ATP World Tour Finals Tennis Handicap Betting Preview – Saturday 19th November By @DavAulak

Andy Murray v Milos Raonic

The big serve of Milos Raonic is clearly going to be built up as the potential deciding factor in this match, but Andy Murray has shown he has the tools to blunt that weapon and make the Canadian work hard for a lot of what he earns on the court.

It is Murray who has dominated their head to head this season and even the quicker conditions in the O2 Arena this season shouldn’t concern Murray who has beaten Raonic at the Cincinnati Masters. That is considered the fastest court along with Dubai and Murray was able to break the Raonic serve three times at that tournament and I do think he is seeing the ball big enough to make sure his opponent is not winning as many cheap points as he wants.

The second serve is where Murray will look to make hay and the limited time spent on court on Friday will certainly help him after that long match with Kei Nishikori on Wednesday. There has to be a better performance from Murray on his own serve to prevent Raonic finding a foothold in this match, but he has been solid for the most part this week and knows exactly where to serve to keep his opponent under pressure.

Murray now has seven wins in a row against Raonic and he would have covered this number in the last five best of three set matches he has played against Raonic. You would think the faster surface gives Raonic a chance to penetrate the Murray defences, but I think it takes some time away from a limited returner too and I think Murray will prove too good in the afternoon Semi Final and I will back him to come through with enough of a margin to cover this number of games.

Tennis Handicap Betting Pick: Andy Murray – 3.5 Games at 1.84 with Unibet

Novak Djokovic v Kei Nishikori

It will depend on your point of view as to why Kei Nishikori collapsed from an impressive first set to a three set loss to Marin Cilic on Friday night. Some will think Nishikori just lost his focus and didn’t put in a full effort, while others might point to some fatigue from the gruelling match with Andy Murray on Wednesday with Nishikori having conditioning issues at the back of tournaments throughout his career.

I will admit that I am in the latter camp as Marin Cilic was able to turn the match around by avoiding the unforced errors in sets two and three and forced Nishikori to go much deeper. Novak Djokovic is likely to do the same and Cilic also became the first player to actually have a lot of success against the Nishikori serve which is another area in which Djokovic can succeed in the second Semi Final at the World Tour Finals.

Tiredness is going to mean it is hard to pump the legs to pull out the big serves for Nishikori with that weakness in his game magnified when fatigue is in play. Novak Djokovic has not served as effectively as earlier in the 2016 season, but he should be much fresher and can break down the Nishikori game on his way through to the Final on Sunday.

It won’t surprise me if Nishikori is competitive through the first set, but Djokovic should be able to just drag him into deep waters at that point. Djokovic might have slipped from the standards he has set in recent years, but he has dominated Nishikori over the last twelve months and I can see the Serbian player coming through with a 75, 62 win in this one.

Tennis Handicap Betting Pick: Novak Djokovic – 4.5 Games 2.10 with Bet365

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @DavAulak.

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ATP World Tour Finals Tennis Handicap Betting Preview – Friday 18th November By @DavAulak

Stan Wawrinka v Andy Murray

These two players are meeting for just the second time in 2016 with the first ending in a comfortable win for Andy Murray at the French Open in the Semi Final. Prior to that the last match between Murray and Stan Wawrinka actually came at the O2 Arena last year in a final Group match which saw Wawrinka beat Murray in straight sets and move through to the Semi Final at his expense.

The same could happen this Friday in the first match of the afternoon as a straight sets win will put Stan Wawrinka through to the Semi Final yet again at the World Tour Finals. He is coming in off a much more impressive performance than what Wawrinka could produce in his straight sets loss to Kei Nishikori and the Swiss player will believe he can do enough to win this match.

It will be interesting to see the kind of levels that Murray can produce after struggling for over three hours in his win over Nishikori just two days ago. He has played so much tennis in recent weeks and that match has to have taken a toll on a player that hasn’t faced the top competition in his run of wins in the last month.

Someone like Wawrinka won’t be overawed by playing Murray and bringing his best to the court will give him every chance to beat a tired opponent. The home favourite does need a set to make it through to the Semi Finals, but Wawrinka will be more motivated throughout and I do think he can win this match outright.

However, I think taking the games here might make the most sense at odds against and I like Wawrinka giving himself a chance to win this match at the least. Murray is unlikely to give up or not offer his best, but I do think he could have some fatigue issues and might have preferred coming on in the evening for a few more hours rest.

This has all the makings of a tight match and I do think Wawrinka can be backed with the games to at least keep things competitive in what could be another gruelling match for Murray.

 

Tennis Handicap Betting Pick: Stan Wawrinka +3.5 Games @ 2.18 with Eastbridge Sports Betting Brokerage

 

Marin Cilic v Kei Nishikori

There is plenty on the line for Kei Nishikori as he looks for the win that will be enough to take him through to the Semi Finals. Regardless of what happens in the first match, a win would be enough to take the Japanese player into the next Round, although he potentially only needs a set if Andy Murray has won the match against Stan Wawrinka earlier in the day.

You can’t predict with any accuracy what will be required for Nishikori by the time this match begins, but my personal opinion is that Stan Wawrinka may just get the better of Murray and so Nishikori might be under pressure to earn a win. He does have a strong record against Marin Cilic, although it should be noted that it was the latter who won their most recent match last month in the Final in Basel.

