In one of the more interesting and competitive third round matches at the Australian Open this year is the match-up between Spain’s David Ferrer and France’s Gilles Simon. The two are well-versed in each other’s games, as they have met seven previous times on the tour, including contests at Grand Slams, Masters events, and Davis Cup competition. Ferrer leads the overall head-to-head series 5-2.
In a surprising start to his second round match, David Ferrer dropped the opening set and was forced to rally back from the deficit to defeat Sergiy Stakhovsky 5-7, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2. The contest lasted 2 hours and 15 minutes and saw Ferrer hit 31 winners, 2 aces, and win 77% of his first service points. After the slow start, it was clear that Ferrer was set to cruise control.
One of the more underrated players left in the draw is the 18th seed Gilles Simon, who reached the third round of the draw with a victory over Spain’s Marcel Granollers. He won the match 7-6(5), 6-2, 6-4 and did so with relative ease and minimal fuss. The Frenchman struck 41 winners, including 5 aces, and won 83% of his first service points. He even converted 5 break points to make up for the two he handed the Spaniard to close out the match in 2 hours and 16 minutes.
This marks the eighth time that Ferrer and Simon will cross paths on the professional tour, with the Spaniard leading the head-to-head series 5-2. While that may be the case, Simon won their most recent encounter at the US Open 6-3 3-6 6-1 6-3, which only adds to his confidence and chances at another upset on Saturday. This will likely be a grueling five-set encounter.
Prediction: Gilles Simon in Five Sets