Tipsarevic vs Seppi 28.06.17
Antalya Open, Antalya Open, Grass Courts, ATP Tour
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It’s Round 2 of the Antalya Open from Turkey for us again today, as we look ahead to the match between Serbian world number 61, Janko Tipsarevic and Italian world number 102, Andreas Seppi.
These two have met on four previous occasions, with Tipsarevic leading the head to head 3-1. Their last registered encounter was actually on the grass at Eastoburne back in 2011, which Seppi ‘won’, however the match was never started because Tipsarevic withdrew through injury. The three meetings today that the Serb did win were all on hard courts, he won in five sets at the Australian Open in 2006, in straight sets in Miami in 2007 and then again in straight sets in Dubai in 2010.
Both players have played a handful of matches on the grass already this season, Tipsarevic got to the Second Round in Hertogenbosch, beating Yuchi Sugita in Round 1, before losing out to Marin Cilic. He then disappointingly lost in three sets to Viktor Troicki in the First Round at Queen’s last week, going down 7-5 6-7 6-7 in a match that lasted nearly three hours. Seppi also reached Round 2 in Hertogenbosch, defeating Tatsuma Ito in Round 1, before succumbing to eventual winner, Gilles Muller in Round 2. The Italian attempted to qualify for Halle last week, he won his first Qualifying match against Daniel Masur, before losing to Lukas Lacko in straight sets.
Antalya Open Results So Far…
Tipsarevic faced the South African, LIoyd Harris in Round 1. The pair exchanged breaks midway through the first set, and with it looking destined for a tiebreak Tipsarevic then found the break he wanted in games twelve to take it 7-5. A single break in game four of the second set was enough for Tipsarevic to take that one too, and with it the match, 7-5 6-3.
Seppi faced Polish world number 279, Kamil Majchrzak in Round 1. The Italian broke the Pole’s serve twice in the opening set to take it 6-2, the pair then exchanged breaks in the opening two games of the second set, which Seppi ended up taking 7-6 after a tiebreak.
Tipsarevic’s recent grass court mean serving stats look like this; he’s won 65% of his service points and held serve 83% of the time.
Seppi’s all-time grass court mean serving stats look like this; he’s won 70% of his service points and held serve 87% of the time.
Neither have huge serves, and both rely on a high first serve % to allow them to win free points. Both do possess the ability to hit their serve with variation though, especially Tipsarevic who will often hit a mix of slice, topspin and flat wide serves off his first delivery. I anticipate at least one break of serve in each set today.
Tipsarevic’s recent grass court mean returning stats look like this, he’s won 34% of his return points, 55% of his break points and opponents have held 80% of the time against him.
Seppi’s recent grass court mean returning stats look like this, he’s won 37% of his return points, 35% of his break points and opponents have held 82% of the time against him.
I give Tipsarevic the slight edge here on the return of serve, he tends to put plenty of balls back into play, and can block the ball back off the forehand side. Seppi tends to prefer to take full swings at the ball off the return, but it’s extremely difficult to do this consistently on the grass.
Both will look to play from the baseline, and manoeuvre each other from side to side before attacking the space created. Both have solid forehand sides, and can hit winners off this wing when required. Both can do the same off their double-handed backhands, however we should see plenty of slice backhands also played today. I expect to see plenty of long rallies, with both players playing with patience and guile, I think this match will come down to who is the most consistent and patient on the day.
I’m leaning towards Tipsarevic for the win, I think he has slightly more firepower off the ground, and a bit more variation on his serve. Seppi certainly has the game to win if he can remain consistent and deliver a high % of first serves. I’m anticipating a fairly long encounter and quite conceivably three sets, but ultimately a win for the Serb.
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