17:00 – Fish v Gasquet
Rankings are 36 and 41. Head to heads are 2-0 to Gasquet.
Fish has had to work hard to reach this point. He has played 4 sets with 3 of them going to a tie break. The other was 7-5! He overcame a moody Verdasco in the last round and kept his cool when the Spaniard was close to exploding. He served extremely well and some of his ground strokes, especially under pressure were superb.
In his first round match Gasquet had to come back from being one set behind to Youzhny. He won the deciding set convincingly 6-1. He had an easier match with Berrer in the last round winning in straight sets.
Fish’s first serve percentage is poor and has dropped slightly this week to 53%. However over the last 3 months he has held serve 88% of the time winning 71% of all points on serve.
Gasquet has a more consistent first serve at 63% and holds serve 82% of the time. He wins 65% of points on his own serve.
Stats on returning serve are very similar although Fish converts more break point opportunities.
Both players are in great form and this could be a close match. I think its a good one for backing the server.
Hard to pick a winner but I give the edge to Fish due to having the home crowd behind him and also because I feel he is mentally stronger under pressure.
Update: Fish won 7-5, 6-2
19:00 – Nalbandian v Djokovic
Rankings are 37 and 3. Head to heads are 3-1 to Djokovic.
Nalbandian was a break down against Isner when the American twisted his ankle and couldn’t complete the match. He hadn’t been able to get close to the Isner serve and was making a few more mistakes than we have seen from him over the last few weeks.
Djokovic had a stright set wins ober Troicki. He is playing well but there is still a concern over his serve. Six double faults in the last match. However he holds serve 84% of the time and his first serve percentage is a respectable 67%.
Nalbandian has probably done enough to be seeded in the US Open. He isn’t playing next week and may not be as motivated as Djokovic to play until the end of the week.
He serves 57% of first serves in and holds serve 80% of the time. He has been starting matches slowly and either struggling to hold his first service game or actually getting broken. As one of the best receivers in the game he has managed to break back each time. That is until yesterday. If Isner hadn’t twisted his ankle he would have served out that first set. What would have happened after that we will never know.
Back Djokovic from the start to take advantage of a slow first service game from Nalbandian. After that back both on serve.
I see Djokovic wanting this win a little more than the Argentinian.
Update: Nalbandian lost his first service game as expected and went on to lose every other service game in that set.
A closer second set went to a tie break and it was Djokovic who took it.
Djokovic won 6-1, 7-6.