Kavcic v Berlocq: Kavcic reached the quarter finals in Sweden a couple of weeks ago although a walkever from Monaco certainly helped in the second round. Berlocq has had a great run but has seen less success over the last few 2 or 3 weeks.
Kavcic won their only previous match 12 months ago which was also on a clay court. It went to 3 sets.
Berlocq has better stats on serve and Kavcic has slightly better return stats but I am looking at their more recent form and I feel Berlocq is in a small dip in form from where he was a few weeks ago. I expect this to be very tight and I expect Berlocq to trade higher than the starting price of 1.67 so will be laying from the start.
I give a slight edge to Kavcic to win the match and wouldn’t be surprised to see 3 sets.
Update: A match full of errors. Poor start from Kavcic although he improved slightly later in the match.
Berlocq won 6-4, 6-7, 6-4.
Machado takes on Fognini in Croatia. Machado has been playing Challenger events on the clay and has won 2 tournaments in the last few weeks with the latest one being just last week. That can work one of two ways. Either he will be a little fatigued by playing a lot of matches or his obvious form will prove a tough task for Fognini who hasn’t been all that impressive lately. This is one to watch from the start and if it seems quiteeven i’ll be laying Fognini.
Fognini won their only previous meeting quite comfortably. That was also on clay and was last year.
Update: Machado broke serve straight away and took a 2-0 lead. He couldn’t hang on to it though and Fognini won 6-4, 6-3.
Malisse plays Gulbis in the Farmer’s Classic. Malisse lost in the first round last year so has no points to defend. Gulbis has lost his last 5 matches and really needs a win to help his confidence. He didn’t play too badly in the opening set against james Blake and I was surprised to see the result the following morning. He had lost the second set on a tie break and rolled over in the third.
Malisse has been enjoying a decent spell of form and if he can motivate himself he should take this match. My concern is that he has gone out in the first round on his last 3 visits to the LA event.
Gulbis will be motivated for the first set until things start to go wrong. If that happens he tends to crumble. I give the edge to to Malisse and hope he can get a first round win in LA for a change.
Update: Malisse started very well with an immediate break and easy hold. he took the first set easily but then started having problems on serve. This allowed Gulbis to level the match. The final set went to a tie break and Gulbis took it to win 2-6, 6-3, 7-6.