Ok lets try again to make some sense out of the garbage we are being “served” up this week!
Hanescu and Haase: Haase came in as lucky loser but has since beaten Lu and Stakhovsky, both in straight sets. Hanescu has had 2 fairly straight forward matches to get to this stage. Betfair has them at around evens. Haase can be an awkward opponent when he’s in the mood and this won’t be easy for Hanescu. I never like to get involved from the start when they seem so evenly matched so will be watching the opening few games to get a feel for who is on top. Hanescu is the more recognised clay courter but I can see him getting frustrated today when Haase doesn’t roll over quickly, which he won’t. Gut feeling says Haase will win but don’t jump in too soon.
Andujar and Almagro: Almagro has been below the level we expect of him on clay. Not being able to beat Berlocq in straight sets was a poor performance. Andujar has started to pay some decent tennis again and if Almagro is as fragile today as he was yesterday then he could lose this. Their only previous match was in Barcelona last month and Almagro won 7-5, 7-6. Almagro often finds a way to win in the latter stages of clay tournaments but I don’t trust him today. If Almagro’s serve is poor again then Andujar wins this.
Fish looks a decent price against Monaco at 1.85 . He has won both their previous matches although the last one was in 2006. I read that Mnaco couldn’t pay yesterday due to a wrist injury. I think even when theyre both fit that Fish should take this but expect a close match.
Chela takes on John Isner. They have played twice before. Both matches were on clay and Chela won both. These courts work so much in Chela’s favour that 1.53 seems a generous starting price.
Gulbis again needed 3 sets to get through to this stage. Berdych cruised through against Mannarino as you’d expect. Berdych has to be the strong favourite here but 1.33 seems too short. Not many games going exactly as anticipated this week so perhaps a small back on Berdych from the start. I’ll look to get some more on higher up the ladder ( or some moron higher up the ladder! )