An excellent first day yesterday with a few surprises along the way. I had tipped Isner to reach the quarter finals but Falla took him down in 5 sets. No Mahut rematch this year!
I’m not sure many expected Berdych to lose to Gulbis and certainly no one expected him to lose in straight sets. However 3 tie break sets later and he is out.
In the women’s tournament Pennetta lost out to fellow Italian Giorgi in straight sets. Vesnina beat a tired looking Venus for the loss of just 4 games.
The inconsistent Babos beat Oudin in 3 tight sets and Hantuchova went out to America’s Jamie Hampton.
The British players didn’t have a bad day either. Heather Watson destroyed Benesova 6-2, 6-1. Josh Goodal took the second set in a tight match with Zemlja who has been performing well on the Challenger tour.
Oliver Goulding in his first Grand Slam match was broken in the first game but then rattled off 6 games in a row to take the opening set against Andreev. Andreev came back to take the next 3 sets 7-6, 7-6, 7-5.
Naomi Broady got some useful experience in her straight sets loss to Dominguez Lino. She lost 4-6, 6-7. Her consistency will improve and she has some big shots and a decent serve.
A little rain is forecast for today. Let’s hope is isn’t anything more than the occasional passing shower. Andy Murray starts his tournament this evening with a potentially tough match with Davydenko.
Paire doesn’t look a bad price at 1.57 against Ebden who has been poor lately. Paire has looked motivated this month and lost in 3 sets to Ferrer in the semi final last week.
Nishikori is back from injury and the market has him at 1.36 against Kukushkin. Nishikori has won all 3 of their previous meetings but the last 2 were 3 setters and the other had just 1 break between them in each set. That has to be a lay for me but don’t get too greedy. Kukushkin can manage a decent set or 2. Lets hope the opening set is one of them!
Schvedova is favourite at 1.72 against Scheepers. Their matches are always tight. 2 of the 3 matches went to 3 sets and the other was 7-6, 6-3. They have played 4 tie breaks in their 3 matches. Scheepers leads the head to heads 2-1 including winning their only previous meeting on grass.If the first set is close then laying the first set winner is a plan. Scheepers has a slight edge for me.
Baltacha is up against Knapp from Italy ( a good Italian name. Knappi would have been better….hmmm maybe not). The Brit starts at 1.44 which has to be layed (sorry Mr Iverson – layed or laid… )
Baltacha has been in poor form and retired from Eastbourne with a neck injury. Knapp has been as high as 35 in the world and has some big shots that will trouble Baltacha even when fully fit.
Vinci should be safe enough against Barty ( famous last words) and 1.40 seems generous.
Zakopalova is a decent opponent on grass and Cibulkova could have problems with her today. Zak reached the semi finals last week and just couldn’t cope with Kerber’s power. Cibulkova has the powerful groundstrokes but her serve is her weakness as she is so small. I’ll watch the opening few games before getting involved but I expect Cibs to trade higher during the first set unless Zak is off her game today.
Davydenko struggles these days to string 2 or 3 good matches together. This is his first game on grass this season but 1.07 on Murray is a lay. I am convinced Murray goes out in the first 3 rounds and if Davydenko gets some inspiration today you just never know. Murray having injections in his back over recent weeks doesn’t fill you with confidence. Neither does his first round exit from Queens Club ( well, 2nd round but it was his first match).
Wickmayer was pretty awful last week having reached the final in Gastein the week before. It’s not unusual for finalists to be less motivated after a final appearance but Wickmayer needed a few matches on grass to prepare for this week. Kuznetsova at 1.70 looks a decent shout to me.
Paszek won the title last week beating Kerber in the final. That has pushed Wozniacki’s price up to 1.52 . If she can get through this one I think Woz has a chance of reaching the quarter finals. They played earlier this year in Rome on the clay and Woz won 6-3, 6-0. I’d expect last week to have drained Paszek mentally and physically and will be looking for a higher price to get on Wozniacki.