18:00 – Kanepi v Zvonareva
Rankings are 32 and 8. They haven’t played before.
Kenepi made an incredibly bad start against Wickmayer and didn’t win a single game in the opening set. She came back to win the deciding set 6-1 but can’t rely on being able to come back like that today.
Zvonareva has yet to lose a set and also hasn’t lost more than 2 games in an opening set. She has been taken to tie breaks in 2 of her matches but has looked impressive.
Both women are vulnerable on second serve and they each win just 43% of points on it. They both win 66% of points on a successful first serve.
Return stats over the last month are very even with them winning 47% and 49% of points against serve. Zvonareva wins 52% of break point chances to Kanepi’s 39%.
Both can be inconsistent at times but Zvonareva hasn’t shown too much of that in this tournament so I see her as favourite.
Backing the receiver in the opening few games is a good option, especially on Kanepi’s serve.
Scalping and 15-40 are also suitable.
Update: Zvonareva won 6-3, 7-5.
20:00 – Monfils v Djokovic
Rankings are 19 and 3. Head to heads are 4-0 to Djokovic.
Monfils has lost his last 7 matches against top 10 players.
He has a great first serve but wins just 49% of points on his second. Djokovic really likes to attack second serves and wins 50% of points against a second serve.
Monfils must have his first serve working consistently for him to have a chance here.
They hold serve 82% and 81% and both win over 70% of points on their first serves.
Monfils has surprised me in getting this far. Gasquet made his job a little easier in the last round with a performance well below his other matches.
Djokovic suffered a scare in the first round when Troicki took him to 5 sets but he learned his lesson and hasn’t lost a set since. In his last couple of matches he has been playing some of the best tennis we have seen from him for a while.
The winner will be the player who is able to be the more aggressive right from the start. Monfils when playing top 10 players prefers to defend more but that will not work with Djokovic.
I expect Djokovic to win in 3 or 4 sets.
Back both on serve in the first set. Monfils’ serve started to wobble a little after the first set and whilst he was still holding in most games he went behind often.
Djokovic was struggling with his serve early last week but seems to have it sorted now.
Update: Monfils had his chances in the opening set but it was one way traffic after that.
Djokovic won 7-6, 6-1, 6-2.