WTA Stanford, ATP Gstaad: Friday’s Ones to Watch including Monaco-Youzhny

This week has felt pretty dead on the tennis tour and I am yet to sit down and watch any live tennis since Wimbledon.  I believe there is a stream for Stanford online, but I find it hard to enjoy watching tennis when you can barely see the ball.  The big news today was Roger Federer suffering another disappointing loss, this time to Daniel Brands, who throughly deserves this big win following a very solid 2013.  Fed fans do not dispair just yet; I think the Swiss maestro was struggling with back spasms and may have just played today to honour his commitment to the tournament.  Still a worry, but if anyone can turn it around, it’s Federer.  Let’s look at Thursday’s top matches…
The last points of Federer-Brands in Gstaad
1. Juan Monaco v Mikhail Youzhny (Gstaad, QF)
Roger Federer‘s exit will certainly make the winner of this quarter-final the favourite to make the final from the top half.  Juan Monaco has enjoyed some a solid few weeks back on the clay and he waltzed past Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in his only match so far in Gstaad, 6-1 6-2.  Mikhail Youzhny has not been at his best this week as he was pushed to three sets in both matches played, but he remains a dangerous player on any surface.  Monaco and Youzhny are tied at 1-1 in their head-to-head; Monaco won their first encounter on the clay in 2009, but Youzhny won their most recent encounter at Wimbledon two years ago.  Monaco is a really solid competitor on this surface and he would be my tip to win this match.

Prediction – Monaco to beat Youzhny in 3 sets

2. Urszula Radwanska v Daniela Hantuchova (Stanford, R2)
Daniela Hantuchova
Stanford’s draw has really struggled to attract much attention this week and I am looking forward to both Carlsbad and Washington next week, which have far more intriguing line-ups.  The best match-up in Stanford tonight will see Urszula Radwanska try and follow her sister, Agnieszka into the quarter-finals.  She takes on the Birmingham champion, Daniela Hantuchova, who beat Yanina Wickmayer in 3 sets, which included a third set bagel on Tuesday.  Radwanska had a straightforward opener with a 6-1 6-3 victory against Christina McHale.  Hantuchova leads the head-to-head by 2 wins to 1, but lost their last match-up on the hard courts of Carlsbad last year.  Radwanska is the higher ranked player, but having watched Hantuchova at Birmingham, I still think she can compete with the best of them.  It is just dealing with her game when she’s on an off-day that is the worry…

Prediction – Hantuchova to beat U.Radwanska in 3 sets

3. Albert Montanes v Gael Monfils (Umag, QF)
I predicted an early exit for the top seed in Umag, Richard Gasquet, but I did not anticipate him to lose at the first hurdle to Albert Montanes, who won his first match over the Frenchman in six attempts.  Montanes now takes on Gael Monfils, who has a great chance of making the final this week, certainly if the in-form Fabio Fognini pulls up early.  Monfils has enjoyed two straight set wins this week and has proved his credentials on the clay this year.  Montanes has had a quiet year overall although he did have a great week in Nice where he won the title beating Monfils in the final.  In that match, Montanes  dished out a bagel to Monfils, but I fancy the flamboyant Frenchman to come out on top in this encounter.

Prediction – Monfils to beat Montanes in 2 tight sets

Best of the rest: WTA Stanford 2nd round predictions
Jamie Hampton to beat Nicole Gibbs in 2 sets (1 tight, 1 easy)
Madison Keys to beat Vera Dushevina in 2 sets
Dominika Cibulkova to beat Stefanie Voegele in 3 sets

Best of the rest: ATP Gstaad quarter-final predictions
Daniel Brands to beat Victor Hanescu in 2 tight sets
Marcel Granollers to beat Robin Haase in 2 tight sets
Stanislas Wawrinka to beat Feliciano Lopez in 2 sets

Best of the rest: ATP Umag quarter-final predictions
Fabio Fognini to beat Martin Klizan in 2 tight sets
Tommy Robredo to beat Aljaz Bedene in 2 sets
Andreas Seppi to beat Horacio Zeballos in 3 sets

Best of the rest: ATP Atlanta quarter-final predictions
Igor Sijsling to beat Ryan Harrison in 3 sets
James Blake to beat Evgeny Donskoy in 2 sets
John Isner to beat Christian Harrison in 2 tight sets
Denis Istomin to beat Yen-Hsun Lu in 2 sets
Michael Russell to beat Santiago Giraldo in 3 sets
Kevin Anderson to beat Matt Ebden in 2 tight sets

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