he has struggled to convert break point opportunities, winning just 29% of them.
Almagro’s season has been going a little better especially on clay. He reached the quarter finals at the French Open where he lost to Nadal in 3 tight sets including 2 tie breaks. This week his first serve is going in 67% of the time. He has converted 43% of break opportunities.
Both player have won over 70% of points on their own serve.
After watching the first service game from each player I will be looking to back Almagro on serve and possibly Robredo too. Look for any signs of nerves in those opening games.
Almagro is the form player here and whilst Robredo has been much improved he could struggle with match fitness if it develops into a long tight match ( he normally only plays one match a week, remember!)
Almagro to take a tight match with possibly a tie break along the way.
Update: Robredo served first and served well to tak the game to love. However that was the lat gam that he won in the set. Almagro took the second and the match.
Almagro won 6-1, 6-3.