As the singles matches continue to disappoint, the doubles matches have been attracting the attention they deserve. Tuesday night’s match featuring Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo against Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez was a particular highlight. In Wednesday’s first doubles match, the Bryan Brothers came from a set down to earn their first win of the week and keep their hopes alive of qualifying for the semi-finals.
Recaps from Tuesday:
Federer d. Nishikori, 6-3 6-2: After two days of one-sided matches, high hopes were launched onto the shoulders of the first singles match on Tuesday. Unfortunately, the result was another one-sided affair as Federer prevailed over Nishikori in 69 minutes. Nishikori had his chances with two break points in the first set and another one in the second set. However, he was unable to convert these opportunities against Federer, who hasn’t dropped serve yet in his first two matches. Nishikori required strapping on his wrist after the first set, casting doubt over his health not for the first time this year.
Murray d. Raonic, 6-3 7-5: In another disappointing singles match, Murray edged Raonic in straight sets. It was a poor performance from Raonic; in the first set, his forehand was all over the place and he got just 37% of first serves in play. He improved in the second set, much like his match with Federer, but once again couldn’t take advantage of opportunities. He had 0-30 on Murray’s serve in two consecutive games, but on both occasions, lost four straight points with some brainless tactics.
Previews for Thursday:
Federer v Murray: Murray’s win over Raonic in straight sets was an impressive result, but he will need to play to a much higher level to stand a chance against Federer. His second serve, the major weakness of his game in the Nishikori match, performed better on Tuesday, but that may have had something to do with Raonic struggling on return. Murray and Federer are currently tied at 11-11 in the H2H with Federer winning both clashes in 2014. This included a four set victory at the Australian Open where Murray was not 100% after back surgery and a straight sets win in Cincy, a match where Murray was unable to take advantage of a double break lead in the second set. I am intrigued to see the crowd reaction for this one because the support for Federer has been insane this week. Fed for the win.
Prediction: Federer d. Murray in 2 sets (1 easy, 1 tight)
EDIT: It has now been revealed that Milos Raonic has pulled out of the tournament with a quad injury and will be replaced by David Ferrer
Nishikori v Raonic: With a myriad of qualification scenarios, both Raonic and Nishikori can still qualify. In Raonic’s case, he has to beat Nishikori in straight sets to stand a chance, something he has never done before in five previous meetings. Nishikori leads the H2H 4-1; Raonic prevailed at Wimbledon earlier this year in four sets, but Nishikori has won their most recent matches at the US Open (4-6 7-6(4) 6-7(6) 7-5 6-4) and Tokyo (7-6(5) 4-6 6-4). Raonic may stand a chance if Nishikori is bothered by a wrist injury, but based on his previous performances this week, it is unlikely he will be able to defeat Kei in straight sets
Prediction: Nishikori d. Raonic in 3 sets