12:00 – Gimeno-Traver v Almagro
Rankings are 74 and 18. Head to heads are 1-1 (both on clay).
Gimeno-Traver has played solid tennis all week and has yet to lose a set.
Almagro has been taken to 3 sets in 2 of his 3 matches and was taken to a tie break in the second set against Chardy. He has argueably had the tougher draw this week. He has played fairly well but has had lapses in concentration that he won’t get away with in the latter stages of the tournament.
Over the last 3 months both players have served well. First serve percentages are 58% and 60% and they have held serve 77% and 85% of the time respectively.
Almagro’s stats on receiving serve are slightly better.
It has to be a close match and Almagro has more experience in semi finals though it was Gimeno-Traver who won their most recent match in February this year and he is playing some of the best tennis of his career.
Almagro needs to turn on the style and cut out the unforced errors. His huge backhand has been misfiring. It needs to kick in or it will be Gimeno-Taver in the final tomorrow.
Back both on serve.
Update: Almagro won 7-6, 3-6, 6-3.
14:00 – Schukin v Gasquet
Rankings are 147 and 47. They haven’t played before.
Schukin is the surprise semi finalist this week. He has played some excellent tennis and beaten Golubev and Youzhny although Youzhny was terrible for most of their 3 set match. But you can only beat the player they put in front of you and Schukin has done that.
Gasquet had a tough match against Montanes coming from behind in the first set tie break. When the pressure was on his serve was excellent.
Gasquet has been broken just once this week and has served 20 aces. Schukin has lost serve 9 times.
Schukin isn’t used to playing all week and at some point he is going to realise what a massive task he has on his hands today.
If Gasquet keeps up the high standard from previous rounds then this will be a straight sets win. Back Gasquet from the start.
Update: Gasquet won 6-3, 6-4.