The weather is set to improve in Shanghai on Wednesday and it is much needed after a farcical day at the Qi Zhong Tennis Centre on Tuesday.
Matches were scheduled, rescheduled, then moved back to their original court, before being switched to the indoor practice courts, which made it an impossible task to analyse the matches due to the vastly different playing conditions.
The indoor practice courts here are very quick and certainly in comparison to the Stadium Court outdoors and punters are being made to guess what sort of conditions their matches will be played in. The good news is that it’s set fair for the rest of the week, so hopefully matches will be played on their scheduled courts.
Feliciano Lopez vs Tomas Berdych (Bet & watch this live on Unibet TV from 8.05am UK time)
This match, which will take place at somewhere around the 9am mark on Wednesday morning is largely about the fitness of Berdych, who limped away from his match with Rafa Nadal in Beijing last week with a back problem.
The Czech is not committed to a tournament next week, so he may see this as a chance to get some rest ahead of Basel and Bercy, but he also has semi final points from last year to defend. The career series of this pair has been quite odd, with wins coming alternately for each player from 2004 to here in Shanghai in 2011 and an overall of 4-3 to Lopez.
More relevant, however is that Lopez does enjoy it in Shanghai where he has a great record and he won a nice three setter against Jarkko Nieminen to tune up for this, while Berdych is coming in colder and there’s definitely an opportunity here for the Spaniard.
The worry for overs backers is the tendency of Lopez to give up, as he showed last week against Kei Nishikori, but it may well be the Czech who struggles here. The Berdman’s price of 1.55 seems to me to have the back injury factored in and although I would have liked a bigger price about Lopez he’s still worth siding with here as a 2.40 shot, having proved an awkward opponent for Berdych before.
Roger Federer vs Andreas Seppi (Bet & watch this live on Unibet TV from 11.05am UK time)
This match should be played on Stadium Court, perhaps even with the roof open, at around 11am UK time and it will be the 10th meeting between the pair.
Seppi though surely has more of a chance now than he ever has in their nine previous encounters, all of which Federer won and he started his week in Shanghai with an easier than expected win over Lleyton Hewitt on Tuesday. It’s hard to judge the value of that win, as Hewitt was atrocious and could barely get a serve over the net, but Seppi will be inspired by Federer’s most recent match when Tommy Robredo got the better of Fed in New York after 10 previous losses.
It’s asking a lot of the Swiss to come back to the tour after a six week break and win comfortably first up against a decent opponent like Seppi, so I like the chances of the Italian with a 4.5 game start at 1.80 here.
Conditions will suit Federer, but he’s not the player he was and Seppi has shown a great liking for them too. This 2013 version of Federer can’t be backed at prices like 1.16 anymore and he has to be opposed having not played singles since the US Open.
Back Lopez to beat Berdych at 2.40
Back Seppi +4.5 games to beat Federer at 1.80