Mannarino vs Seppi 30.06.17
Antalya Open, Antalya Open, Grass Courts, ATP Tour
Today sees us look at the second Semi Final from the Antalya Open, Turkey, between France’s world number 62, Adrian Mannarino and Italian world number 102, Andreas Seppi. I think it’s fair to say that neither of these two players were necessarily expected to get this far this week, however now that they are her, they’ll be forgiven for thinking that they have every chance of lifting the title. One thing’s for sure both will be giving 100% to get to the Final, as such we should see a very competitive match today.
These two have met five times previously, with Seppi leading the head to head 3-2. Their last two meetings today were on grass last year, Seppi won 6-2 6-3 in Nottingham, just a few weeks after Mannarino had won 6-4 6-4 in Hertongenbosch. Prior to this, Seppi won their only meeting on the clay in Dusseldorf in 2014, and both have won a match a piece on the hard courts. What’s interesting about all of the matches between these two in the past is that they have all been won in straight sets, it will be interesting to see if that trend continues today, in what should be a close match.
Antalya Open Results So Far…
Mannarino beat Borna Coric in Round 1, 7-5 6-4, before defeating Egyptian Mohamed Safwat 6-4 6-4 in the Second Round. In yesterday’s Quarter Final Mannarino faced Fernando Verdasco, and the Frenchman was on the verge of going out at a set and a break down, before some steely determination and a mental implosion from Verdasco allowed him to somehow win through, 2-6 7-5 6-2.
Seppi beat Kamil Majchrzak in Round 1, 6-2 7-6, before a good win against Janko Tipsarevic in Round 2. The Italian dropped the first set 3-6, but rallied to take the next two 6-4 6-4 and set up a Quarter Final clash with Moldovan, Radu Albot. The Italian eventually got past the plucky Albot yesterday, 6-4 7-6 in a match that lasted just short of two hours.
Mannarino’s recent grass court mean serving stats look like this; he’s won 64% of his service points and held serve 78% of the time.
Seppi’s recent grass court mean serving stats look like this; he’s won 70% of his service points and held serve 88% of the time.
Mannarino’s tricky lefty slice serve can make life difficult for Seppi today assuming he keeps his first serve % high. The ball will be skidding out to the Italian’s backhand, which should allow Mannarino to get some short returns to put away. Seppi certainly has the bigger serve of the two, and he will more than certainly be leading the ace count as we go through the match. I’ve been impressed with how Seppi has hit his spots on the serve this week and if he can keep this up today, he may not find himself broken too often/if at all.
Mannarino’s recent grass court returning stats look like this, he’s won 37% of his return points, 45% of his break points and opponents have held 77% of the time against him.
Seppi’s recent grass court returning stats look like this, he’s won 37% of his return points, 36% of his break points and opponents have held 82% of the time against him.
Both return serve pretty well on the grass, Mannarino will look to block the ball back into play off both the forehand a backhand, with Seppi predominantly choosing to drive the return off both sides. The Italian may well struggle to drive as many returns as he would like today however as Mannarino’s serves skid through very low on the grass. I feel like Seppi will need to block quite a few balls back into play in order to keep control and gain some traction in the Mannarino service games.
Mannarino will hit the ball off the forehand with varying levels of pace and spin, he will predominantly hit with topspin, but he does have the ability to flatten it out when needed. On the backhand side, the Frenchman will look to hit with a lot of slice, and do look out for his drop shots off this wing too. Seppi will spend most of his time on the baseline and hit predominantly with topspin off both wings, he does also have the ability to flatten his stroke out though in order to generate more power. Both players like to be patient, so we should see some fairly long rallies from the back of the court.
I think this will be a very competitive match, and I think it’s very hard to call a winner. Both players can be brilliant and awful in equal measures at any stage of any match, and this unpredictability is certainly part of the appeal of today’s encounter. Looking at stats alone, if Seppi serves like he has been this week, he should win, however Mannarino has been very impressive, knocking out Coric and Verdasco already. If the Frenchman is having one of his more consistent days off the ground and Seppi starts struggling with his swinging serves, he could very easily prevail here. This would normally be where i would say expect a long three set match between two evenly matched players, however given their lack of three setters in previous meetings today i’m apprehensive. One to enjoy though this, and to think before the week started one of these men would be getting to the Final here….
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