The Rolex Shanghai Masters caps off the Asian Swing and our pundit Derek Bilton is on hand with his tennis betting tips.
All eyes will be on the Qizhong Forest Sports City Arena this week for the Rolex Shanghai Masters, where Novak Djokovic goes off as a red hot favourite after that win in Japan.
Djokovic enjoyed a dream return from injury as he took down the Japan Open title with a 6-3 6-2 win over qualifier John Millman in Tokyo on Sunday. As a result the silky Serb is no bigger than 6/4 across the board to retain the title he won in China last season.
Shanghai caps off the three-week Asian Swing and is played on one of the quickest surfaces on the entire Tour. In recent years this is a tournament that’s been dominated by the ATP’s big guns. Indeed since 2010, only three players — Djokovic (four wins), Andy Murray (three wins) and Roger Federer (two wins) — have lifted the trophy in Shanghai.
Andy Murray won back-to-back matches for the first time in more than 12 months last week at the China Open in Beijing. He’s definitely building some momentum but it would be a seismic shock if he added to the three Shanghai titles he has previously won.
If that stranglehold of the aforementioned trio is going to be broken this year then Daniil Medvedev could be the man to do it. His form since Wimbledon has been quite scary, winning 24 of his 27 matches. However he’s priced up at just 4/1 and that looks short enough given the quality of this field.
Djokovic and Federer, the top two seeds in Shanghai, are each looking to win their second Masters 1000 title of the season. The case for Djokovic, on paper anyway, looks pretty obvious. He’s just won in Japan, that troublesome shoulder looks OK, he’s defending champion and has never lost before the semi-finals here.
However it’s the 4/1 about Federer that catches our eye. The slick conditions clearly suit Federer’s game and he’s had a bit of a break since he was last seen at the Laver Cup. Federer’s game is still as good as anyone’s when he is dialled in and if his energy levels are good this week he looks the obvious alternative to Djokovic.
The second-seeded Swiss is making his eighth appearance at this event, and is our pick at 4/1 to add to those two titles he has already won here at the venerable age of 38.
If you are wanting a bit of value in the other half of the draw to Federer, then it could pay to row in on Stefanos Tsitsipas.
The Greek showed a welcome return to form by reaching the final in Beijing last week and looks the only player capable of giving Djokovic an argument in the first quarter of the Shanghai draw.
This year, Tsitsipas has reached the finals of the Madrid Open, Millennium Estoril Open, Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships and the China Open. That’s not a bad return and if Djokovic’s wonky shoulder is somehow not up to the strain of playing back-to-back week’s, then Tsitsipas could be the man to cash in and looks worthy of an each-way punt.
Bilko’s Banker: Roger Federer to win the Rolex Shanghai Masters at 4/1 (bet365)
Best of the Rest online tennis betting: Stefanos Tsitsipas (each-way) to win the Rolex Shanghai Masters at 18/1 (Paddy Power/Betfair)
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