A healthier looking schedule today with the WTA main draw starting and Qualifying rounds in the two ATP events complete.
Garcia-Lopez v Blake:
The American doesn’t usually travel very well these days but played really well last week reaching the semi finals. He had a couple of very solid wins including a straight sets win over Del Potro although DP is far from his best.
Garcia-Lopez has been serving well but the rest of his game has gone missing. He held Anderson to 2 tie break sets in Stockholm.
If Blake continues his form of last week then I think he will be far too strong for the Spaniard. Blake can be frustrating sometimes if you’re backing him as he creates a lot of break chances but also wastes a lot of those chances. However he is the player most likely to break serve.
1.43 is probably a fair price but unfortunately that means there isn’t a great deal of value. I will have part stake on from the start with a view to adding to the back at a higher price in the early games.
Update: What an awful match! Blake was broken in the first game. He seemed incapable of stringing 2 first serves together. He did break back for 2-2 but was broken again. He lost the set. The second set was full of missed chances by both players and it was impossible to predict which way it was going. That is except for Garcia-Lopez choking at 5-6 to lose the set. I didn’t watch the third set but it went garcia-Lopez’ way.
Garcia Lopez won 6-2, 5-7, 6-4.
Fischer v Brands:
Brands won their only previous meeting which was in a claycourt Challenger in July.
Fischer received a wild card entry to this tournament and the home crowd will be right behind him.
Brands had to come through the qualifying rounds where he had a couple of tight 3 set matches.
Fischer reached the quarter finals of a Challenger a couple of weeks ago where he took karlovic to 3 sets. He hasn’t won a main tour match all season.
Despite this being Fischer’s home tournament he has never made it through the first round. This is perhaps his best chance so far but Brands has been serving fairly well and his 3 qualifying matches should have him better prepared for this match.
I can see this being close but I don’t see home advantage being enough to give Fischer any real edge.
Brands in 2 tight sets or maybe 3.
Update: Fischer served superbly in the first set and Brands only won a handful of points against serve. In the second set Brands seemed to find it easy to break for some reason and he levelled at 1 set all.
The third set was incredibly close and went to Brands in a long tie break.
Brands won 6-7, 6-2, 7-6.