Plenty matches again today. There have been very few good quality games so far this week. Let’s hope that changes today.
Baghdatis is first up against Dimitrov. Baghdatis finally played a decent match in the last round. His serving was good against Benneteau and if that continues he will come through this match in straight sets. Its his match to win or lose.
Update: Baghdatis started the match really well and ran away with the first set. Then the real Baghdatis showed up.The second set went to a tie break which Dimitrov took. Baghdatis was poor in the decided and Dimitrov won 3-6, 7-6, 6-2.
Also at 11am Kavcic takes on Mello. The Brazillian knocked out John Isner in straight sets. The slow clay really didn’t suit the American and Mello is a typical claycourter who grinds down his opponents. I see this match being very close. My one concern with regard to Mello is that he reached the semi finals of a Challenger event in Brazil last week. This means he hasn’t really had enough time to get over the long flight to Serbia and after his tough match yesterday his legs could start to feel pretty heavy as this match progresses. For this reason I give a slight edge to Kavcic.
Update: Kavcic won 7-5, 6-3.
Starace v Stakhovsky: Strarace started badly in his last match and was 1-5 down to Hajek. He lost that set but fought back well. Stak will have gained a little confidence from his performance against Istomin and will also be fresh as Isto quit just before the end of the set.
Starace retired from his first round match in Barcelona with a stomach complaint but that shouldnt still be an issue. If he wants to win this match then he is far better on clay than Stakhovsky. If he wasn’t interested in this tournament it would have been easy to tank the second set yesterday. Watch out for a slow start from him but I expect him to come through.
Update: No slow start from Starace and both served well early in the match. Starace won 6-4, 6-2.
Youzhny is defending champion in Munich and today plays local player Petzschner. Petzschner had a good win over a tired Dodig in the last round and will obviously have strong support from the German crowd. Youzhny not only wants to defend his title but also his ranking points and will be very motivated for this week. If Petzschner can get his first serve working well he may take this to 3 sets. Against Dodig his first serve percentage was only 45% which won’t be good enough today.
Update: Petzschner started really well and moved into a 4-1 lead. Youzhny pulled back to 4-4 and the set progressed to tie break after a long rain delay. Petzschner had 4 set points. Youzhny saved 3 of them but then hit a backhand into the net.
As expected Youzhny came back to win the second set. The third set was all Petzschner and he won the match 7-6,3-6, 6-2.
Can Soderling get past Chardy? He says he is better prepared this week. Chardy is no Dodig so he should be able to get through this one without too many problems. His serve will need to be a lot better though as he only won 50% of points on his own serve against Dodig.
Update: Soderling won 6-1, 6-7, 6-1.
Lopez v Gonzalez: Yesterday I had the misfortune to watch one of the worst games of mens tennis i have ever seen. And I include matches at the local park in that. Gonzalez is a former top 5 player who is returning after a long break from the tour. He played qualifier Klizan who was totally out of his depth even though in the first set especially Gonzalez could do little else than lob the ball back on return of serve. Three times in 1 service game Klizan had a lobbed return close to the net from Gonzalez and he hit the net each time. Lopez has never beaten Gonzalez but has to be strong favourite today. Gonzalez’ legs will tire if its a long match but it really shouldn’t last more than 2 sets.
Update: Both served well and on the whole returned badly. Lopez won 6-4, 7-6.
I can see Tsonga having some problems against Cuevas. I think Cuevas will show more patience than the Frenchman.
Update: The first set was one of the most one sided sets you will see. Cuevas took it 6-2 and the score flatters Tsonga. Tsonga served for the second set but Cuevas broke back and took the match on a tie break. He won 6-2, 7-6.