Our play on Tuesday was a void, as Marcel Granollers had to retire just before the end of the first set in his match with Nicola Kuhn. Ironically Kuhn then had to retire from his match yesterday, after taking the first set.
Today we continue to look at the Challenger Tour and a match between world number 289, Facundo Arguello and world number 156, Mats Moraing.
These two have never met, however both had solid First Round victories this week.
Arguello breezed past wild card entrant, Lucas Gomez, 6-3 6-4, whilst Moraing beat Santiago Giraldo in three sets, 6-4 5-7 6-2 in just short of 2 hours.
Arguello’s Past 12 Months Clay Court Mean Serving Stats
Won 61% of his service points
Held serve 74% of the time
Arguello has a ‘functional’ serve, it’s not a weapon for him, but he is consistent with it and will look to hit his spots off both first and second serves. He’s not going to be banging down aces for fun, but he will look to keep his first serve % high and will do what he can to prevent Moraing from attacking him.
Moraing’s Past 12 Months Clay Court Mean Serving Stats
Won 63% of his service points
Held serve 77% of the time
The German has a bomb of a serve, he will be very hard to break today and will most certainly be leading the ace count come the end of the match. If he can keep his first serve % to anywhere near 60% then I would be surprised in Arguello will break him more than once over the course of the match, if that.
Arguello’s Past 12 Months Clay Court Mean Return Stats
Won 42% of his return points
Won 38% of his break points
Opponents have held 71% of the time against him
Arguello has a good return of serve, and can return pretty well off either wing. He does at times leave the ball short though, this will play right into the aggressive Moraing’s hands today unless he can keep the ball consistently deeper. He will also need to drastically up his break point conversion %, as i see his chances to break being few and far between today.
Moraing’s Past 12 Months Clay Court Mean Return Stats
Won 39% of his return points
Won 47% of his break points
Opponents have held 75% of the time against him
Moraing can at times struggle off the return, especially against strong servers, luckily for him Arguello doesn’t fall into this category today. The German will however need to be a bit more consistent in terms of putting the ball back into play off the first serve return, as Arguello’s first serve % is likely to be high. Moraing will be looking to go for all out aggression with his big forehand off the second serve return, so expect some flashy winners here.
Arguello has a very wristy topspin forehand and a flatter backhand that he likes to hit cross court. He will predominantly trade from the baseline, and look to counter-punch given the chance. He will be more patient than Moraing, and I expect to see him using his athleticism to try and engage the German in some longer rallies today, looking to squeeze out unforced errors.
Both forehand and backhand are hit very very flat, the forehand is an absolute bomb of a shot, and he will look to get this into play as often as possible, expect to see plenty of winners off this wing from the German today. The forehand is Moraing’s least favourite side, and it’s usually used to manoeuvre his opponents around the court in order to get the forehand into play. With most of Arguello’s backhand’s going into his forehand though, I expect him to be able to dictate often today.
I fancy Moraing’s power off the ground and huge serve to be enough for him to claim the win today. If Arguello is to stand any chance, he will need to look to wear the German down physically.