Aukland Semi Final
23:00 – Nalbandian v Almagro
Rankings are 27 and 14. Head to heads are 2-2.
Almagro was less than impressive in his quarter final and with the first 2 sets being shared, each in a tie break, he took advantage of a tiring Mannarino to close out the match.
Nalbandian dealt with Isner in straight sets although the American is below his best with arm injury which required painkillers.
Nalbandian has been the more reliable player this week and is a strong favourite. Unfortunately his starting price of 1.36 is a little low and I expect Almagro to make a fight of it. Of the 2 players Almagro is more likely to start slowly with Nalbandian being more aggressive from the start.
I have missed out this week by not backing Nalbandian from the start so I may back him with half stakes. If there isn’t an early break by 3-3 I will add the other half at the slightly higher price.
Update: Nalbandian won 6-4, 6-2.
01:00 – Ferrer v Giraldo
Rankings are 7 and 64. They haven’t played before.
Ferrer made a slow start against Kamke and lost the first set. However that could be because it was his first set of the new season. He started the quarter final against Kohlschreiber in much better form. He took the first set but couldn’t break in the second and lost it in a tie break. He closed out the match fairly comfortably.
Giraldo ended last season strongly and has started 2011 in the same great form. He has beaten Bellucci and Montanes to get to this stage. I wouldn’t have had him as favourite in either match.
Both players have a solid serve although this week’s surface isn’t the fastest so it will be a match full of long rallies. We could easily see at least 1 tie break.
I will be waiting to see how they both start before getting involved although Ferrer is a decent starting price at 1.50 so I maybe will also back him with half stakes from the start.
Backing both on serve in the first set should be a solid strategy.
Update: Ferrer won 6-3, 7-5.