Russell plays Montanes who reached the final in Austria last week. I’m not sure how motivated Montanes will be for this match. Russell has proved to be a tricky opponent on the American hard courts with wins over Malisse, Karlovic and Tursunov.
They have only played on clay before where Montanes won in 3 sets.
An interesting stat from Mistaflava on Tennis Insight is that on the last 6 occasions when Montanes reached a final he lost the first match the following week. Jet lag could also be a factor in him not giving anything like his best performance today.
Russell starts at 1.65 which is a little low but I’ll put half stake on at the start. This could be a tank from the Spaniard.
Update: Russell started off with a break of serve in Montanes’ first service game but was immediately broken back. He won a late break to take the set and finished off the match 7-5, 6-2.
Tipsarevic should be a safe bet against Falla who struggled in qualifying. He is only in the draw as a lucky loser since Haas pulled out.
Falla was embarrassed by Gellucci a couple of weeks ago in the Farmers Classic where he won just 1 game. He lost in the first round of the Legg Mason to Guccione.
Tipsarevic reached the quarter finals last week where he lost to an inspired Monfils but made a good fight of it and was hitting the ball very well.
Update: Tipsarevic had 3 break points half way through the first set but wasted them all. He finally managed to break at the end of the set. Falla had nothing left for the second set and Tipsarevic won 7-5, 6-1.
Jovanovski v Dokic: Jovanovski reached the quarter finals of the Citi Open a couple of weesk ago. Dokic has lost her last 4 matches and although she beat Today’s opponent in February this year also on a hard court her current form is well below where she was back then.
Based on recent form you have to expect Jovanovski to take this but it won’t be easy. Dokic may be able to get herself mentally prepared for the match and I’d expect her to start the better player but once the errors start to creep in her confidence could slip away which is when Jovanovski should be able to make her move. I would expect a 3 setter.
Update: Dokic lasted just 2 games before retiring at 0-2.
Other matches that caught my eye include Gasquet v Mayer. The Frenchman hasn’t played since losing to Murray at Wimbledon although he has been in Canada preparing for a week now. Mayr has been playing in Germany on clay. I’d be surprised to see Gasquet lose that one.
Update: Gasquet played some commanding tennis and was always in control after a break in Mayer’s first service game. Gasquet won 6-3, 6-2.
Youzhny plays Llodra who retired from his second round match last week. The head to heads are 3-3 but Youzhny has been in decent form and I’d expect him to win this one. He has been starting matches really well and then his mind switches off for a few games. If Llodra is fit it could be a close match and we know how Youzhny likes his 3 setters.
Update: Youzhny won the opening set but Llodra levelled the match at 1 set each. A tight third set was taken into a tie break when Llodra was unable to serve out the match. Llodra took the tie break to win 3-6, 6-3, 7-6.
Finally, if you’re still awake at 2am we have Kim Clijsters playing Jie Zheng. Clijsters hasn’t played since her loss to oprandi in June. Zheng had a very easy win over Brianti yesterday.Zheng has played 3 matches already as she had to come through qualification and Clijsters has to be a little rusty. I’d expect Clijsters to win but Zheng ought to get off to a better start. I’ll lay Clijsters.
Update: Zheng broke Clijsters in her first service game but Kim broke back straight away. As I tried to get out of my initial lay after the break the market spiked up to 1.98 which is where I was matched. Nice bit of luck!
Clijsters took the set but retired after 3 games of the second set. A great pay out for anyone who layed her after the first set. Unfortunately I went to bed after the first set. Bugger.