Liquidity was still poor on the very early games. A few underdogs causing problems today but most favourites came through. Noteable exceptions being Cilic, Fish, Tipsarevic and Nalbandian ( I think he will have been fave?)
Melzer v Giraldo:
Hmm brave choice of game! Melzer leads the head to heads 2-1 with Giraldo winning their only match in 2011. That was on clay which is Giraldo’s favourite surface and was during one of Melzer’s slumps in form.
Melzer yesterday played a good match against Ljubicic who, to be fair, was below his best. He and Petzschner won the US Open Doubles title so his touch and reactions must be excellent. His problems have been more with attitude but it seems he is a little happier with the world at the moment.
Giraldo is proving that his claycourt game can be adapted to hard courts and has become difficult to beat on the faster surface taking Monfils to 3 sets and beating Tursunov, Haase and Dodig in recent matches. He also took Nadal to a tie break in their opening set.
Melzer’s aggressive game will be too much for Giraldo and it seems the Austrian is using that tactic this week. If he changes the plan against Giraldo then he can easily get frustrated with his opponent’s ability to chase balls down.
However 1.60 is tempting enough for me and I will be in with half stake from the start and manage the position from there. Watch for Melzer getting annoyed with noises from the crowd or from other courts as thats a sign that he isn’t in the right frame of mind. I expect him to get the job done in straight sets.
Update: Melzer started well and was playing aggressively. Giraldo was swinging wildly. Melzer soon had the break and took the set. I stopped watching at that point although I saw Melzer’s price drop to around 1.05 .
Giraldo came back to level at a set each and in the third set it went to a tie break which Giraldo took.
Giraldo won 4-6, 6-4, 7-6.
Ebden v Harrison:
This one is tough to call and I have to be careful not to mould the stats so that they give me the outcome I expect.
Both players have come through the qualifying rounds and both have been playing decent tennis without getting many wins. Harrison took Fish to 3 sets and beat Troicki in his last 2 games.
Ebden won a set against david Ferrer and has beaten Andujar twice including in his first round match this week. I saw some of his match with Ferrer and was impressed with his aggressive ground strokes.
They have also both lost to some poor opponents in recent weeks so whilst they have bucket loads of talent they still have plenty to learn.
My gut feeling is that Ebden has a great chance. My concern about that is that he has lost 4 of his last 5 matches against big servers. So the key to this match is Harrison’s serve. If it continues at a high level then he wins but if that serve falters then Ebden is capable of taking advantage.
I have no reason to expect that Harrison’s serve will not be good so he is my pick to win. This will be very close though.
Update: I should have gone with my gut feeling! Harrison was first to break but was then broken back to 0 . That just about finished hi off mentally and Ebden won 6-4, 6-2.