The tennis season is coming to a close but there is still some top-rung men’s action at the BNP Paribas Masters this week, and we have a 13/2 treble to invest in below.
Youzhny to beat Anderson @ 4/7
Veteran swinger Mikhail Youzhny secured his tenth title last Sunday when sweeping aside three-time champion David Ferrer in his home town of Valencia.
It was a performance befitting the dominance shown by the 31-year-old during the week on the Spanish coast and despite the quick turnaround he looks certain to beat an out-of-form Kevin Anderson.
It’s been a testing time for the South African with the big server only managing to win consecutive games once since reaching the final in Atlanta at the beginning of the US hard court season.
Three straight defeats in Shanghai, Stockholm and last week in Valencia will have only further dented Anderson’s already fragile confidence, and the marauding Russian should have few problems in extending his head-to-head record to 3-0.
Mahut to beat Dolgopolov @ 5/6
World number 56 Nicolas Mahut has never been past the second round despite this being his 10th appearance in the capital, but he looks the better value to at least match his best finish at the expense of the unreliable Alexsandr Dogolpolov.
Mahut has made the right move in recent weeks by avoiding the bigger events in a confidence-restoring mission on the challenger circuit and was rewarded with a title in Rennes and a final finish in Mouilleron-Le-Captif.
This will have reminded the 31-year-old that he still has much to offer on the ATP Tour.
Conversely, his opponent is again having to reassess his role on the circuit after another season of underachievement.
A semi-final run in Winston Salem is all the Ukrainian can show for his efforts this season and convincing defeats to the limited Mikhail Kukushkin and Grigor Dimitrov in his last three games suggest his mind is once again not where it should be.
On their best tennis, Dolgopolov would have too much for Mahut, but he is nowhere near that level at the moment and the Frenchman at least has some wind in his sails.
Pospisil to beat Monfils @ 13/8
Gael Monfils reached consecutive finals here in 2009 and 2010 but there are plenty of reasons to oppose the local favourite from reaching the second round.
The world number 31 has produced some excellent tennis since returning from a knee injury earlier this season but there are definite signs over the past two weeks that the enigmatic right-hander is looking forward to an overdue break.
An inexplicable straight sets defeat to Jaroslav Popspil, ranked 202, in Vienna was followed by a more comprehendable loss to eventual finalist David Ferrer in Valencia.
However, the manner of the performance suggested the Frenchman is in 2014 already.
Before Austria, Monfils reached the quarter-finals in Shanghai, beating Vaszek Pospisil 7-5, 7-6, but whereas Monfils has struggled since then, the Canadian Davis Cup star produced his best result of an increasingly break-through campaign in reaching the semi-finals in Basle, going down 7-5 in a decider against five-time champion Roger Federer.
It understandably became too much to ask towards the end of his game against the Swiss maestro but it was further evidence that the 23-year-old is one to respect for the rest of the year and beyond.
In the meantime, odds of 13/8 that he can reverse the recent Shanghai result appeal considering their recent preparation and contrasting mindsets.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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