Starting very shortly after I type this the finals of the ATP’s BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy tournament will be decided, taking place in Bucharest, Romania. Here’s how the finalists look:
Guillermo Garcia Lopez (#87, Spain)
Rather uphill climb for Guillermo as his cycles are negative but he’s starting to feel strength again in all levels.
Lukas Rosol (#48, Czech Republic)
Mixed bag of cycles. His heart will be in the game but his strokes will be very weak and errant. Could easily be overpowered.
Should be a weak final, lots of errors, but spirited at the same. 3 set win for the Czech.
First head-to-head matchup. Comparing year-to-date stats, Rosol is outpointing Garcia-Lopez in most stat categories. But Garcia-Lopez does have an edge with his return game, leading in 2nd serve return points % won (52 to 46), and break points conversion % (46 to 36). So it will be interesting to see how these two do while Rosol is on serve.
The Barcelona Open also winds up today, scheduled about 2 hours after the one in Romania (or is it the same time, given time zones?).
Rafael Nadal, #5 vs Spanish countryman Nicholas Almagro, #12. Rafa is 9-0 head-to-head, including 22 of 24 sets. First time meeting in a final. What area of Almagro’s game can help provide victory?
Looking at each match, Almagro tends to do better scoring from his ace/double fault numbers than Rafa. Also often will be very competent in both saving and converting break points.
Average match time: 132, set time 50 minutes.
Here are Nadal’s cycles:
Decent cycles. Physically at the top of his game and the passion is there to survive 3 sets. But he’s prone to his share of errors and will make more mistakes than usual.
Comes out of mini-high, very weak today, athletic ability rather mediocre and failing. He’s playing with a good deal of heart and will be pretty accurate.
Looks like Nadal in straight sets for another title.