Thursday’s here and we still have plenty matches. I love weeks like this 🙂
Mayer is first up with his match against Gabashvili. This was rained off yesterday. Mayer is in decent form but then so is Gabashvili. Mayer is 1.29 on betfair which seems a little low. Having said that the Germans seem to like playing at home as Petzschner showed yesterday. I can’t back him at such a low price but if I get the chance of nearer 1.70 to 1.80 I will take it. Mayer can be brilliant one minute and then look a fool with thos jumping backhands. You want a decent price if you have to watch that! I expect a close match but Mayer to come through.
Update: Mayer won 6-4, 7-6.
The Cilic match is very similar to Mayer’s. He is expected to win but 1.30 is just too low for me on clay. I may need to show some patience today!
Update: Cilic won 6-3, 7-6.
Anderson and Hanescu play again after meeting last week in Barcelona. That was a straight sets win for Hanescu. In that match he had 12 break points but didn’t face a single break opportunity on his own serve. There is talk that Hanescu will want to get to Madrid in time to start the qualifying rounds and may tank this match. I don’t buy that. Not that i don’t believe Hanescu isn’t capable of throwing a match, ofcourse he is but he needs the ranking points. This is a match he expects to win. Anderson never got to grips with Hanescu’s serve and I see no reason why it should be different today.
Update: Both started well enough but it was Anderson who came through 6-4, 6-2.
Gilles Simon seems a fair price at 1.40 against Berloq. Simon had a sprained ankle in Monte Carlo but should be fine for this match. Berloq is no mug on clay but usually falters when facing a top player. Simon’s serve is far better and he usually performs well as a favourite.
Update: Not quite as easy as the score suggests in the first set but Simon won 6-2, 6-1.
Stepanek plays Dustin Brown. I hope this has live video! Brown beat Wawrinka in the last round and I really feel he has a chance to blast through Stepanek. Brown is in front of his “home” crowd and he will get loud support. Brown is so unpredictable and you never know what you’re going to get for your money but on his day he can worry anyone. Stepanek doesn’t have a good record in Germany and I can’t see him being too worried if things start to go wrong. Its a lay for me. You just never know with this guy 😉 .
Update: So close!! Brown won the first break of serve and was serving for the set but lost his serve. Stepanek took the set on a tie break. In the second we saw another tie break and Stepanek seemed to have it sewn up but Brown came back to win it. In the third set brown was just making too many unforced errors.
Stepanek won 7-6, 6-7, 6-3.
Verdasco is back to face Gil. Maybe today he will win one? His last 5 matches have brought just one win and that was because Berankis retired! Gil is the local player and will get all the crowd support. Sulky Verdasco won’t like this situation and can get distracted easily if some of the crowd try to wind him up ( which they will). Gil reached the final here last year and is in good form. Verdasco has a shoulder injury. It seems to be the type of injury that hurts more when you’re losing. Watch for the MTO, there’s bound to be one!
I see Gil taking this one but won’t get involved until I have seen how the match is going. Verdasco’s usual pattern recently is a crap start, then plays a bit better, then crap again, then abysmal. Fingers crossed.
Update: Gil was terrible in the first set and Verdasco didn’t have to do too much to win it. I didn’t follow the second set but Verdasco won 6-1, 7-6.