Tennis - This Week's Preview
Last week’s ATP 500 action at Basel and Vienna proved to be a good week for the veterans again with 36 year old Federer coming from a set down to defeat Del Potro (a mere 30 years old!) in the final and he extended his winning record at Basel to eight titles. At Vienna unseeded Frenchman Pouille, who has experienced an injury affected season overall, bounced back to form by winning the biggest title of his career when he defeated compatriot and eighth seed Tsonga in the final in straight sets which takes his career title tally to four in total.
On to this week’s ATP action and it’s the final ATP and Masters Series Tournament of the season at Paris. Former world number one and defending champion Andy Murray does not return to defend his title due to injury. Top seed and new world number one Nadal will attempt to win his first Paris Masters title, which will move him to within touching distance of securing the year end world number one ranking as Federer has withdrawn this week and will need to win the Year End Finals in London and hope Nadal fails to qualify from the group stage, which is unlikely. However, history is not on Nadal’s side this week as the top seed has won only two of the last ten titles at Paris (last 2015 Djokovic) and they have never been a losing finalist in this period.
Seeded players in general have a strong record at Paris and a player seeded no higher than four has won eight of the last ten titles (last 2016 Murray) and a player seeded no higher than 15 has been a losing finalist eight times during this period (last 2015 Murray). Unseeded players have not performed well at Paris over the last decade winning only one title (2007 Nalbandian) and they were a losing finalist twice during this period (last 2016 Isner). This information points to a player seeded no higher than four winning this year’s title and a player seeded no higher than 15 being the most likely losing finalist.
From a betting perspective seventh seed Goffin (30/1) is in good form and worth siding with this week. So are the unseeded and in-form Schwartzman (80/1) along with the unseeded Verdasco (150/1) after his impressive run at Stockholm recently where he came within a whisker of beating Del Potro.