Nieminen was playing a below par Mardy Fish yesterday but I had the stream up for a decent part of the match and from the bits I watched he seemed to be played pretty well. When his confidence is high and he is striking the ball well he can be a match for most players.
He has played Sam Querrey just once before which was last season on the clay in Rome. Querrey won that in 3 tight sets. On the American hard courts you’d think that Querrey has a huge advantage. He obviously relies heavily on his big serve and is winning a high percentage of points on it. Unfortunately for the American he is only getting that first serve into play around 54% of the time.
Querrey has won just 31% of points on return of serve. Add that to the fact that his serve hasn’t been firing and I have to favour Nieminen in this one. The sets should be tight with just a few points deciding the outcome.
Haase has beaten Verdasco on clay and on grass in their previous matches. Can he complete the full set with a win on hard courts today?
Verdasco starts as favourite at 1.67 but didn’t look so impressive yesterday. Haase doesn’t have the best record on hard courts although he did reach the semi finals in 2011 at this tournament. I will be favouring him today but will look for a lower lay on Verdasco.
Steve Johnson was very impressive last night in his defeat of Seppi. He served well and also held his nerve when under pressure.
They played in the Cincinnati qualifying rounds last week and Johnson won in 2 very tight sets. Lu started that match as a 1.60 favourite and today they start at evens.
I have to favour the American after his performance yesterday.
Monaco seems a decent price at 1.83 against Dolgopolov. Dolgo is a player who if he has one of his inspired performances he can beat almost anyone. When was the last time he gave us one of those performances though?
The stats for the last month are strongly in Monaco’s favour and barring a wonder performance from Dolgopolov he should take a tight match.