Day 2 Review, Day 3 Preview @PortugalOpen
Manuel Traquete, Tennis East Coast
On the men’s side, this was a day of some surprising results, none more so than Rui Machado double-bagelling Dmitry Tursunov; while the Portuguese played a great match, Tursunov never really looked engaged and his movement and footwork were awful throughout. He only won 18 points in the entire match in what is surely one of the most bizarre matches we’ve ever seen.
The other Portuguese player in action on Center Court wasn’t so lucky, as Leonardo Mayer turned up to play and beat João Sousa 3-6 6-1 6-2 in a match where the Portuguese #1 definitely seemed to feel the pressure of playing before his home crowd. After winning the first set, he basically imploded and never really found his game again, allowing Mayer very comfortable wins in the following two sets. The final match on center court also saw a big upset with Lukas Kubot snapping his losing streak to beat Teymuraz Gabashvili 6-3 7-5. The Russian was undone by his inability to convert break points (0/4) and couldn’t really follow up his excellent Barcelona run.
On the outer courts, experience beat youth on two occasions, with 30+ yo Carlos Berlocq and Daniel Gimeno-Traver beating young upstarts Taro Daniel and Alejandro Gonzalez respectively. Taro Daniel will be especially disappointed with his poor play on every big point, as well as the weaknesses shown in his forward movement – Berlocq basically won the point every time he used a drop shot, regardless of its actual quality.
In the Romanian duel, Hanescu ended up prevailing in a very scrappy 3-setter where he (Hanescu) seemed down and out more than a few times but benefited from his countryman’s inability to step up in the biggest points. Yet another instance of experience beating youth was Albert Montanes, the tournament’s 2009 and 2010 winner, beating Carballes Baena 7-6 6-3.
In the least interesting (on paper) and attended matches of the day, Somdev Devvarman easily prevailed over Matthew Ebden and Pablo Cuevas barely made it past Aleksandr Nevodyesov in a very tight 3-setter.
Today, Granollers and Montanes will face in a presumably extremely tight R3 match, while the Machado and Elias will take on Gimeno-Travor and Volandri respectively. Given form and ability, it’d be fair to say Machado has a great chance to make the quarterfinals. That’s all when it comes to men’s matches being played tomorrow.
On the women’s side, #1 and #2 seeds entered the tournament with a bang by dispatching their lower ranked opponents without any problems. The rest of the results were also normal, with the higher ranked/better players showing their supremacy on the tennis courts compared to ‘mere mortals’.
The only exception was Samantha Stosur, who ‘pulled a Tursunov’ and got demolished by Timea Bacsinszky 6-4 6-0.
Bouchard is up again, this time vs Yaroslava Shevdova – a potentially tricky opponent if she’s on a good day. Bouchard is still working towards her first career title. The rest of the seeds also didn’t have to do very much for their managerial stock to rise and most are unlikely to win against tomorrow and make QFs again. The best match of the day will be between Kuznetsova and Toro-Flor.