Gael Monfils has been in excellent form during the second half of this season in particular and there is no reason to suggest why this will not continue in the all-important opening game of the Davis Cup against Jarko Tipsarevic.
Monfils has won all three of his singles rubbers in this year’s Davis Cup so far and he is 1/2 to beatTipsarevic and hand France the early initiative against Serbia.
The Frenchman narrowly leads the head-to-head record between the pair 3-2, but perhaps importantly came out on top in their only meeting so far this year.
Monfils beat the Serbian in the third round of the US Open and since going out in the quarter finals of the Grand Slam, he has won in Montpellier and lost in finals in both Tokyo and Paris to Rafael Nadal and Robin Soderling respectively.
Meanwhile, Tipsarevic also has to contend with the added pressure of performing in front of his own fans and the fact that he has featured little in the singles so far in Serbia’s route to the final.
He is 6/4 to beat Monfils and follow up on his decisive semi-final win over the Czech Republic’s Radek Stepanek.
Although Monfils should shade the game, there is every chance that a long game will ensue as Tipsarevic is buoyed on by the home support.
Therefore, the 9/4 offered that the match goes to five sets may prove a big price.
Alternatively, with the clash unlikely to be settled in straight sets, it is 11/8 that the game ends in four sets, as was the case at the US Open earlier this year.
The first set could be crucial and Monfils can be backed at 1/1 to win the first set and then go on to win the match.
A £10 bet on Tipsarevic losing the first set but recovering to win the match could return £50. New Ladbrokes customers can sign up here for a free £10 bet.