2nd round match in ATP Queen’s between Nick Kyrgios and Kyle Edmund.
I don’t need more than 2 seconds of thinking to pick Nick as a winner in this match on grass. If it was on clay, maybe it would be much more difficult, but on such fast surface.. I can’t see Edmund to have chances tomorrow against the Australian. Nick is just better player in almost every single aspect. Also he played in Stuttgart and proved he can be equal to some of the top grass specialists like Feliciano Lopez and Roger Federer. Nick was so close to beat Federer, but lost in the tiebreak in the 3rd set. Here in Queen’s in London he started good with a win over Andy Murray. It was obvious Nick gave a lot of respect to Andy after this was his first match after his long period out of the courts. He admired the British so much, that’s the reason his performance was close to a practice, not an official tennis match, especially in the 1st set. I don’t think he will show something like that against Kyle Edmund, who will be 100% concentrated and focused to win against Kyrgios.
Uruguay come into this game on the back of a stolen 1-0 victory over Egypt knowing that a solid victory with a good goal difference are likely to settle them for the next stage of the tournament. Uruguay will look to their super attacking players in Cavani and Suarez to make the most of their chances that they receive after missing plenty of them against Egypt. The finishing from both the forwards were absolutely embarrassing, considering they play in the best clubs in the world. Uruguay will look to also getting good service from the likes of Caceres and Varela from the wide spots. Uruguay were solid in defense, so its hard to see them conceding against Saudi who looked unimpressive against Russia especially with the likes of Godin and Gimenez in their ranks.
2nd round match between Robin Haase and Roberto Bautista Agut in Halle.
Both of them has almost nightmare during the clay season with too weak results, but it’s finally over and time for the grass courts. In Hertogenvosch Haase beat Ivo Karlovic in the start, but then he was surprisingly eliminated by Bernard Tomic in the 2nd round. His start in Halle wasm’t the best one, but succeeded to beat Jousa in three sets. I still think it’s a little advantage, because he has one tournament more than Baustista-Agut on grass, who started with this experience today against Struff. The start was excellent, beating the German in straight sets, but I don’t think it will be the same tomorrow against his Holland opponent. Players need more time and official matches to be keen on playing on that surface and that’s one of the reasons to play this match over 22.5 games, but I will give two more!
I never expected Raonic to reach the final at Stuttgart but he did and expectedly he lost to Federer in 2 sets. Raonic looks to be in top form at the moment , he didn’t drop a set on route to that final and I hope that form continues here.
Bhambri is another player who sticks to one surface and does really well on it even against better opponents but on other surfaces he’s pretty weak.
Bhambri has had a good year no doubt but everything about him ends on hard court, he can’t play on clay and stays away from it as much as possible and also grass courts where he has a career record of 8/10. I don’t see Bhambri getting past any decent grass court player and definitely not a Raonic who is in top form.
Belgium come into this match as the favorites ahead of England to win this group; and they have a real opportunity to stamp their authority in this game against lowly Panama. The Belgians come into his game with real good form beating Egypt 3-0 and Costa Rica 4-1 which will give them all the confidence that they can win against Panama quite easily. Their forwards Lukaku, Mertens and Hazard as well as their backup forward Batshuayi, all managed to find the back of the net in that encounter. Add to the strong midfield creativity from Kevin de Bruyne and the Belgians have all the makings of running riot against this Panama outfit. Defensively, Belgium have quite a bit of experience in their ranks with the likes of Alderweireld, Kompany, Vertonghen and Munier to start the game and should keep a clean sheet here much like they have in 5 out of their last 7 competitive games.
World Cup Group F
Germany are considered as one of the favourites to take the trophy home again, as they did in 2014. They are coming from a very easy qualification where they finished with 10-0-0 and 43-4 in goal difference, very impressive although it was a easy group. They didn’t impress that much in the build up before this tournament though, but they finally grabbed the win last time out after 2-1 vs Saudi Arabia.
Mexico qualified easily as well, and finished the qualification with 6-3-1 and 16-7 in goal difference. They participated in Confederations Cup last year, and finished 4th after losing against todays opponent Germany by 1-4. In the friendlies before the World Cup they lost 2-0 vs Denmark, won 1-0 vs Scotland & 0-0 vs Wales.
Not much explaining is needed when France are facing Australia. In this World Cup you can put France in same category as Germany, Spain, Brazil and those big, gigantic international sides that are going to be in the final stages in Russia.
France have so many good players that if you put some of the players that they left behind and didn’t even take in Russia, then create a list from those “unwanted” players, you could get a great squad for some other international side. They have great starters, great bench and backup, they’re basically covered on all positions more or less.
This time around Australia are nothing special for their part of the world, they were avearge in qualifiers and Syria played 1:1 in the first match and then second match went to extra time where Australia found the winning goal from Cahill as always, they barely made it through. Then they faced Honduras in last part of the qualifiers where job was much easier compared to Syria matches. First match in Honduras was a 0:0 draw and then Australia played better at home with 3:0 lead until the end when Honduras scored one consolation goal.
Spain come into this tournament as one of the favorites to lift the trophy on June 15th; but with lot of distractions off the pitch; it could prevent them from doing their job effectively on the pitch. Spain were already shown to be curtailed against Tunisia in their latest friendly, where they only scored the 1 goal to get a result. Spain will be starting with Diego Costa up front and that means they will try to play the style of football which will be conducive to his style which means crosses into the box to try and head in the ball into the box. Spain have some exciting players in the wide positions with Alba and Azpilicueta in the full back spots while Aspas and David Silva will be in the wider spots to create further chances. Spain come into this game averaging high corners in their counters which reads as follows: 6, 7, 1, 2, 3, 10, 7, 5, 11, 4, 11, 4, 5 – an average of 5.5 corners per game. On the defensive end they will look to keep the Portuguese at bay; and players like Ramos, Pique and Alba are used to playing the Portuguese talisman Ronaldo at club level; so they will look to keep the ball out of the box. They also have one of the best shot stoppers in the league with De Gea who will make every effort to keep the ball out of the box.
Krygios we all know spends more time off the court these days than he spends on it, although it’s no fault of his as you can’t actually prevent injuries in this sport so it really isn’t unexpected that he’s played just 15 matches this year.
He has won 11 of those 15 matches and despite not having played since April I see him winning this match in less than an hour.
Krygios has a career record of 22/10 on grass court, he hasn’t really done much on grass since 2014 where he won the Nottingham 2 challenger and reached round 16 of Wimbledon but he’s still heads and shoulders above Marterer’s level.
Marterer has a 21/14 record on all surface this year but how he lost s set to Galovic in his last match is beyond me. Although he has a career record of 3/5 on grass but Galovic had 1/1 before that match and with Galovic not having played in a while I would have expected a whitewash.
Womens World Cup Qual.
Wales W – Russia W
Without any fresh injury concerns, Wales could field the same starting XI against Russia on Tuesday as they did against Bosnia in Swansea. Sounds like miracle at Newport’s Spytty Park but Russia have to beat Wales to keep dream alive in their World Cup qualification hopes.
Wales’ World Cup dream is still in their own hands, knowing they will qualify automatically if they win their remaining two fixtures.
Wales Women have taken one step closer to securing chances of a first ever World Cup appearance after a 1-0 win over Bosnia-Herzegovina at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea.