Tuesday, June 23, 2009
WIMBLEDON DAY 2 ..............
FABRICE SANTORO- NICOLAS KIEFER
Two veterans of the tour here, Fabrice is, I believe, the oldest player on tour and whilst he doesn't have the greatest record at Wimbledon, he usually manages to win a match or two, winning nine of his last ten first round matches and being involved in some memorable battles over the years. He is very much in the twilight of an incredibly long career, but still plays with a smile on his face and made the semis at Eastbourne last week, beating Kendrick, Ljubicic and Genepri. I think he has been overpriced to defeat Kiefer, who has not played since retiring from the Halle tournament with an abdoninal strain.
He has often stated that the Gerry Weber Open is his favourite event on tour, and he is a three time finalist and former champion at the tournament, so he would not have pulled out of both singles and doubles, unless the injury was serious. He was meant to play a warm up event last week, but withdrew from that and also a charity tournament on grass, which you would have thought would be an ideal opportunity to test himself.
I think the "Magician" as Santoro is known, will be getting Kiefer running and testing any weaknesses he might have, at circa 3.0 he is worth chancing a little. The German won in three close sets when they met here in 2007, but the diminutive Frenchman had little left in the tank, after a titanic five set defeat of Ivo Karlovic and I doubt Kiefer is at the same level today.
4 points Santoro to win 3.0 exchanges.