16:00 – Stakhovsky v Harrison
Rankings are 36 and 220. They have never played.
Harrison beat Ljubicic in the first round although Ljubicic is starting to feel the years and slowed down noticeably after the first set. However Harrison played and served well and had the home crowd behind him.
Today will be very different. Stakhovsky is in fantastic form and has matured a great deal over recent months. Once known only for his big serve he is now showing he has amazing touch around the court and he just never gives up. He won the Pilot Pen Tennis event last month beating De Bakker, Baghdatis and Robredo on the way and came back from a set down to Istomin in the final.
18 year old Harrison described the win over Ljubicic as the best win of his life. He will be on a massive high and if he can get off to a good start he could trouble Stakhovsky in the opening set. I really don’t see him winning over 5 sets though.
Both men have been serving well with first serve percentages of 62% and 63% and they have been holding serve 80% and 86% of the time over the last 3 months.
Stakhovsky can start slow and in his last 8 matches he has lost the first set in 6 of them. Bear that in mind but both should be fine to back on serve.
Laying Stakhovsky would be an alternative way to trade but I have a gut feeling that he will not lose the first set this time. He will be very keen to get off to a good start to silence the crowd a little.
Update: Very very close match. Harrison had match point in the final set tie breaker but Stakhovsky kept up his great tie break record.
Stakhovsky won 6-3, 5-7, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6.
23:00 – Simon v Kohlschreiber
Rankings are 42 and 31. Head to heads are 2-1 to Simon.
Simon is starting to play with some of the form he showed a year ago though he still has a long way to go.
Kohlschreiber has better stats than Simon on serve over the last 3 months and holds serve 85% to Simon’s 80%. He saves a massive 69% of break poonts against him compared to an also impressive 58% from Simon.
In their first round matches it was probably Simon who looked slightly better but neither man faced tough opposition. Kohlschreiber really should have beaten Kamke in straight sets but lost the second.
Watch the opening couple of games but both men, in form, should be fine to back on serve. I doubt this will be over in straight sets but I am going for Simon to reach the next round.
Update: Kohlschreiber started as the better player and was rock solid on serve. From the second set each game was much closer as Simon started to play better tennis.
Another close match with Simon winning 4-6, 6-3, 1-6, 6-1, 6-3.