Cilic doesn’t have a lot to play for, but won’t want to head into the Davis Cup Final after losing all three matches in the Group here in London. That should be motivation enough despite being out of the tournament and I do think he will bring in a full effort in this match. The Croatian might also have an edge with the energy he has in the tank after Nishikori was put through the ringer against Andy Murray and spending so much time on court on Wednesday in that loss.

We have seen in the past that Nishikori can struggle with his conditioning and that match with Murray is certainly going to be on that tests what he has left for this tournament. That should enable Cilic to get into this one and he did show in Basel that he can take advantage of the second serve that Nishikori possesses, a second serve that may have a little less on it than usual if Nishikori is feeling the strain of his second match in the Group.

It might also mean Nishikori is not as quick around the court as he was and Cilic has the firepower to drag him out of the tournament with him. I do think Cilic has every chance of winning this match outright, but I will back him with the small amount of games being given to him and look for a competitive match at the least.

 

Tennis Handicap Betting Pick: Marin Cilic +1.5 Games @ 2.27 with Pinnacle

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @DavAulak.

 

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ATP Paris Tennis Handicap Betting Preview – Tuesday 1st November by @DavAulak

Tomas Berdych v Joao Sousa

Over recent seasons Tomas Berdych has become a familiar face in the World Tour Finals, but he needs a big week if he is going to head to London in the main draw and not as an alternate. He had a tenuous hold of the final place at the World Tour Finals until Marin Cilic won the title in Basel and Berdych can’t afford another early loss this week in the final open tournament of the season.

Berdych won the title in Shenzhen and reached the Quarter Final in St Petersburg having seen injury prevent him from taking his place in the US Open draw. Those results put Berdych in a strong position to finish in the top eight places, but the Czech player has had three opening match defeats since those tournaments mentioned.

This does look a decent chance for Berdych to snap that run and give himself a chance of playing in London for the seventh year in a row. While I have to respect Joao Sousa for getting as much out of his game as he has, Sousa is also someone who struggles to hold his serve and will have difficulties dealing with the big Berdych serve which gives the latter a real edge in the match.

That has happened in their two previous matches against one another with Berdych winning in dominant fashion. The last two losses have been disappointing for Berdych, but Sousa’s own form is sketchy to say the least and I think Berdych can put himself into a position to move into the Third Round behind a 63, 64 win.

Tennis Handicap Betting Pick: Tomas Berdych -4.5 Games @ 2.02 with Unibet

 

ATP Tennis Handicap Betting Preview 0111

Tomas Berdych

 

Feliciano Lopez v Pierre-Hugues Herbert

A lot of Singles players will be chasing the final places at the ATP World Tour Finals in the tournament in Paris, but Pierre-Hugues Herbert will be heading to London to take part in the Doubles tournament. Before that he has come through a couple of Qualifiers to make the main draw of the Singles event in Paris which should keep his World Ranking in a strong enough position for automatic entry into the Australian Open in January.

There is quite a bit to like about Herbert’s game on this surface as he has a decent first serve and his Doubles skills means he is very comfortable getting forward to the net. That could help this become something of an ‘old school’ kind of match with both Herbert and Feliciano Lopez very happy to play some serve-volley tennis to try and pressure the other into making mistakes.

The chip and charge off the second serve is likely to be an effective tool for both players who are going to be in the World Tour Finals Doubles tournament and the player winning the higher percentage second serve points likely wins this match. In that regard you have to favour Lopez who has produced better results as a Singles competitor than Herbert.

The Frenchman will have the home support and won a title on the indoor hard courts at the Challenger level recently as well as having two wins in Paris in the Qualifiers. That will give Herbert confidence for the upset, but I think Lopez will weather the storm and come through a first set tie-breaker before seeing Herbert make a couple of errors on his own service games to lead to a 76, 64 win for the Spaniard.

Tennis Handicap Betting Pick: Feliciano Lopez -2.5 Games @ 2.07 with Eastbridge Sports Betting Brokerage

 

Jack Sock v Philipp Kohlschreiber

He might be up to Number 24 in the World Rankings, but I am still looking for more consistency from Jack Sock to really start proving he can be the face of American men’s tennis. Sock has a solid game, but I think he has too many mental lapses at the moment and there are also some concerns about his physical strength when going deep into tournaments.

He does have some solid results since reaching the Fourth Round at the US Open and I definitely think Sock has shown a little more form than Philipp Kohlschreiber in that time. The Jack Sock loss to Marcel Granollers last week is a concern, but I am going to say that had something to do with reaching the Final in Stockholm before that and he should give a much stronger showing against Kohlschreiber.

It has been tough for Kohlschreiber in recent weeks with a lot of surprising losses as the German has recovered from an injury but perhaps not at full confidence closing out the season. Kohlschreiber is 3-4 in his matches since coming back from a withdrawal at the US Open and I think some of the performances have seen him struggle to deal with the consistency needed off the ground.

The Kohlschreiber serve can be dangerous, but he has not been getting enough first serves in play and that is where Sock has to find a way to take advantage. Sock’s own serve is decent and I think he will be able to back it up a little more than Kohlschreiber and come through in a tight three set match with a 76, 46, 63 win for the American.

Tennis Handicap Betting Pick: Jack Sock -1.5 Games @ 1.81 with Pinnacle

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @DavAulak.

 

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