Thursday’s matches, 1st March

Kohlschreiber v Dodig:

Kohlschreiber won their only previous match in March last year.

Kohlscreiber beat an in-form Rochus surprisingly easily in the last round. He had a poor match against Seppi but was reportedly suffering from flu. That would make sense as it was totally out of sync with the rest of his 2012 performances.

Dodig had a good win over Tomic last week. His serve has generally been very effective although he has had to rely on bringing out a big serve or two to get himself out of trouble. His last 4 matches have gone to the final set. He is likely to start slowly and have 1 bad service game.

I think this will be a close match and that Kohlschreiber will do enough to get the win. I doubt there will be more than 1 break between them in each set.

1.55 isn’t the best price and i am tempted to wait a little for a slightly higher entry. However with Dodig’s habit of an early poor service game we may not see much higher. Therefore I will have part stake on Kohlscreiber at the start and fingers crossed for a little higher price, say 1.70-1.80, to get the rest on.

Update: Kohlschreiber won 6-2, 6-2.

 

 Verdasco v Almagro:

Head to heads are 4-2 to Verdasco. They payed twice in 2011, both on clay, and won a match each. Verdasco won the most recent game in July.

The trends seem to point to an Almagro win.

He has won….(taken from Tennisinsight.com )

12 of last 13 overall

6 of last 7 in Mexico

12 of last 13 on Clay

10 of last 11 at ATP level

 8 of last 9 when Opponent is a Left Hander.

Both Verdasco’s wins this week were in straight sets. Both Almagro’s were in 3 sets. Also Almagro had a long week last week losing in the final. Both the final and semi fial were tough 3 sets matches. The week before that he won the Brazil Open in another 3 set final. He usually does well at this stage of the season and the clay sections of the tour help to boost his points total.

This is a very even matchup and it won’t take much to tip the balance in one player’s favour.  Almagro played the same number of matches at this stage winning in Brazil and Buenos Aires and then reached the final of this event. However the matches this year in my opinion have been more energy sapping. Certainly enough to allow Verdasco a good chance of winning.

I expect Verdasco to get off to the better start with Almagro taking a few games to get his heavy legs moving. I feel the winner of the first set wins the match. Almagro will want to finish it in 2 sets so if Verdasco takes the first Almagro’s motivation to fight through another 3 setter may drop.

Update: Great performance from Verdasco. He immediately broke serve and held on to take the set. He won the break again in the second but was broken at 5-4 having had a match point. The set went to a tie break. Almagro led 5-2 but Verdasco took th next 5 points to win the match.

Verdasco won 6-4, 7-5.

 

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