Malisse takes on Melzer and starts as favourite on Betfair. They last played at Wimbledon last year and Melzer won in straight sets. Malisse seems to have found a new lease of life over the last few weeks reaching the semi final in Holland and beating Mayer in 4 sets here.
Melzer came through a very tight match with Tursunov in 4 sets. Has he played himself into some form? Malisse is a similar style of player to Tursunov. Also Malisse lost to Tursunov last week in straight sets.
This match is Melzer’s to win or lose. Hopefully his win in the last round will have given him a little added confidence to go for his shots and he is my tip for this one. A small lay on Malisse from the start for me. It won’t be decided in straight sets though so trade carefully.
Update: Melzer broke serve in the very first game but then lost his own serve immediately after. Both then served well for the rest of the set and we went to a tie break. Both had chances to take it but it was Malisse who won it. Melzer’s defenses got weaker and weaker as the second set went on and he lost that too. Total collapse in the third gave Malisse the win 7-6, 6-3, 6-0.
Lu v Llodra: Surprisingly Lu hasn’t lost a set so far and will be please with beating Troicki in the last round. Llodra starts as favourite and has perhaps the better game for grass. They last player at Queens Club a couple of weeks ago and llodra won 6-1, 6-1. Lu doesn’t like to be rushed which Llodra’s serve and volley will do. he prefers to play base liners.
The more experienced players peak towards the end of the first week and start of the second so we haven’t seen the best of Llodra yet. Thats bad news for Lu. Back Llodra from the start with half stakes. I don’t expect it to be over in straight sets.
Update: Easier than expected, Llodra won 6-3, 6-3, 6-1.
Almagro and Youzhny go head to head. Youzhny leads the head to heads 2-0. Three of the five sets we have played were tie breaks and were all won by Youzhny. I don’t want to talk about superior tie break records again though as it seemed to jinx Isner!
Almagro has served very well although it has to be said Isner wasn’t at his best on return of serve.
Previous matches have all had close sets so we need to look to more recent form to try to predict the winner. Recent form would suggest Almagro will take this one but the reason they are so even on Betfair is that Youzhny’s game is better suited to grass and he has always done well at Wimbledon whereas Almagro hasn’t. Hmm ok those ideas seems to cancel each other out!
So I go back to good old gut feeling and its Youzhny’s recent retirement in his recent Challenger quarter final that sways me towards Almagro. Youzhny would need to be at the very top of his game and I don’t feel that he is.
Update: Almagro took the first set but then Youzhny stepped up a gear and won the match 4-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-3.