Li Na plays her first match since her early exit from Wimbledon where she lost Lisicki. Today she is up against Shuai Peng who reached the quarter finals last week.
They are 1-1 on hard courts with Peng winning their last match in March this year in 3 sets.
Li doesn’t tend to do well on the North American hard courts and has also lost her last 5 matches on hard courts. She should be very eager to get back on court after her break but she won’t find this an easy match. Peng knows her very well. I think that peng will probably have the first break of serve early in the match while Li is settling in. After that its a tough one to call as li’s form is impossible to assess without seeing how she starts the match.
I will give a slight edge to Peng.
Update: Peng withdrew before the game started!
Berdych is up against Dolgopolov who won the Croatia Open a couple of weeks ago. Dolgopolov was less than impressive in the first round against Chvojka who is ranked 315 and hsi first serve percentage hasn’t been great. If he can get that first serve going then it can be a great weapon on the hard courts.
This is Berdych’s first match since losing the semi final in Sweden to Soderling. He will also need his big serve to be firing and this match will come down to who returns the serve better and in particular the second serves. Berdych is likely to face more second serves and his return stats are better.
Neither player will have an easy passage through to the next round but my money’s on Berdych. Half stake on him from the start and if he looks solid I will look to get the rest on higher up the ladder.
Update: Berdych went AWOL for the first 4 games of the match. His second serve just wasn’t working and Dolgopolov went a double break up. Berdych pulled back from 0-4 to lose the set just 4-6 and was the better player after that.
Berdych won 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.
Stosur was poor in her win over Lu in the first round. Her serve was quite tame and when that isn’t getting her free points she can lose her way a little with the rest of her shots.
Wozniak will have been hoping to do well in front of her home crowd and her tournament really couldn’t have started better with an amazingly one sided win over Peer 6-1, 6-0. As I didn’t have live video for that match I can’t tell if Peer was bad or Wozniak was particularly good but she must at least have done the basics well enough.
Wozniak has beaten Stosur in their last 3 matches and whilst they were all also on hard courts they were all 3 years ago.
I’ll be starting with a lay on Stosur as even though I expect her to find a way to win it won’t be pretty.
Update: Wozniak had her chances to break in the first set but didn’t quite make it. We had plenty chances to get out of our lay above evens but it was Stosur who won the first breakthrough.
Stosur won 6-3, 6-4.