The distractions at home continued yesterday. The schools are on half term. The parents of the kids round here really should consider putting them in kennels for the holidays.
Berdych hasn’t played a tour match since he lost to Djokovic in the quarter final of the Australian Open. He did play Davis Cup at the start of February beating Wawrinka in 4 sets.
Today he plays Gulbis who knocked him out of last year’s Wimbledon in straight sets. In fact they were all tie break sets.
Gulbis is said to have given up drink and partying to get his career back on track. A wealthy father hasn’t given him a great deal of incentive to work hard in the past so it’s great to see him using some of his immense talent once again.
It’s difficult to gauge whether or not Berdych will start slowly here. His opponent has already played a match this week beating Nieminen comfortably in 2 sets so he is accustomed to the conditions.
After his Davis Cup match Berdych had a wrist injury that forced him to withdraw from Montpellier.
Berdych starts at 1.40 and as Gulbis has been serving well I feel a lay at the start is worth a go. Berdych will need to play well to get past Gulbis and his lack of match play could easily affect his chances today.
Both Cirstea and Errani came through tough 3 set matches in the first round in Dubai. Cirstea was a set and a break down against Stephens before fighting back to take the third set 6-2. She has had an extra day’s rest compared to Errani which may help her a little.
Errani knocked out Goerges in a very tight match. Errani took advantage of a poor start from Goerges to take a double break lead in the opening set. Goerges pulled one back when she found her game but was broken again as Errani took the set.
Set 2 saw Goerges up a double break and whilst Errani was able to get a break back the German held on to take the set.
The deciding set was going with serve although it was Goerges who was having to work much harder to hold. At 4-5 she was 40-0 on her own serve but seemed to relax and Errani was able to break serve for the match.
Errani leads the head to heads 3-1 although their last 2 matches went to 3 sets with Cirstea winning the opening set.
Errani seems to have found her confidence again and is playing very solid tennis. I expect her to get the win today but also expect her to trade a lot higher than her SP of 1.40 . I will be waiting for the higher price although if she breaks early it is worth laying her as Cirstea is quite capable of keeping the first set tight.