Western & Southern Financial Group Masters – Friday

17:00 – Fish v Murray

Rankings are 36 and 4. Head to heads are 3-3. Fish has won their last 2 matches.

Fish has reached this round by beating Simon, Verdasco and Gasquet in straight sets. He has served well and has dealt with the pressure better than his opponents so far.

Murray has scraped through his last 2 matches in 3 sets but has looked tired or ill in both. Not sure how motivated he will be if he is under the weather as he is now  likely to be fourth seed for the US Open. He is also playing at the hottest time of day which will favour the American.

Fish’s serve stats are better than Murray’s with him holding serve 89% to Murray’s 85%. Murray returns better winning 31% of points against first serve to Fish’s 28%. Fish converts more break points chances.

For me Fish has the advantages that he is at home, he is not as affected by the heat and has played fewer games this week. If the first set goes to Fish as I think it will I’m not sure Murray will be busting a gut to take part in another three setter.

Should be a great match to watch and I expect Fish to take it. 

Back Fish on serve. Murray can be difficult to back on serve with his low first serve percentage and often goes 0-30 down and then comes back. Given his fatigue at the moment I wouldn’t risk it.

Update: Fish won 6-7, 6-1, 7-6.

 

 

21:00 – Federer v Davydenko

Rankings are 2 and 6. Head to heads are 13-2 to Federer.

Federer hasn’t completed a set this week and finds himself in the quarter final. His first match ended at 5-2 in the first when Istomin retired. In his third round match Kohlschreiber pulled out before the match started. It’s safe to say he will be fresh fior this match.

Davydenko has shown a little of his old form this week and came through an epic match last night against Ferrer. It was a match full of brilliance but also full of unforced errors. It was difficult to predict who would hold it together long enough to take the match.

Fed holds serve 89% of the time to Davy’s 79%. They both win 38% of points against serve. Federer has been struggling to take break point opportunities over the last couple of weeks. He converts 39% of opportunities to Davydenko’s 46%.

Davydenko has been below his best since his return from injury and whilst he has played well at times this week I have to give the edge to Federer.

Backing Federer on serve would be the preferred option but his price is 1.30 which is below my minimum price of 1.40 . I recommend waiting for a better price on Federer to back him. Davydenko is one of the best returners (when at the peak of his form) and I can see the first set being close.

Update: Federer won 6-4, 7-5.

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