16:00 – Montanes v Ball
Rankings are 23 and 145. They haven’t played before.
Montanes is more of a clay court player but can adapt well to faster courts and usually does ok in the Major tournamants.
Ball has a big, consistent serve and he holds serve 87% of the time but the majority of his matches were on the weaker Challenger tour. 2 months ago he retired in a third set due to the heat ( in Newport). The heat at the US Open has been more intense than it was there.
Montanes is a typical clay courter. Supremely fit and able to run all day. His greater experience will allow him to move Ball around if he suspects the Aussie is suffering.
Montanes was taken to 5 sets in the first round. That was his first match on hard courts since the clay season ended and he went 2 sets down. He came back strong and took the final set 6-0. That is the match he needed to adjust to the faster courts.
Back Montanes on serve. If Ball is serving well in the opening set you could also back him on serve but the longer the match goes on the more dominant I expect montanes to be.
Update: Montanes won 6-4, 6-3, 6-1
20:00 – Melzer v Berankis
Rankings are 15 and 124. They haven’t played before.
Melzer hasn’t been in the best form over recent weeks but this is a Major and he ups his game for these.
Berankis plays on the Challenger tour and does ok until he comes up against a half decent opponent.
If I include Challenger events in the stats over the last 3 months Melzer hits 62% of first serves in and holds serve 85% of the time. Berankis serves 51% of first serves in and holds 87% of the time but bear in mind that 13 of the 16 matches he has played were Challenger matches and often up against much inferior quality players.
Melzer saves 70% of break points against him to Berankis’ 64%.
Berankis really shouldn’t trouble Melzer here. Back Melzer on serve or from the start.
Update: In the end I didn’t trade this match as there were several problems with the feed for the scoreboards.
What on earth was Melzer doing? He won 6-4, 6-7, 6-3, 1-6, 7-5.