Tennis betting preview: 5/1 Daniil Medvedev looks like being the man to master Paris
As the Masters series wraps itself up for another season, our tennis betting expert Derek Bilton is back with more tips for how to do quite well for yourself out of it.
Here we go then. The ninth and final ATP Masters 1000 event of the season takes place at the Palais Omnisports in Bercy this week. The Rolex Paris Masters has attracted a stellar field and the main sub-plot surrounds Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, who both have eyes on clinching the year-end No. 1 spot.
Nadal currently has a clear edge with a 1,280-point lead in the ATP Race To London, but with a load of points up for grabs in Paris and a maximum of 1500 available at the forthcoming Nitto ATP Finals, Djokovic’s race is far from run.
The draw has not been kind to Rafa either, with eternal rival Roger Federer in his half and a possible semi-final opponent. Nadal’s career, as impressive as it has been, has unquestionably been played out in Federer’s shadow. The good news for the Mallorca man is that Federer comes here after another win in Basel, so at the venerable age of 38 he may not be at his best physically.
Before any meeting with the Swiss superstar however the Iberian would have to negate potential match-ups with Stan Wawrinka, in-form Italian Matteo Berrettini and defending champion Karen Khachanov. Khachanov has not kicked on this year after that stunning win in 2018 (he went off as a 40/1 shot this time last season) but is a tough opponent for anyone indoors when that serve clicks.
Paris holds special memories for Nadal of course. However his Bercy form is simply night and day compared to his Roland Garros form. Indeed the Paris Masters is one of only two Masters Series still to elude Nadal (Miami being the other) and we are not particularly sweet on his chances this week (he is priced up around the 4/1 mark).
Not only has he not really played much tennis since winning the US Open, citing a wrist problem, he also got married the other week in a lavish ceremony to Maria Francisca Perello. An immense competitor though he is who will want to finish 2019 as top dog, there are too many question marks surrounding him right now and we are happy to leave well alone.
Djokovic is a 7/4 betting jolly and while he will be desperate to win given the ranking situation, he’s not done the business here since 2015. Incidentally that’s the only time (along with Djokovic again in 2014) that a top seed has won this event since Andre Agassi way back in 1999.
He has 32 wins here – more than any active ATP player – and has won the event four times. But his aura of invincibility seems to have slipped and 7/4 looks short enough given the quality in the draw.
Daniil Medvedev again looks interesting at 5/1. The Russian has put in a truly staggering shift since the halfway point of the season and having elected to skip Moscow the other week should be suitably refreshed. He’s also in with a shout of winning a third straight Masters 1000 Series title and if he does the bookies would have to have a major rethink regarding who the betting favourite should be for the first major of 2020 in Melbourne.
His record since Wimbledon is scarcely believable, going 29-3 and making the final of the last six tournaments he played, winning three of them. He’s got a decent draw too with John Isner – who has been useless away from US soil this season – the main danger in his quarter.
Medvedev is our headline pick but in the bottom half we again like the look of Matteo Berrettini at fancy prices.
The Italian is in good form, with runs to the semi-finals of Shanghai and Vienna, and knows he needs wins in Paris to secure that ATP Finals spot in London.
Paris at this stage of the season is notorious for players tanking or putting in less than 100% after a tough season. However Berrettini knows a deep run this week keeps him in the frame for London and he has the serve and the testicular fortitude to give backers a real run for our money at 33/1.
Bilko’s Banker: Daniil Medvedev to win the Paris Masters at 5/1 (Paddy Power)
Best of the Rest: Matteo Berrettini (each-way) to win the Paris Masters at 33/1 (bet365/Paddy Power)
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