Ferrero v Granollers:
Head to heads are 4-0 to Ferrero. They have never completed a hard court match. In August they played at the US Open and Ferrero was a set up when Granollers retired injured. The other 3 matches were on clay.
Former world number 1 Ferrero made light work of his opening set against Bellucci. The second set went to a tie break but Ferrero was solid throughout.
Granollers beat Gilles Simon in straight sets but the Frenchman wasn’t really interested having had a long tough week last week. That win will have given Granollers a confidence boost.
Ferrero’s best surface is clay but he is a very accomplished hard court player. He had struggled with form prior to the US Open but reached the fourth round where he lost to Tipsarevic.
All the stats favour Ferrero but Granollers was in great form before his Flushing Meadows retirement and will make his fellow Spaniard work for the win.(Granollers has lost 7 of his last 8 matches against other Spaniards). Both like to play aggressively but I have to go with Ferrero for the win in 2 tight sets.
Update: Ferrero broke in the very first game. Both players were hitting the ball well but a few more unforced errors from Granollers. Ferrero had to work for the win but was a class above his opponent.
Ferrero won 6-4, 6-4.
Pennetta v Cibulkova:
Head to heads are 3-1 in Pennetta’s favour. On hard courts they are 3-0.
Pennetta reached the quarter final of the US Open where she lost to Kerber.
Cibulkova tends to reach the second round and then loses so a third round place is a good week. She did reach the quarter finals in Korea last month.
Both hold serve around 64% of the time and win 45/46% of points on return of serve. Both players won their last match against a quality opponent and both won fairly easily.
This match will come down to who can keep the unforced error count to a minimum. Looking at recent form both players have a chance of winning and a three setter is quite likely if both continue their good form but I am going with the head to head and also with the smarter player and expect Pennetta to go through to the next round.
Update: Pennetta started stronger and took the opening set easily. Cibulkova came back to level the match at 1 set all.
In the third set there were several breaks of serve but in the end Cibulkova had to serve at 4-5 to stay in the match. Pennetta played a very smart game and made sure she made Cibulkova play the ball until she made the errors to give Pennetta the match.
Penneta won 6-1, 4-6, 6-4.