Vesely vs Bedene 31.05.17
French Open, Roland Garros, France, Clay Courts, ATP
Today we focus our attention on another Brit into the Second Round of the French Open, Roland Garros, world number 52, Alijaz Bedene. Bedene is looking to continue his great form on the clay against the Czech and world number 57, Jiri Vesely.
Both players had routine wins in Round 1, even if both matches looked like potential banana skins on paper. Bedene beat American, Ryan Harrison 6-4 6-0 3-6 6-1, whilst Vesely avenged his defeat to Jack Sock in Rome by triumphing over the American in straight sets 7-5 7-5 6-3.
These two have met once before, on the clay courts of Casablanca, Morocco back in 2015, and it was Vesely who was victorious in straight sets, 6-1 6-4. Bedene is a totally different player now though, and his game has really matured on the clay in 2017. He’s won 21 of his last 24 clay court matches, including a run to the final in Budapest just last month, and the Brit should be a very stern test for the plucky Czech today.
Breaking down the serving stats for both players; Vesely in his opening Round match, won 66% of his service points and held serve 88% of the time. This compares against his recent clay court mean numbers of 64% service points won and 81% service hold. Bedene in his opening Round match won 75% of his service points and held serve 88% of the time also. His recent clay court mean numbers are, 67% service points won and 86% service hold. Bedene edges the serving stats, but I see Vesely’s tricky lefty serves to be a bit of a leveller here, so i don’t think there’ll be much to split them on serve.
As for the return of serve stats; Vesely in his opening Round match, won 44% of his return points, 38% of his break points and his opponent held serve 65% of the time. His recently clay court mean numbers look like this; 37% return points won, 43% break points won and opponents hold 77% of the time. It was an impressive display of returning from Vesely in Round 1, especially given the heavy serving of Jack Sock. As for Bedene in Round 1, he won 45% of his return points, 78% of his break points and his opponent held serve just 56% of the time. His recent clay court mean numbers look like this; 40% return points won, 46% break points won and 71% opponents hold. Bedene also edges the returning stats, and if he keeps these numbers up today, he might just get a few chances on the Vesely serve.
Off the ground, both have similar playing styles, so i expect to see some longer rallies today. Neither player is blessed with immense firepower off wither wing, but what we should see is plenty of intelligent play, both players looking to move their opponent side to side and create space to exploit.
A really tough one to call this, Vesely is the more experienced at this level, whilst Bedene is the in form of his life, this one could well go the distance!
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