Here we go!
Weather forcast according to the bbc breakfast news is good for most of the day with the chance of shower later this evening. Lets hope they’re right.
Bellucci v Shuettler: Shuettler has managed to get to the second rounds of the 2 grass tournaments. His second round losses were in 3 sets to Nishikori and Querrey. Bellucci didn’t play a competitive tournament last week but reached the third round the week before losing in 3 sets to Cilic. Shuettler has gone out in the first round of the last 4 Grand Slam events that he’s played. He played 5 matches last week including qualifying rounds and at 35 the poor old soul will have a few aches at the moment. I think Bellucci is starting to believe he can give most players a decent match and he is my favourite for this one. Bellucci in 3 or 4 sets. If Schuettler is going to take a set it will be the first one.
Update: Bellucci started stronger and won the first break of serve. Unfortunately he couldn’t consolidate the break. After that it was all downhill for the Brazilian. Schuettler won 7-6, 6-4, 6-2.
Kohlschreiber should get past Denis Istomin but I doubt it will be in straight sets. 1.27 seems too short even though Kohlschreiber has has some good results lately and won the Gerry Weber Open in Germany a week ago. Trading wise I would expect Kohlschreiber to take the first set as Istomin often taken a few games to find his timing. Thats a shame as I don’t want to back the German at the starting price and will stay out at the start and hope for a larger price in the first set to back him.
Update: Kohlschreiber won the first set but Istomin won 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3.
Kunitsyn is a good price against Sijsling at 1.54 . He reached the Semi Final last week losing to Seppi in 3 sets. Sijsling has a decent serve though so be careful. Kunitsyn should be able to get off to a faster start as his opponent will be a little overawed by the occasion.
Update: Kunitsyn won 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.
I was surprised to see world ranked 20 Chela as underdog to a qualifyer ranked 150. Grass certainly isn’t Chela’s best surface and he only has 3 wins from 12 matches played on grass but all 3 of those wins were first round matches at Wimbledon. Matosevic has had a few games on grass to get his timing but hasn’t beaten anyone of any quality. This has to be worth a small back on Chela from the start. If Chela is up for the fight ( and I see no reason why he wouldn’t be) his experience should prove too much for the Aussie.
Update: Chela won leads 6-4, 6-4, 6-7, 6-2 – (completed Tuesday)
Ljubicic v Cilic: Ljubicic has lost 4 of his last 5 on grass. Cilic has won 8 in a row when his opponent is a big server and 4 in a row when playing a fellow countryman. I would favour a fit Cilic in this one but a concern is his retirement from Queens before his match with Murray. The reason was given as an ankle injury but perhaps it was only a slight problem and he saw no benefit from playing Murray when he would probably get blown off the court. Grass is Ljubicic’s least favourite surface and I feel its worth a small back from the start on Cilic at 1.73 . If Cilic can take the first set I think Ljubicic will lose motivation as having to come back from a set down in a best of 5 match will perhaps mean his “old” bones start to feel heavy.
Update: Ljubicic won 7-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. (Completed Tuesday)
I have said that I expect Verdasco to have a decent tournament so I guess I should put my money where my mouth is. He is up against Stepanek and a starting price of 1.63 seems reasonable. Stepanek leads the head to heads 3-2 although Verdasco has won their last 2 matches. This will be a very tight match but I feel Verdasco has more to prove here than Stepanek who finished his quarter final against Nishikori poorly. I’ll back the Spaniard from the start but not with huge stakes!
Update: Verdasco started the match very badly and went 2 sets down. He started playing a little better and pulled back to take the match 2-6, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6, 9-7. Maybe this will jump start his season.