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.

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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 World Tour Finals Tennis Handicap Betting Preview – Wednesday 16th November By @DavAulak

Andy Murray v Kei Nishikori

There have been two epic matches between Kei Nishikori and Andy Murray this season and those two five setters have been split with one win apiece. The most recent match took place at the US Open when Nishikori battled back from 2-1 down in sets to win that match and snap a four match losing run to Murray, but the new World Number 1 can earn a measure of revenge for that defeat on Wednesday.

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There were some nerves initially in the way Murray began this tournament, but he looked a much stronger player by the time the end of the victory over Marin Cilic was being completed. He can’t afford a slow start in this one against a confident Nishikori who dismissed Stan Wawrinka as easily as he did on Monday, although I do have to say I feel the Swiss player made life much more comfortable for Nishikori than it should have been.

 

Tennis Handicap Betting ATP World Finals 16/11

Andy Murray

The Murray levels don’t fluctuate as much as Wawrinka’s do and Nishikori has to get far more than 45% of first serves in play if he wants to win and virtually move through to the Semi Finals here. It is Murray who has the far bigger serve and he is one of the more attacking returners when he sees the second serve and I think having a win under his belt in the Group should relax Murray for a better all around performance than he had on Monday.

Their Davis Cup tie produced some tight sets, but Murray has used his dominance in the service stats to help break the Nishikori serve a couple of times and set up a comfortable set or two. That could be a key in this match as I can see Murray taking a set either 61 or 62 which will give him a chance to cover this number even if he needs three sets to win the match.

Murray won two of the first three sets at the US Open and would have covered this number as he did at the Olympic Games and in their two meetings in 2015. The Davis Cup tie looks the exception to the rule and I will back the World Number 1 to move to the brink of winning this Group and avoiding a potential Semi Final with Novak Djokovic.

 

Tennis Handicap Betting Pick: Andy Murray -4.5 Games @ 1.99 with Eastbridge Sports Betting Brokerage

 

Stan Wawrinka v Marin Cilic

I have really no idea why Stan Wawrinka looked as flat as he did in the defeat to Kei Nishikori on Monday, but it might have something to do with what he admits to anyone who listens. Wawrinka has made it clear that he doesn’t think about cracking the Novak Djokovic-Andy Murray top two positions in the World Rankings because of his lack of consistency and Wawrinka can sometimes produce some of these really strange performances.

He can get away with it to some extent at the World Tour Finals with another chance to get back into the Group and maintain his run of Semi Final appearances at this tournament. I do worry that the conditions are not suiting him as much as usual with the slightly speedier courts taking away some of the time Wawrinka likes, but I am going to back him as the underdog on Wednesday evening.

Wawrinka holds a dominant 10-2 head to head record with Marin Cilic who blew a big opportunity to beat Andy Murray on Monday. It is Wawrinka who has won six in a row against Cilic and I do have to say that he produced a listless performance against Rafael Nadal in his opening match last season before turning it around with two Group wins and a place in the Semi Finals.

There is no doubt that Wawrinka has to serve better than he did on Monday, but Cilic will have some mental obstacles to overcome too. Those losses to Wawrinka won’t be easy to forget and he will know he had his chances against Murray, while Cilic might also be thinking ahead to the Davis Cup Final that is upcoming.

It is the expectation that Wawrinka will be better than Monday which drives my pick. With that head to head over Cilic behind him and the fact that all is not lost for him in the Group, Wawrinka can’t be any worse than he was on Monday and I expect he wins a tight match outright. However I will take the games being given to him in what could be a tough match that goes down to the wire and will look for the Swiss player to set up a huge match with Andy Murray which will decide his fate in the Group for a second year in a row.

 

Tennis Handicap Betting Pick: Stan Wawrinka + 1.5 Games @ 2.0 with Pinnacle

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @DavAulak.

 

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ATP Paris Tennis Handicap Betting Preview – Wednesday 2nd November by @DavAulak

Lucas Pouille v Feliciano Lopez

I backed Lucas Pouille to beat Feliciano Lopez when these players met last week in Vienna and it was a very close match that the Frenchman might feel he should have won. With the home crowd behind him this week, I am backing Pouille to have a little more success at the big moments and get the better of Lopez who has already beaten one Frenchman this week.

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They had very similar numbers when they played last week with Lopez having a bit more joy on the ace front, and Pouille having a couple more double faults which seemed to make all the difference. It did look like Pouille had built up the momentum to win that match and had the break points in the final set to do so before coming up just short.

It would be wrong of me to suddenly think Pouille shouldn’t be the favourite in this match because of that close loss that could easily have gone his way. He has played with some real quality this season, but it will be important for him to try and take away the big Lopez first serve from what he has learned last week and having the crowd really behind him can give Pouille the motivation to dig in a little deeper.

I won’t be surprised if we need three sets to separate the players again, but this time I think Pouille comes away with a 46, 63, 64 win.

Tennis Handicap Betting Pick: Lucas Pouille -1.5 Games @ 1.80 with Bet365

 

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga v Albert Ramos-Vinolas

Losing the Final in Vienna means Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will miss out on a place at the World Tour Finals unless a number of withdrawals are made by players above him in the Race for London. Injuries have affected his 2016 season, but Tsonga can get the better of Albert Ramos-Vinolas again having beaten the Spaniard in the Quarter Final in Vienna last week.

Tsonga dominated the first set, but then began to struggle on serve with too many double faults giving Ramos-Vinolas confidence to try and get back into the match. At home Tsonga can play with a loud crowd behind him which is when he really thrives as a player and I think that can help him record a similar margin of victory as he had against him last week.

The problem for Ramos-Vinolas is that Tsonga should be able to get a very solid swing on the return against his first and second serve. There will be times the lefty serve is an issue for Tsonga whose weakest wing is the backhand, but I think the Frenchman can dominate the rallies with his first strike style and put Tsonga in a strong position in the match.

It would be easier for Tsonga if he is serving better than he was in Vienna, but even a similar level should help him come through with a 63, 64 win and a place in the Third Round.

 

Tennis Handicap Betting Pick: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga -4.5 Games @ 1.93 with Pinnacle

 

ATP Tennis Handicap Betting Preview 02/11

Novak Djokovic

 

Gilles Muller v Novak Djokovic

For the first time since his surprising Semi Final loss in Shanghai, Novak Djokovic is back on the court as he looks to hold onto the World Number 1 Ranking he has had for a couple of years. Djokovic has to reach the Final at least this week if Andy Murray continues his fine form and does the same, but he could have hoped for an easier road into this tournament than the dangerous Gilles Muller.

It has been a solid few weeks for Muller who has reached the Semi Final in Basel and a Quarter Final in Tokyo, but he will need to be at his very best to challenge Djokovic. Two of their three previous matches have been very competitive and I do have to say that this is a Djokovic who might not be at his very best.

He has been speaking about the improvement he is feeling and it looks like Djokovic has been motivated by the fact that Murray has gotten so close to taking the World Number 1 spot. However there are some concerns about the Djokovic serve and whether it is going to be a shot that he can rely upon at big moments and Muller can hit out at times and make a few winners off the return which can help him force a break or two.

Muller has been serving well enough to challenge Djokovic with that shot too and this looks a lot of games to be given to the big serving lefty in this one. At odds against I have to back the games and look for Muller to keep this one competitive even if I am not sure he can actually complete the upset against what sounds like a newly motivated Djokovic.

 

Tennis Handicap Betting Pick: Gilles Muller +4.5 Games @ 1.92 with Eastbridge Sports Betting Brokerage

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @DavAulak.

 

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