Simon starts as slight favourite at 1.90 against Nishikori. At the start of his match with Paire Nishikori took a few games to get used to the court which has been slower than expected. He has said that he is very motivated to do well in the last tournament of the year.
Simon came past Lucky Loser Hanescu who replaced Federer in the draw. Simon had probably seen the original draw and resigned himself to the fact that he was going out to Federer in the 2nd round. His record in Paris isn’t as good as you might expect and he went out last year in the second round ( his first match) to Monaco. I’m never too convinced at Simon’s motivation especially when he has less to play for than in previous rounds.
I think Nishikori will want this more and if he can get his nose in front I’m not sure Simon will bust a gut to get back. I’m going with the Japanese player as I think he will fight to the end. ( though hopefully not kamikaze style )
The first set at least will be very close as both players are suited to this surface and are excellent defenders.
Update: Nishikori withdrew before the match with an ankle injury.
In the Tournament Of Champions Who Weren’t Good Enough To Play With The Proper Champions event in Sofia we have Petrova and Kirilenko going head to head.
Petrova took several attempts before she could hold serve against Zheng who also looked like she was being asked to serve for the very first time. However as expected Petrova came through in straight sets. Kirilenko had a shaky start against local Wildcard Pironkova and looked strong after the opening 2 or 3 games.
Head to heads are 4-4. The last 4 matches went o 3 sets with them each winning 2 of those matches. One thing to note is that in 5 of their last 6 matches Kirilenko has won the opening set. She starts as slight favourite at 1.89 and I will have an early back on her with part stake. Both players can have a slow start from the line but Kirilenko impressed me more yesterday.
Looking at those previous matches 3 sets are likely so hopefully this will be a good match for trading.
Update: Kirilenko made the better start as expected and took the first set. Petrova fought back to take the second and also took the third.
Petrova won 3-6, 7-6, 6-3.