The final of the German Open Tennis Championships in Hamburg is all set for Sunday at the Rothenbaum between David Ferrer and Leonardo Mayer.
The latter provided more profit for us yesterday with an easy handicap win over home hope Philipp Kohlschreiber and Mayer didn’t need the start in the end, running out a 7-5, 6-4 winner.
I said yesterday that I didn’t trust Kohlschreiber in these sorts of matches and he showed again why that is with another lacklustre effort at the business end of a tournament.
It was a good and stress-free profit, so no complaints here, and Mayer moves through to face David Ferrer in Sunday’s final.
David Ferrer vs Leonardo Mayer - Live on Unibet TV
This one begins at around 14:00 UK time on Sunday and it will be the second meeting between this clay-loving pair, but the first on the red dirt.
Their one prior clash came on the grass of Rosmalen back in 2012 and isn’t relevant today, but what is interesting is the improvement that Mayer has made in the last few months on the tour.
Always a talented player and a former number two ranked junior, Mayer has not been able to transfer that ability to the pro ranks with any real success and he’s still seeking his first title at tour level.
Indeed, Leo has reached only one tour level final before today and that was earlier this year on the clay of Santiago when he was comfortably beaten by Fabio Fognini, but I doubt it’ll be that easy for Ferrer here.
The Argentine will rise to at least number 29 in the world rankings on Monday and could go up another two places if he beats Ferrer, but either way it will be a new career high by some distance.
Blessed with a heavy serve and weighty ground strokes off both wings, combined with decent movement, his only weakness technically is up at net, but he won’t really be needing that today.
His other major flaw has always been mental, with a reputation as one of the players most likely to fail when serving out a match and an alarming tendency to double fault at the vital times.
If this match was being played a year ago it would be hard to see past a Ferrer win, but David for me is in decline at 32-years-old and he could be vulnerable at odds of 1.18 today.
It’s tricky with the older players, such as Ferrer, Roger Federer, Lleyton Hewitt, Tommy Haas etc, as their level varies much more now than a few years ago and for me Ferrer is clearly in that category after his displays in 2014.
He should be up for this and he should win it, but it’ll be hot in Hamburg again today and it will likely play fast at the Rothenbaum, which gives Mayer a reasonable chance.
The wagers on my shortlist here are Ferrer 2-1 at 3.95, Mayer to win a set at 2.25 and Mayer +4.5 games at 1.95.
In his 15 matches against players ranked between 20 and 40 in the world since the US Open last year Ferrer has won only eight in straight sets and I think he’s much too short today against a confident opponent with the weapons to hurt him.
Back Mayer +1.5 sets to beat Ferrer at 2.25