20-00 – Wawrinka v Youzhny
Rankings are 27 and 14. Head to heads are 2-2. Youzhny has won both their hard court matches.
Youzhny has been in a Grand Slam Semi Final before whereas this is the furthest Wawrinka has been. The Russian’s experience could be a big factor if this goes close.
Wawrinka has had a couple of tough matches against Murray and the 5 setter with Querrey. Youzhny will be fresher with slightly easier 4 set wins over Isner and Robredo.
They hold serve 87% and 88% with Youzhny having the more consistent first serve at 58% to Wawrinka’s 52%. Neither man has posted amazing stats on return of serve although both convert 45% of break point chances.
Both players usually start quickly and win a very high percentage of opening sets. I’d expect a rather nervy opening set and wouldn’t be at all surprised to see it go to a tie break. They both have a 50% record in tie breaks in this tournament.
Not much to separate these two but I like Youzhny’s style of play and when he has everything working right he can play incredible tennis. Add that to his greater experience at this level and he is my pick to win.
Back both on serve.
02:00 – Nadal v Verdasco
Rankings are 1 and 8. Head to heads are 11-0 to Nadal. Verdasco has only ever taken 3 sets from Nadal and 2 of those were tie breaks in the same match.
Nadal hasn’t lost a set so far. Verdasco has had to come through 2 five setters including coming back from 0-2 against ferrer in the last round. That won’t have helped his blister problem and he is bound to be tired.
Nadal starts at 1.10 on Betfair. About the best thing we can hope for is that Verdasco gets an early break or at least break point to give us a better price to back Nadal. Then we look at the serve stats:
Nadal, over the last month, held serve 91%, hit 62% of first serves and won 79% of points on first serve. He wins 58% of points on second serve.
Verdasco’s stats are also good with 85% of service games being won and 74% of points being won on first serve. However he is vulnerable on second serve with him winning just 49% of points on the weaker serve.
Nadal noticeably goes after the second serve and wins 55% of points against them.
Verdasco isn’t the player he was 12 months ago and I feel if he starts to show frustration as he usually does when losing that Nadal will feed off that.
Really hard to see anything but a Nadal win in 3 or perhaps 4 sets.