Today began with the usual rubbish weather, overcast with a few showers nothing serious, but enough to make the court wet and delay the start of play.
Nielsen vs. Luczak
There was a quite good crowd relatively speaking for this match as Luczak is one of the more likeable characters on tour,. plus this being his last singles tournament as well.
Nielsen was on fire in the 1st set, just teeing off on forehands serving well and just dominated Luczak with aggressive play to take it easily.
The second set Luczak was able to get more penetration on his forehand, improving the depth of the groundstrokes that he was able to take a 5-2* lead, but got a bit passive when serving the set out. In addition to this Nielsen was still going for it was able to get back the momentum he had in the 1st set running away with the set and match 7-5.
Today it was just the case of Luczak probably not having enough matches plus Nielsen who was very aggressive and match hardened. Luczak was just outplayed in this match, which in many ways makes it easier unlike getting a call overruled against you on match point when not a clear mistake, which will be spoken about later. Hope to get to see him play doubles next week.
Lacko vs. Bedene
Thought this would be a good match, it was everything but. Lacko played very well and showed up Bedene's weakness on this surface, he doesn't move well enough on the hardcourts yes plus he needs to get more speed endurance which will happen as he gets older and hopefully remain free from serious injuries.
It's easy to see why Lacko is suited to hardcourts, the game is a perfect fit for his aggressive play and he really should qualify, though who knows at this event.
Ghem vs. Duclos
Excellent win for Ghem who really should have won this in 2 sets. It wasn't the greatest standard of match cause both guys didn't play well at the same time, but from a festival of donkey crap. First set was close, Duclos seemed to do more damage on the forehand, but the tiebreaker was more through Ghem's lack of concentration he let it to 6-1, but wasn't running that back.
Ghem lifted his game, playing good aggressive tennis from the baseline, defending when he had to with the slice backhand but using his single hander to finish points and work the angles. He had an early break in the 2nd, but played a poor game to lose it, but still kept up the baseline play mixed in with some excellent volleys both short angles and deep punched ones, served out the set easily.
The momentum continued for Ghem who broke, had chances for a double break, then lost his serve. Duclos was hitting shorter and shorter, which Ghem playing near the baseline was able to take advantaged, got a break then served for the match. Ghem isn't usually very good at serving out matches, but at 30 all hits a good one out wide, then serves an ace. He has a big chance of making main draw for sire.
Veic vs. Viola
Veic the little Croatian warrior who is all heart had a match point against Viola, then there was a stunning overrule on a non clear mistake and Veic needless to say was pissed off. Viola escaped again at the end of the match, Veic smashed his racquet into the court 5 times just to make sure it was broken.
It's the classic thing when the players make a mistake they are punished but when officials do, then they don't normally pay the consequences for it.
Gojowczyk vs. Zemlja
Gojowczyk played quite well not so many errors, but he was not that much better than Zemlja. It was just a poor day from Zemlja, feeling flat and moving so slowly, even less foot movement than usual. Maybe he should done some interval training on the bike beforehand.
He was lethargic and got smoked in the process.
Zopp vs. Rodrigues
Jurgen Zopp what a fighter does it again, another long match and he outlasted Rodrigues this time, It's good that he has the Estonian support there, even Kanepi made an appearance for the 1st set.
Rodrigues second serve is like Nieminen and Seppi's on their worst day, but for something so slow and short Zopp had a hard time attacking it.
Seems like the no treatment for cramp rule is being abused, it was pretty obvious Rodrigues when down with cramp, but got a three minute medical timeout for it. After the timeout he tried the Hingis underarm serve, Glad Zopp won, hope he has one more good match left in him.
Kravchuk will be still crying in his pillow at *10-11 30-30 absolute sitter of a mid court forehand with nothing on it and he dumps into the net, then Bolelli takes the match. If Nielsen played like he did today then he will make salami out of Bolelli.
Awful day for Crugnola, yes Phau has massive calves that guys have been training in the gym for 15 years and will never achieve but he isn't that good.
Zampieri getting double bagelled by Huta Galung, wonders whether he had the overs/unders or an illness.