Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is rightly just favourite to win his ATP World Tour Finals semi final with Tomas Berdych, but the best bet on offer could easily prove the 6/5 that the showdown requires three sets to find a winner.
Both players have reached the last four of the season-ending event for the first time and have arguably exceeded themselves simply making it beyond the group stages.
Tsonga had to beat Rafael Nadal to progress from Group A, while Berdych fought through three three-set classics to top Group B, although he did lose one of these to Novak Djokovic.
With Berdych seemingly taking a liking to treating the crowd and playing three sets in London and his meeting with Tsonga in Beijing last month also going to a deciding set, logic suggests that this meeting will be no different.
However, with Berdych not even benefitting from a full day’s rest from his latest epic battle with David Ferrer to seal his qualification before meeting Tsonga, the Frenchman has to be fancied for victory.
Not only has Tsonga enjoyed an extra day’s rest, he will also have revenge on his mind for losing the recent tense Beijing encounter with Berdych.
Meanwhile, with Roger Federer the likely opponent for the winner in the final, Tsonga may also be buoyed on by his defeat to the Swiss star in the group stages earlier in London.
Tsonga is 4/7 to beat Berdych and a decent 3/1 to triumph in three sets.
But it would be foolish to write off Berdych, especially given Tsonga’s attacking style.
On the whole, all of Berdych’s group games in London have been against players who prefer long rallies, Tsonga is completely the opposite and will go for a large number of winners.
This lack of running and movement around the court should be preferred by a tiring Berdych and he is 11/8 in the tennis odds to make the final.