What a way to start the day. Melzer v Malisse. Total coin toss. No thanks.
Muller v Dogopolov isn’t much better but at least Muller has shown consistency on his serve and beat Raonic in straight sets. Dolgopolov beat Volandri in the last round but was less than convincing. The question today is will he be able to read the Muller serve?
Dolgopolov starts as favourite at 1.72 but I am going with Muller and hoping his serve remains solid. He doesn’t have the best return of serve but Dolgo usually throws in a bad service game or 2 and can almost break himself. He can often break straight back but that won’t be so easy today.
Update: The one thing I thought could be relied on, Muller’s serve, was terrible! Really weak performance.
Dolgopolov won 6-4, 6-4.
Kerber plays her third match in Istanbul. Yesterday she had a tough 3 setter with Azarenka which couldn’t have been much closer. That match will have taken a lot out of her as she admitted at the end.
Li Na wasn’t quite able to take advantage of a below par performance from Serena Williams. She took a 4-1 lead in the opening set but was pulled back to a tie break which the American took easily. Li leads the head to heads with Kerber 5-1 but it’s the last 12 months that have seen Kerber rise up the rankings. If we look at their 2012 meetings Li won on clay and on hard courts they are 1-1 with Kerber leading in the set count at 3-2.
I think a lot of Li’s problems against Williams was that she didn’t really believe that she could take that first set. She won’t have that problem today and I feel that Kerber’s legs will get heavier the longer the match goes on.
Li starts at 1.63 but I would prefer at least 1.85 to evens before getting involved. 3 sets wouldn’t be a surprise but that also favours Li.
Update: Kerber made the faster start and took a 4-2 lead. However she started to look tired and it felt like just a matter of time until Li broke back. She did so in the next game and Kerber didn’t win another game. In the second set Li took a 5-1 lead and even though Kerber pulled one of the breaks back she just had nothing left.
Li won 6-4, 6-3.
Almagro has won the last 3 meetings with Sam Querrey. 2 of those were on clay which most certainly favours Almagro. On hard courts it’s the American who leads 2-1 and the set count is 6-2.
Almagro has home advantage and has a great record at this tournament. However his best performances came when the tournament was played on clay and he hasn’t been past the first round before this year since it switched to hard courts.
This should be a very tight match dominated by serve but I am on Querrey who says he is playing the best tennis of his life.
Update: Well done to SecondSet on the comments who disagreed with my Querrey pick. These serve dominated matches can go either way. Today its Almagro who won 6-4, 6-7, 6-0.