Rain delays! We haven’t had those for a while! It felt like quite a long session yesterday though the trading was pretty good. There seemed to be reasonably long spells of inactivity.
It looks like Sharapova has been getting a bit bored too as she has decided she wants to change her name to Sugarpova but only for the US Open. If she gets her way the umpires will have to use her “new” name when calling the score. Great publicity if she is allowed to do it ( and still decent publicity already as it has people talking about her brand) but it isn’t in the best interests of the sport in my opinion. Tennis struggles to be taken seriously at the best of times and something like that won’t help that situation.
Monaco and Mahut have met 3 times and always on a hard court. The only recent one was in Indian Wells last year with Monaco winning in 3 very tight sets. Mahut won the other 2 matches but they were both in 2007.
Since their last meeting Mahut has improved his ranking while Monaco has slipped a little. I expect this match to be very close and am slightly favouring Mahut.
Over the last 12 months their return stats have been almost the same and Mahut service stats are way above Monaco’s. Mahut has also won a higher percentage of points against second serves so if Monaco has an off day from the line he could be in trouble.
Monaco starts at 1.56 and I’ll be looking to lay below 1.25 .
3 sets look quite likely. Monaco has won just 1 of his last 6 3rd sets when priced between 1.55 and 1.65. Mahut has won 2 of 5 when priced above 3.00 and 1 of 3 when priced between 2.00 and 3.00 . Should be fun! Coin toss in the third.
Update: Monaco won 6-7, 6-3, 6-4.
The only time Verdasco has played Tim Smyczek was in February this year on the indoor hard courts of San Jose. The starting prices were very similar to today’s and Smyczek won 6-3, 6-3.
This time around Verdasco is slightly ahead in all the main stats with the exception of break points saved. He doesn’t face as many as his opponent though.
Verdasco hasn’t played competitively on a hard court since Miami in March. He lost to Falla that day in straight sets and the week before in Indian Wells he lost to Nieminen in straight sets and won just a single game that day.
Since Wimbledon Smyczek has played exclusively on the North American hardcourts. In Washington he reached the second round as a qualifier and took Tommy Haas to 3 sets having won the 1st set.
Smyczek must have a great chance today and I will be laying Verdasco below 1.30 and preferably Nearer 1.20.
Update: Smyczek won the first set but Verdasco levelled at 1 set all. Smyczek had an MTO in the third.
Verdasco won 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.
There was a rumour a few weeks ago that Melzer planned to retire at the US Open. I don’t know how true that is but when you look at the way he is playing you would be forgiven for believing he had retired already. He lost his last 2 matches on hard courts and whilst I didn’t expect him to beat Youzhny I was surprised he couldn’t do much against Monaco either.
Today’s opponent De Bakker can be just as much of a let down as Melzer but at least he has been winning a few matches. He has come through the qualifying rounds this week although his opponents were ranked 334th, 930th and 1046th. He beat Sijsling in 3 sets as underdog in the first round of the main draw.
De Bakker’s weak link One of De Bakker’s weak links is his second serve on which he wins the point under 45% of the time. For the last month he leads Melzer on almost every statistic and I am favouring him today.
I would prefer to lay Melzer below 1.50 .
Update: De Bakker was broken early. He broke back which gave a good trade but was broken again at the end of the set.
In the second it was a very similar story and Melzer served for the match at 5-4 but was broken and they went to a tie break which De Bakker took.
In the decider De Bakker was immediately broken . He retired at 2-4.
Melzer won 7-5, 6-7, 4-2(ret)