Haider-Maurer v Berlocq: Berlocq starts as favourite at 1.60 even though at first glance Haider-Maurer seems the form player. H-M reached the semi final of the Napoli Challenger tournament at the end of April and has regularly made it to the latter stages in clay events this season. Berloq beat Nieminen in 3 sets in Barcelona and Daniel Gimeno-Traver in Estoril. However they played in the qualifying rounds for the Rome Masters and Berloq won easily in straight sets 6-2, 6-2. Berloq has more experience this year on the main tour so i will go with him to take the win.
Update: Hard to pick a winner during the first set. H-M had several break points but was unable to take them until right at the end. Berlocq won in 3 sets 5-7, 6-3, 6-0
I don’t give Lu much of a chance against Cuevas and at 1.19 this is one to leave alone
Update: Cuevas pulled out to be replaced by Haase. Haase won in straight sets.
Mayer takes on Granollers in the World Team Cup. Mayer seemed to be enjoying playing infront of a German crowd yesterday and pretty much dominated Troicki from start to finish. If he is in the same mood today then Granollers is in trouble. I can see no reason for Mayer’s level to drop for this match. Granollers did reach the quarter finals in Estoril and also beat Troicki in the 2nd round there losing just 1 more game than Mayer did yesterday. 1.31 is probably a fair starting price.
Update: Mayer wasn’t able to repeat his form from the previous match but scraped through 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.
Stakhovsky looks to have found some clay form lately. As I have said before when he is confident his game which involves great touch as well as big ground strokes is ideally suited to the dirt.. Today he is up against Gabashvili from Russia. They have never played on clay before. Stak has recent wins over Montanes and Hanescu on clay. Gabashvili has posted much better stats for clay matches this year but its quite recently that Stakhovsky found his clay form. If you check stats for just the last 3 months then Stak is slightly ahead although Gabashvili looks better on return of serve. I am going with Stakhovsky for the win but it will be close.
Update: Stak won 7-6, 6-3.
Fish has a great chance to beat Golubev although 1.40 seems too low as a starting point. Having said that Golubev has lost his last 8 matches on clay, his last 5 matches on the main tour and his last 10 matches when starting as underdog. Doesn’t look good does it? I’ll probably go with a half stake from the start and hope for a bigger price to top up during the first set.
Update: Fish won 6-4, 6-2.
Youzhny and Troicki meet in the World Team Cup. The Russian has won both their previous matches on clay. Troicki was poor against Mayer although the German was in great form. Youzhny isn’t in amazing form but played well enough to beat Granollers. Usually the only thing you can rely on him to do is take it to 3 sets when it seems easier to win in 2. If Troicki plays like he did yesterday even Youzhny will find it tough to lose a set.
Update: What a terrible match from the Russian. He made Troicki look good. Troicki won 6-3, 6-1.