Hopefully we don’t have many rain delays from Sydney tonight.
04:00 – Gasquet v Seppi – (Sydney)
Rankings are 29 and 53. Head to heads are 2-1 to Gasquet. All their previous matches were on clay.
Gasquet has been in decent form but last week in Chennai, having won the first set easily 6-1 against Phau he went on to lose the next 2 sets in tie breaks. Thats a worry but I will put it down as a one off.
Seppi beat Istomin very easily in the last round and will make the Frenchman fight for every point.
Seppi is more at home on clay and I expect Gasquet to win this match but I don’t see it being easy. Gasquet often gets himself into a position to break but doesn’t always dominate the break points.
It should be a tight first set and backing Gasquet on serve is a good option. If Gaquet takes the opening set I would green up.
Update: Gasquet this time started slowly and finished stronger. He lost the opening set btu came back to take the match 3-6, 7-5, 6-4.
06:30 – Haase v Isner – (Aukland)
Rankings are 62 and 20. Head to heads are 1-0 to Haase. That was in November last year in 3 sets.
Haase played well in the last round and came back from a set down against Cuevas taking the second and third sets in tie breaks.
Haase reached the quarter finals in Chennai last week.
This is Isner’s first main Tour match of the season although he played in the Hopman Cup last week for the USA.
When they played their match in November Isner was well below peak fitness. He had a tough year and was pretty much exhausted. What that result does give us though is a better starting price for the big American ( currently 1.57)
Haase returned serve fairly well in the last round but Isner’s serve is in another league to Cuevas’.
I expect Isner to soon get to grips with Haase’s serve and backing him from the start is the way to go. Green up after the first set.
When backing from the start you must have a strategy for what to do if the match turns against you. Advice on this can be found on the TradeShark Tennis members area.
Update: To say that Isner started slowly would be a massive understatement. At times in the first set and in the first part of the second set he looked like he had never seen a tennis court before.
As the second set progressed he started to improve and eventually won the match 3-6, 7-6, 7-5.