The biggest shock of the opening day’s play was Federer scraping through in straight sets against home player and Olympian Donald Young. Amazing scenes.
Simon had to come back from a 2-1 deficit against Russell which wasn’t a massive surprise but Cilic going 0-2 down against Matosevic was more of a shock. He won in 5 sets.
Florian Mayer retired against American Jack Sock when he was 2 sets down.
Andy Murray started very badly and was broken twice in the first set and looked to be losing the second set but came back to beat Bogomolov in 3 sets. I suppose when you have Murray’s talent and you see you are drawn against Bogo it’s tough not to underestimate the task ahead of you.
No other real shocks in the men’s draw. Some of the WTA favourites didn’t make it with Goerges losing in straight sets to Pliskova and Petkovic showed she still has work to do with a straight sets loss to Oprandi. I was surprised to see Dominguez-Lino come through considering Sesil’s recent form
Rain delays were to be expected and Mother Nature didn’t let us down with an extensive delay after just a couple of hours play. The heavy showers passed in around an hour and a half and stayed away for the rest of the session.
Almagro has lost both his previous 2 matches against Stepanek. The set count is 1-4.
Stepanek’s serve and volley tactics work well against baseliners like Almagro who isn’t the most patient of players and will go for the big passing shot a little too early in the rally.
Almagro hasn’t played since his quarter final loss to Murray in London. Stepanek has played 2 tournaments since the Olympics and reached the 3rd rounds of the Rogers Cup and the Western and Southern Open.
The surface also favours Stepanek and I’d expect him to take the opening set while Almagro gets a feel for the court. I think Stepanek will make it a third win today and 2.08 is a healthy price.
Barthel should be too strong for Jovanowski who crumbled in her last match. She lost 6-0, 6-0 in her semi final with Errani. Barthel is becoming consistent again. The starting price of 1.33 is too low though and I’ll get involved if we see 1.60 or better.
Cibulkova starts as a strong favourite against Larsson at 1.41 . Larsson has been playing well enough recently and beat Bartoli and Dellacqu a couple of weeks ago. I think we will see a higher price in the first set. Cib’s performance against Woz last week was terrible in their quarter final. There’s a chance she was making deliberate errors ( they were horrendous) so she was rested for this week but we will never know for certain. Larsson’s best hope is that Cib’s has a nightmare at the service line. I’ll be backing Cibulkova if and when she is broken.
Vania King can be a tough opponent on hard courts and especially in America. However Shvedova starts as favourite at 1.69 which looks very tempting. I think it will be close and there is the downside that Shvedova retired injured 2 weeks ago. I will be waiting to see how she starts but any price over evens is likely to prove too much to resist.