Thursday’s matches, 23rd Feb

Open 13 – 17:30

Del Potro v Davydenko:

Davy leads the head to heads 3-1. However in all their matches Davy was the higher ranked player. A lot has happened since their last match at the World Tour Finals in 2009.

Last week we saw a little of the Davydenko who reached number 3 in the world. Gasquet has no reply for it and Federer was even taken by surprise a little before agthering his wits and stepping up a gear or two. Hopefully the Russian has started to put right the parts of his game that have never recovered after his absense through injury. He gets a lot of bad press because of the fixing allegations from a few years ago but you can’t deny that when he was at his peak he was one of the most exciting to watch with his counter attacking style.

Another player climbing the ranks is Del Potro. Once ranked 4 in the world he also had an enforced break from the tour but is now getting back to his best. Currently ranked 10.

He has been in great form with some of the old power coming back into his shot, especially the forehand and the serve. He looked good last week until he met federer in the final but as i said at the time that just isn’t a good match up for the Argentinian. He walks onto the court against Fed with doubts in his mind and so is virtually a break down before the match starts. Despite the head to heads being in Davy’s favour Del potro will be expecting to win this one and his confidence will be high.

I think it could be a great match to watch ( its on Betfair and bet365 live video ) and Davydenko will keep it close but Del Potro will come out on top. His starting price of 1.44 isn’t good value though and i will be waiting for something nearer 1.60 .


Copa Clara – 22:30

Nalbandian v Monaco:

The home crowd will love this one!

They haven’t played for 3 years but head to heads are 2-1 in Nalbandian’s favour.

Two very different styles of play. Nalbandian has more natural talent and is more likely to go for the big winners. He can be frustrating as he may go for an outragious drop shot at break point down when you just want him to hit the corner. Monaco is more workman-like. The “poor man’s Ferrer” will grind out results on clay. There will be nothing flashy but it’s effective. If anything he is more consistent than he was 6 months ago and I give him a chance of victory today.

Monaco has a good record in this tournament and has reached the Final in 2009, semi final in 2010 and quarter final in 2011. I guess if that pattern continues he is due to lose today in the 3rd round!

A very close match as the odds suggest but on current form I give the slightest of edges to Monaco.



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