Wawrinka and Nadal in box seats to reach semis in London
Half of the semi-final line-up will be known at the ATP World Tour Finals after the final round-robin matches are completed from Group A in London, with Rafael Nadal and Stanislas Wawrinka seemingly in the best positions to go on in the tournament.
A victory for Wawrinka over David Ferrer would be a big boost to his prospects, while Tomas Berdych will have to end a long-lasting dismal record against Nadal to progress, should Wawrinka win.
The crux of the matter here is that back-to-back straight-set defeats at the ATP World Tour Finals means that Ferrer is already unable to reach the semi-finals in London and so it is hard to see what motivation he has for playing at the desired intensity against Wawrinka.
Wawrinka will be highly likely to make the last four with a victory and has the added positive that he has taken at least a set in his last four meetings with Ferrer.
Given what’s on the line for both players, 4/9 is not the worst price on a Wawrinka victory, while it is 1/1 that the Swiss player triumphs 2-0.
Interestingly, the last 10 meetings between the players has only seen one tie-break and no second set go on for longer than 10 games.
With Ferrer potentially liable to fold tamely if dropping the opening set, there could be some mileage in the 11/8 that the second set features less than 9.5 games and the 5/6 that there is no tie-break in the match.
Wawrinka may have played out two tie-breaks with Nadal in his last match, but Ferrer hasn’t had one in his last 19 matches.
The head-to-head record between this pair doesn’t make fond reading for Berdych, who has lost 16 on the bounce against the world number one.
He may be spurred on here though, as a 2-0 victory over Nadal will not only see Berdych through to the semi finals, but also as the group winner.
Berdych is 10/3 to beat Nadal and 7/1 to do so 2-0. If he is to win, he must serve at the same level he did against Ferrer in the last game, as opposed to when facing Wawrinka in his first Group A showdown in London, when he was not aggressive enough on court.
Nadal is clearly the most likely winner though at 2/9, but it could be hard graft, as it was in the double tie-break with Wawrinka.
Berdych has consistently taken at least one set beyond 10 games in his meetings with Nadal on surfaces other than clay and so the Berdych victory with a 3.5-game handicap appeals at 1/1, alongside the 8/11 that there are over 21.5 games in the match.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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