James Blake – Robin Haase 1
Haase comes straight to Salem after playing 8 matches on clay in 3 different tournaments, which indicates how his priorities are, when the hard court circuit is going on at the same time in North America. He has a very modest record on this surface and while beating Blake on grass he has also lost to the American on this surface. Blake is a great hard court-player and I hope to see him reach the next round.
Pablo Andujar – Kei Nishikori 2
Andujar has played 2 matches on hard court since March and lost them both. Nishikori has come through the qualies to be here and beat Muller in the 1st round. On this surface he should be superior to Andujar.
Julia Goerges – Elena Baltacha 1
This here is the 2nd round in Dallas. When was the last time that Baltacha reached the 3rd round of a WTA-tournament on hard court? In july 2010. She simply isn’t very consistent and doesn’t seem to have improved since 2008 like Goergens has. Back then the German beat Baltacha in their only previous meeting, and she should still have to much for the Brit.
Agnieszka Radwanska – Petra Cetkovska 2
So close to a Grand Slam-tournament, surprises are bound to happen, and why not go looking for one here? Radwanska has been smoking hot lately, but take a look at her record here in New Haven. This is the 3rd time she takes part, and in 2007 she won her first match and lost her second. Exactly the same happened in 2009, and now we’re writing 2011 and she has won her first match…
It’s a massive odds on Cetkovska considering she holds a 2-0 advantage over Radwanska, with their most recent encounter being at Wimbledon this year.