people were expecting a few upsets in the first round but how many really believed Steve Darcis would beat Nadal in straight sets? I missed the really low price but Nadal was at 1.15 when a set down and I started watching the match. Darcis was serving well as was Nadal but Nadal wasn’t getting too much joy on return of serve and coming under pressure on his own. I didn’t really believe he would lose but it was worth a small lay. I didn’t even follow the rest of the match!
Azarenka was lucky that she wasn’t up against an experienced player who would almost certainly taken advantage of the fact that she could barely walk after a fall in the second set. She survived to fight another day.
Dustin Brown’s straight sets win over Garcia Lopez probably prompted my biggest smile of the day and Errani was well below par as she was dumped out by Puig.
Kohlschreiber is favourite to beat Dodig at 1.47 but his last 2 matches have been less than convincing. Dodig reached the semi finals in Eastbourne last week losing to eventual Winner Lopez.
Kohlschreiber leads the head to heads 3-1 but as long as Dodig didn’t wear himself out last week I expect Kohlschreiber to trade higher. Dodig has lost his last four best of 5 set matches and Kohlschreiber reached the quarter finals last year so he would have to be a slight favourite to come through in the end.
Update: Kohlschreiber took the first 2 sets but Dodig levelled at 2 sets each. Kohlschreiber retired after 3 games of the 5th set.
Dodig won 4-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-3, 2-1(ret)
Mona Barthel has the game to hit through almost anyone on her day. Unfortunately for her it isn’t often her day. She has won just 2 of her last 10 matches and one of those was against Dolonc.
Today’s opponent Niculescu isn’t doing much better and has won 3 of her last 10.
In the last 3 months they have held serve 58% (Nic) and 57% (Barthel) so I expect a lot of breaks today. Niculescu’s numbers on return of serve and significantly better so I give her the edge to come through a scrappy match.
Update: Barthel won 6-3, 4-6, 7-5.
When will Simona Halep run out of steam? 2 titles in 2 weeks must take its toll. Unfortunately its Govortsova today although 1.12 on Halep is a cheap lay. I think we should use this one as a gauge of her fitness. She beat Govortsova in February this year and lost just 1 game! If Govortsova can keep it competitive then Halep’s tank is on empty.
Update: Halep won 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.
Mattek Sands has found a new lease of life since finding out it was her diet that was slowing her down. She is enjoying her tennis again and her super aggressive style has given some higher ranked players a few problems.
She has played Kerber twice before and beat her both times in straight sets.
Over the last 3 months their service stats are very similar and Sands edges the return stats.
Kerber has a decent record on grass and reached the final of Eastbourne, the semi finals of Wimbledon and the quarter finals at the Olympics. This season however she is a level or two below where she was last year and I think Sands has an outside chance of winning this one and I certainly expect her to take it to 3 sets.
Update: Kerber took the first set. Sands broke in the first game of the second set but couldn’t hold onto the lead for long.
Kerber won 6-3, 6-4.
Lisicki may well trade higher than her 1.40 SP against Schiavone. Schiavone can be a frustrating player to have your money on but she is actually in a pretty respectable run of form ( when was the last time you saw the words pretty and Schiavone in the same sentence??)
I expect Lisicki to win it but I want at least 1.80 before backing her.
Update: I missed this match but I wouldn’t have got my higher entry anyway.
Lisicki won 6-2, 6-1.