Thursday’s ones to watch: Del Potro-Evans (Queens), Keys-Barthel (Birmingham)

Thursday will be a thoroughly packed day of tennis as the rain once again wreaked havoc with the schedule in Queens.  Birmingham did pretty well to avoid major disruptions and remains on track with their draw.  Let’s take a look at the top matches for Thursday.  Please accept my apologies for yesterday’s predictions, Moo had a TERRIBLE day 😛

1. Juan Martin del Potro v Daniel Evans (Queens, R3)
Juan Martin del Potro
There are still 5 2nd round matches that need to be completed at the start of Thursday’s play so we are unsure of some of the 3rd round matches, but the most interesting of the ones confirmed so far include the Brit, Daniel Evans.  The 22-year-old followed his first round win over Guido Pella with an even better one today against Jarkko Nieminen, coming through 6-4 in the decider.  Evans helped the GB Davis Cup team to victory over Russia this year as he defeated Evgeny Donskoy in the final rubber.  Evans obviously has talent, but came out earlier this year admitting that he doesn’t train hard enough.  On Thursday, he gets a shot at Juan Martin del Potro, who had the perfect workout on his return from injury as he put in a strong performance to defeat Xavier Malisse in an excellent second round match.  Evans has no pressure in this one and the backing of the home crowd, but I think Del Potro is a class above.

Prediction – Del Potro to beat Evans in 2 tight sets

2. Mona Barthel v Madison Keys (Birmingham, R3)
The Birmingham draw has seen a decimation of the seeds as is so frequent with Birmingham as players are still finding their feet on the grass.  The most intriguing match of the day features two promising talents on the WTA tour in a first career match-up; step forward, Mona Barthel and Madison Keys.  Barthel had not won a WTA main draw match since Indian Wells, but snapped a 6-match losing streak in her second rounder in Birmingham, overcoming some nervous moments to defeat Vesna Dolonc, 7-5 2-6 7-5.  Keys has not looked at home on the grass so far, but dug out two really tough wins over Lesia Tsurenko and Jamie Hampton, both in third set tiebreaks.  This will be a hit-or-miss kind of match as both are great when they are on song, but I imagine there will be a lot of wild errors too.  I still think Barthel is questionable in her form, meanwhile lots of court time and tough wins will, in my opinion give Keys the edge.

Prediction – Keys to beat Barthel in 2 tight sets

3. Tommy Haas v Ernests Gulbis (Halle, R2)
The best match of the day in Halle will see home favourite and defending champion, Tommy Haas face Ernests Gulbis.  The Latvian world number 38 came through his first round match against Marcos Baghdatis, losing the middle set, but rebounding strongly to win 6-4 3-6 6-3.  Gulbis was a tip of mine to make the quarter-finals at RG, but he fell to Gael Monfils and could once again be the dangerous floater at a Slam.  This will be Haas’s first match since losing in the quarter-finals of Roland Garros to Novak Djokovic.  I think Gulbis has a good chance of the upset having beaten Haas twice before and being level at 2-2 in the head-to-head.  However after a terribly ropey day of predictions I am feeling very conservative for tomorrow and am backing Haas to win.

Prediction – Haas to beat Gulbis in 3 sets

Best of the rest: WTA Birmingham 3rd round predictions
1. Kristina Mladenovic to beat Daniela Hantuchova in 3 sets – A very tough one to call as both are good on the grass so really could go either way.
2. Sorana Cirstea to beat Bojana Jovanovski in 3 sets – This will not be a pretty match to watch as both go for broke with little plan B.
3. Francesca Schiavone to beat Marina Erakovic in 3 sets – Erakovic has raised her game since breaking a losing run at RG.  Another 50-50 match.
4. Magdalena Rybarikova to beat Kirsten Flipkens in 2 tight sets
5. Sabine Lisicki to beat Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in 2 tight sets
6. Donna Vekic to beat Maria Sanchez in 2 tight sets
7. Alison Riske to beat Alla Kudryavtseva in 3 sets
Best of the rest: ATP Queens 3rd round predictions
1. Alexandr Dolgopolov to beat Benny Becker in 3 sets
2. Denis Kudla to beat Kenny De Schepper in 3 sets – yes this is a 3rd round match!!!!
3. Lleyton Hewitt to beat Sam Querrey in 3 sets – this is against my original prediction, but have to take note of Hewitt’s strong showing against Dimitrov and Querrey’s rather tame 2nd round performance.
4. Tomas Berdych to beat Grega Zemlja in 2 sets
Best of the rest: ATP Halle 2nd round predictions
1. Philipp Kohlschreiber to beat Tobias Kamke in 2 tight sets
2. Florian Mayer to beat Leonardo Mayer in 2 sets
3. Richard Gasquet to beat Jurgen Melzer in 2 tight sets

4 thoughts on “Thursday’s ones to watch: Del Potro-Evans (Queens), Keys-Barthel (Birmingham)

  1. Your day has a very good prédictions :-)You saw the rise of HewittNo luck with Becker (same family of Boris ?)Tsonga did not appear in top shape me for the next matchGood day tomorrow for Moo :-))


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