THE HYDERABAD ACES might have lost a close encounter to the Nagpur Orangers but will enter the clash against the V Chennai Warriors as the heavy favourites in Hyderabad, today.
The two teams met earlier in the competition in Chennai and it was the Aces, who whitewashed the Warriors. The visitors will be aware of the firepower the home team possess, but would be keen on settling the scores this evening.
Ivo Karlovic and Martina Hingis will continue to hold the key for the Aces while the Warriors would want the likes of Heather Watson, Vishnu Vardhan to step up and support their trump card Fernando Verdasco.
Going by yesterday’s impressive turnout, the home team will be expecting their fans to once again flock to the stadium. TFG analyses the game and picks the winner of the Aces v Warriors match.
Captains Thomas Johansson and Rainer Schuettler will take court to open proceedings for the evening. The Swede won his set against Alex Corretja yesterday and should be confident of producing another good result for his team. Moreover, Johansson had beaten the German in their last meeting in Chennai and would look to capitalize on the momentum. The former Australian Open champion has been serving brilliantly till now and would be expecting to win some cheap points on his serve. On the other hand, the Warriors would be hoping for their captain to come good with his returns. Current form backed by the home crowd should see help the Swede.
Both Martina Hingis and Heather Watson have been playing some wonderful tennis in this tournament but have not been very successful in winning sets. Expect some intense hitting from both women around the baseline. That said, the Swiss wouldn’t be keen on a backcourt slugfest and would chip and charge at every given opportunity. On the other side of the net, the Brit would be keen on out-hitting her senior pro. Expect a few breaks of serve in this set but Watson might have the last laugh.
Hyderabad’s Karlovic/Hingis are yet to lose a set in this tournament and have looked flawless on most occasions. The duo has thrived on a simple formula of serving big and delicate volleys. The pair of Verdasco/Watson are yet to produce the desired results for the Warriors and today might just be another day of disappointment for the Chennai pair.
While Karlovic and Verdasco will have to shoulder the bulk of the responsibility for their respective teams, Hyderabad's Jeevan N and Chennai's V Vardhan too might have a big role to play. As seen in the previous matches, both Jeevan and Vardhan have shown signs of choking under pressure and might be the weak links in their team. That said, Hyderabad's jeevan displayed some greats skills at the net yesterday and should carry on the confidence into this clash.
As seen in the previous clash between the two big hitters, the match could be decided by a tie-breaker. Karlovic might have lost a close set against Feliciano Lopez and would be desperate to get back to winning ways. Meanwhile, the Spaniard would be hoping for an opening on the Croat’s serve to sneak ahead. Either way, a shootout awaits us here and Karlovic’s bombs might help him win those crucial points.
Team Hyderabad might be a little down after yesterday’s loss but are far from being dented. The home team still has all the firepower, balance and home support. On the other hand, team Chennai is languishing at the bottom of the table and the Aces might force the Warriors to spend a few more days in that position.