US Open – week 1 – Saturday

16:00 – Monfils v Tipsarevic

Rankings are 19 and 44. Head to heads are 3-1 to Tipsarevic.

Two massive characters, this should be very interesting to watch. Monfils often looks like he is on drugs and Tipsarevic just loves to get under the skin of his opponent.

Monfils’ form has been a little more consistent recently but you just never know how focussed he will be.

Tipsarevic has been in excellent form on hard courts and beat Roddick in the last round. Recently he has also beaten Querrey and Baghdatis.

Both are very strong on serve and over the last month have held serve 84% and 88%.

Monfils is slightly more effective against serve and converts more break point chances.

This could be a very see-saw match but if I had to rely on one of them holding it together under pressure it would be Tipsarevic. He has recently become a father and that has had a very good effect on his mind and therefore his tennis.

Monfils played very well against a weak Andreev and his shot selection was sound. Can he do that is 2 consecutive matches? Perhaps not and today’s opponent is in a different league to Andreev.

Backing both on serve is fine but I’d advise watching the opening couple of games. Monfils in particular can start a little slowly.

I’m favouring Tipsarevic to progress to the next round.

Update: Monfils kept the momentum going, aided in part by a hamstring injury to Tipsarevic.

Monfils won 7-6, 6-7, 6-2, 6-4



21:00 – Melzer v Ferrero

Rankings are 15 and 24. Head to heads are 4-2 to Ferrero.

Melzer looked like he was going out of the tournament in the last round as he was taken to 5 sets by Berankis. He also took 5 sets to get past Tursunov. Neither player should have taken more than 1 set from the Austrian. His form has been below his normally high standard over recent weeks and he needs a good solid result to get some confidence back.

This is Ferrero’s first hard court tournament since the end of the clay season. He won his last tournamant which was the Croatian Open and also had a quarter final and semi final during the claycourt leg of the tour. In contrast to Melzer he has dealt with both  his opponents in straight sets.

Both hold serve 84% but Ferrero’s first serve is much more consistent at 69% compared to Melzer’s 61%. They save 68% and 67% of break points against them.They win a similar percentage of points against serve but Ferrero wins more points against second serves. Melzer’s serve will have to be at its best to keep him in the game.

Ferrero converts 50% of break point chances to Melzer’s 40%

Melzer is one of my favourite players but recently he can’t be relied on. Ferrero’s confidence is sky high as usual and he is the smarter player. If they have to rely on out thinking their opponent then my money is on Ferrero.

Wait to see how Melzer starts the match but he is usually fine to back on serve. Do not do so until he has shown that his serve and his head are working as they should.

Back Ferrero on serve. I doubt it will be straight sets but I expect Ferrero to win.

Update: Melzer finally came to life! He won 7-5, 6-3, 6-1.

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