ATP 250 – Marseille
Final: Tomas Berdych vs. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Time: 8:15 a.m. Eastern
Head-to-Head: 4-1, Berdych
Amy: I think Berdych’s game matches up well against Tsonga (as evidenced by their lopsided head-to-head). Furthermore, Berdych has been more the more consistent player in the recent past. I’ll go with Berdych in straights.
Juan Jose: My head says that Berdych will beat Tsonga once again. After all, that happened three straight times at the end of last year, and one of those was in a final. However, my heart wants me to get my Podcast pick right, so I’ll try and justify it by hoping that the positive effect of playing at home and having Roger Rasheed in his corner will finally push Jo over this tall Czech hurdle (though Rasheed is in Dubai right now – maybe Tsonga can pull a Kvitova and win a title when his coach is not present!). Jo-Willy will win, 7-6, 3-6, 6-3.
Lindsay: Tsonga played his best match since the Australian Open yesterday when he took out Gilles Simon in two easy sets, he’s playing on borrowed time after saving five match points in the quarterfinals against Tomic, and he loves playing on the indoor hardcourts in front of the French crowd – his family has been there a lot this week. That being said, I’ve seen enough Berdych-Tsonga matches in my lifetime to know that this is just not a good match-up for Jo. Berdych in three.
ATP 500 – Memphis
Final: Kei Nishikori vs. Feliciano Lopez
Time: 4:00 p.m. Eastern
Head-to-Head: 1-0, Lopez
Amy: Nishikori has two things working in his favor: 1. He’s a consistent player with a great return of serve that will neutralize the Lopez serve, and 2. He is more well-rested than Lopez, who had to tough out a long three-setter in the semifinals against Istomin. Nishikori in straights.
Juan Jose: I saw a very little bit of Kei Nishikori today, just before Marinko Matosevic retired after losing the first set of their semifinal. I really, really liked what I saw. Nishikori is moving around very well, serving very well, and seems to be on a groove with his return of serve. It will be an intriguing match-up with López, who certainly is enjoying the fast conditions in Memphis. Still, I think the Uniqlo man will find a way to put constant pressure on López’ service games, and then dominate from the baseline with his nice backhand to collect his second ATP 500 title. Nishikori will win, 7-5, 6-2.
Lindsay: It’s pretty crazy that Lopez is 31 and only has two titles, one in 2004 and one in 2010, and since both of those came at 250s, which means this is the biggest final in his long career. He served very poorly today – about 40% – but still managed to take the match even though Istomin brought his top game. Nishikori has made an impressive run, and he won’t make it easy, but at the end of the day Lopez just simply has too aggressive of a game, and will take the match out of Kei’s hands and walk away with his third career title. Lopez in three.
ATP 250 – Buenos Aires
Final: David Ferrer vs. Stan Wawrinka
Time: 12:00 p.m. Eastern
Head-to-Head: 6-3, Ferrer
Amy: Ferrer has always given Wawrinka trouble, and though clay is the best surface for both guys, Ferrer is one of the toughest guys on the ATP Tour to beat on clay these days. I love the way Wawrinka has been playing lately, but I still see Ferrer winning this one in three sets.
Juan Jose: This should be a very fun final, befitting at least an ATP 500. Both guys are starting their clay court campaigns in Buenos Aires, and both are at their best on this surface. The problem for Wawrinka is that he’s 1-4 against Ferrer on clay, and that lone win came in 2006. That was a long, long time ago. The other problem is that David Ferrer is the defending champion in Buenos Aires, and seems to be in good clay form. It will be a tight match, but Ferrer will win, 7-6(3), 7-5.
Lindsay: I couldn’t be happier that Stan has continued his good run of form and found himself in the final here in Buenos Aires. I was a little worried that the Australian Open and Davis Cup heartbreaks might have killed him. But this is Ferrer in Buenos Aires, and I’m no fool. Ferrer in straight sets.
WTA International – Bogota
Final: Jelena Jankovic vs. Paula Ormaechea
Time: 11:00 a.m. Eastern
Head-to-Head: First meeting
Amy: We all laughed at the idea of Jankovic winning a title this week on our podcast, but here she is with a golden opportunity to do just that. Just when you think she’s down and out, she starts playing some passable tennis. Jankovic in straights.
Juan Jose: All I know is that Jankovic lost a WTA final last year to Melanie Oudin (Birmingham), hasn’t won a title since the 2010, and is 12-16 overall in finals. Jankovic also double faulted to get broken when serving for the match today, and ended up playing for 2.5 hours, finally winning in a third set tiebreaker. Hence, I’m picking Ormaechea. She’ll win 6-4, 4-6, 6-1.
Lindsay: I cannot believe that JJ hasn’t won a title in 3 years. She used to win a million small titles in a year, but has lost her last five finals to Vinci, Pavlyuchenkova, Sharapova, Oudin, and Martinez Sanchez. Ormaechea is ranked No. 196, so on paper this should be straightforward, but Oudin was No. 208 when JJ lost to her last year in Birmingham. I’ve been really impressed with Ormaechea all week long, and I definitely think she’s one to watch for the future, but despite my common sense I’m going with Jankovic. Glitter will get her groove back in Colombia, though it will be dramatic. JJ in three.