10:00 – Gasquet v Almagro
Rankings are 47 and 18. Head to heads are 1-0 to Almagro which was on clay in Feb 2010. It went to a tie break in the third set.
Both players have had some tough games to get to the final. Gasquet had to beat Montanes in the quarter finals and Almagro had an in form Gimeno-Traver in the semi’s.
Gasquet has held serve 97% of the time this week. He has saved 83% of break points against him. His first serve percentage has actually been quite low at 56% but he has won 66% of points on his second serve.
Almagro has held serve 83% of the time. He has served 61% of his first serves in.
In the semi final we saw a little more of the Almagro backhand which hasn’t really been firing in previous rounds. He will need to be on his best form to beat Gasquet. The Frenchman has been very reliable this week and when his opponent has put him under pressure he has stepped up a gear.
Almagro has a good record in finals having played 8 and won 6 of them. The 2 losses were to Ferrero on clay.
I am a Gasquet fan and would love to see him take the title but Almagro is tough to get through.
Both should be fine to back on serve and I would be surprised if the first set doesn’t go to a tie break.
I have to give Almagro a slight edge.
Update: Almagro won 7-5, 6-1. Gasquet had treatment for an arm injury and his head went down in the second set.