15:00 – Monfils v Hewitt
Rankings are 20 and 26. Head to heads are 2-1 to Monfils.
I have just realised that Monfils and I share the same birthday. Though, oddly this has no bearing on today’s match.
Monfils’ form has been the usual mixed bag. One of the more frustrating of the top players, he has never fulfilled the potential that his amazing talent promises. When his serve is working well then it is a joy to watch but he seems to have difficulty concentrating for an entire match.
Hewitt is unbeaten this year on grass with 7 straight wins including the final in Germany over Roger Federer.
The stats say that Monfils wins 80% of his service games and Hewitt 77%. On recent form I would be much happier backing Hewitt on serve or from the start.
Update: Hewitt won 6-3, 7-6, 6-4.
17:00 – Hanescu v Brands
Rankings are 38 and 98. They haven’t played before.
Brands beat Davydenko in four sets in his last match. In that game his serving was superb ( after the first set which he lost 6-1). When the pressure was on he held his nerve and won both tie breaks.
Hanescu has a strong serve with a first serve percentage of 72. He wins 79% of his service games.
If Brands can serve as well as he did in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th sets against Davy then Hanescu could struggle to break him.
Hanescu is usually pretty reliable for Back the Server but I recommend watching the opening couple of games as usual. If Brands is also serving well then he can be backed on serve too.
The key to today’s match is Brands serve. If it is below the level of the last match then Hanescu should win.
Update: Hanescu took a dislike to comments from the crowd and spat in their direction. In the fifth set he was 2-0 down and deliberately double faulted twice by standing on the line while serving. He then quit claiming he was injured. He received 2 fines for his actions.
Brands won 6-7, 6-7, 7-6, 6-3, 3-0.