There is a feeling that fans and punters were eased into the ATP World Tour Finals, as the four biggest names in the draw have been held back to take part on day two of the action, in repeats of the recent semi-finals of the warm-up event in Paris.
The all-Spanish encounter between Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer is on court first in Group A, with Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer clashing for the 32nd time in their careers in the evening encounter from Group B.
The big question here is how much Ferrer has left in the tank after six successive weeks on tour? He has been by far the busiest player in the build-up to London and this is bound to take its toll physically eventually.
If he remains in top shape, Ferrer is a big price at 10/3 for victory, as he has won three on the bounce against Nadal on either indoor or outdoor hard courts, including in Paris.
The speed of the court in London should additionally suit Ferrer and the 1/1 that he triumphs with a 3.5-game handicap holds some appeal, while 7/1 is more than a fair price that he comes through 2-0, given he hasn’t dropped a set in his last three triumphs over his compatriot.
Nadal is 2/9 to emerge victorious and not only will he have revenge on his mind, but he will know a strong performance in London will ensure he ends 2013 on top of the ATP rankings.
The fact he has slowed down on court is the reason offered by Djokovic for Federer’s indifferent season and this comment is sure to spice up this clash further.
Djokovic beat the Swiss maestro in three sets in Paris, which is their only meeting of 2013 thus far, and the Serb is 2/7 to triumph again.
However, Federer is the most supported player in London and a six-time tournament winner. Given he is able to be more aggressive when attacking the tramlines indoors, enabling him to also keep rallies shorter, he may be overpriced for victory at 11/4.
Three of the last four indoor showdowns between the pair have surpassed the 22.5-game handicap line and at 10/11, the best bet looks to be that this match follows suit.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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