Weather looking brighter today. A few short showers forcast…
Karol Beck takes on Garcia-Lopez. Beck needed 5 sets to get past Berlocq in the first round and Garcia-Lopez was 2 sets up against Golubev when his opponent retired. He lost to Devvarman in the first round last week. Beck has more games on grass as he had to come through qualifying. These 2 are quite evenly matched so G-L’s starting price of 1.58 seems too low. Both have games well suited to this surface so its either a lay on G-L from the start or wait to see how the opening games go. I’ll be waiting. I expect Garcia-Lopez’ pedigree to come through eventually.
Florian Mayer starts as underdog against Malisse. Mayer wasn’t great in his first round win over Daniel Evans. Malisse won their only previous meeting which was back in 2006 but I’m not sure he should be 1.66 on betfair. Neither player is on my “players to be relied on” list although Malisse’s recent form does suggest he is a slight favourite. The stats are very even but Malisse leads in points won against first serve and also in break points converted in the grass season. Small lay on Malisse until the market tells me I am wrong. This is a match where a lot of people will feel the price could well be wrong and anything positive from Mayer against serve could set off an over reaction in the market in his favour. My gut feeling is that Mayer takes this but it will be close.
Almagro faces the Isner rockets today. They have never played before so Almagro will take a few games to get near the Isner serve. However Isner has the occasional match where his first serve deserts him and that is Almagro’s best hope. The Spamiard has been serving a little better than normal but I don’t see this going beyond 4 sets with Isner coming out on top. Isner has the better tie break record too. If you remove clay court tie breaks over the last 12 months he has played 33 tie breaks and won 23 of them. Almagro has played 18 and won 8 of them. Warning signs will be Isner struggling on serve early in the match but I will be backing Isner with half stake from the start.
Tursunov leads the head to heads with Melzer 3-1 and Melzer’s win was a 5 setter at the US Open last year. Both men play well on grass. Melzer lost his opening set of the championships to an inspired Falla but then controlled the rest of the match. Tursunov has had a great few weeks on grass with a tournament win in Holland and a quarter final place in the Nottingham Challenger. Some of Melzer’s poor play over recent weeks/months has been down to injury. A fit Jurgen Melzer is a tough opponent for anyone on grass and he seems to love playing at Wimbledon ( he is the current mens doubles champion with Petzschner). This is a match to wait before getting involved. There are 2 Melzers. One will be irritated by the smallest noise in the crowd and will sulk if the game isn’t going well and the other will play superb aggressive tennis where if his opponent hits the returns hard he will hit them even harder until he wins the point or the ball explodes. He used to fight in every single match he played but you just can’t say that about him any more. I expected him to lose in the first round against Falla but he proved me wrong. It would be great to see Melzer play his best tennis and if he does then he will win.