It’s quarter-final night at the BNP Paribas Masters and below is a preview of the two evening games from the French capital.
Tomas Berdych to beat David Ferrer @ 10/11
David Ferrer has reached the final of his last two events and has won seven of his 10 meetings with Tomas Berdych but there is enough evidence to suggest that the Czech number one will emerge victorious.
Despite surviving until Sunday in both Stockholm and Valencia the dogged Spaniard has failed to match the standards he set earlier in the campaign when reaching multiple finals at premium events including the French Open. And defeats to veteran Mikhail Youzhny and the over-hyped Grigor Dimitrov in both of those title matches are better barometers of his present level than facile successes earlier on in those tournaments, largely against players winding down for the year and looking forward to a break.
Conversely, 2005 champion Tomas Berdych looked very much back to the form that took him deep into some top-rung events earlier in the year, with an impressive straight sets victory over his former bogey-man Milos Raonic. The Canadian hadn’t lost a set to the world number seven before their third round clash and on the lightning indoor surface, arguably the most effective server in the game looked a genuine contender in the French capital.
With his position in the end-of-season championships secure for a fourth successive year, Berdych has again shown his top-10 consistency throughout the year and he took advantage of all that experience when coming through a pivotal tie-break in the first set against Raonic, eventually prevailing 15-13.
After saving multiple set points the 28-year-old then went onto break the Canadian in the very next game in the second set and comfortably maintained his distance to secure a fifth quarter-final spot at the Masters 1000 event.
It’s unsurprising to see the Spaniard priced as joint-favourite but the 31-year-old has not beaten a player of Berdych’s quality since overcoming an out-of-sorts Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at Roland Garros.
Berdych has to be the selection at 10/11 to expose Ferrer’s true level at the moment and go into the London showpiece with increasing momentum.
Rafael Nadal v Richard Gasquet – Nadal to win 1st set 7-5 @ 11/1
Earlier in the evening, world number one Rafael Nadal is correctly priced at 1/7 to inflict his 12th consecutive defeat upon the in-form Richard Gasquet, but value can be found in predicting how the Pearl of Manacor will win triumph in the opening set.
The server-friendly courts in Paris have left the Spaniard struggling to dominate in the early stages of both his matches this week and odds of 11/1 he wins the first set 7-5 – as he has did against both Marcel Granollers and Jerzy Janowicz – makes appeal in a market understandably dominated by various methods of Nadal victory.
No-one on the tour is more dangerous at the latter stages where opponents are desperate to reach a tie-break to have a better chance of claiming a set.
Odds of 4/9 that Nadal wins in straight sets for the seventh time in a row is of obvious interest but small investments on the 27-year-old breaking his opponent where it hurts most looks more sensible.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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