13:00 – Nalbandian v Cilic
Rankingsa re 29 and 15. Head to heads are 2-0 to Nalbandian.
Cilic has been well below his best for a while now. A stright sets loss to Haider-Maurer, the surprise package at the Austrian Open, won’t have helped his confidence although his first round match here against Chiudinelli may have eased the pain a little.
Nalbandian has been dealing with all but the top players quite well. He lost to Simon in France last week when it looked easier to close out the match but that was as much about the Frenchman’s quality as it was about a choke from the Argentinian.
Nalbandian may take a couple of games to get to grips with Cilic’s serve but once he does its pretty much game over.
They have held serve 83% and 81% over the last month. Nalbandian is far superior on return of serve.
Wait a couple of games before getting involved as both are capable of slow starts but then backing Nalbandian on serve or backing him and waiting for the break are good options.
Update: A scrappy first set saw Nalbandian almost break in the opening game but was then broken himself in his first service game. Cilic took the opening set but Nalbandian started to deal with Cilic’s serve a bit better and took the next 2 sets.
Nalbandian won 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.
15:00 – Gasquet v Kamke
Rankings are 27 and 72. They haven’t played before.
Gasquet dealt with what could have been a tricky match against Lu extremely efficiently losing just 4 games in the match.
Kamke beat Berdych which looks good on paper but Berdych was pretty awful and didn’t put up much resistance.
Kamke shouldn’t be underestimated though as the German has recently won a Challenger event and his ground strokes have been very sound.
Over the last month they have held serve 81% and 77%. Kamke actually has better stats on return of serve but with the exception of Kohlschreiber he has played inferior opponents to those played by Gasquet who has come up against Nieminen, Djokovic, Monfils, Gulbis and De Bakker in the last 4 weeks.
Gasquet’s experience should be too much today and if he keeps his backhand working well he should take the match in straight sets.
Back Gasquet on serve or from the start to green up after the first set.
Update: A very tight match with Gasquet winning 6-4, 7-5.