The final of the 2013 BNP Paribas Masters takes place on Sunday between defending champion David Ferrer and world number two Novak Djokovic.
Yesterday’s best bet on Ferrer winning the first set with a 2.5 game start against Rafa Nadal was a very comfortable winner, as the former stunned his nemesis Rafa in straight sets to make the Bercy final for the second straight year.
It was a quite stunning upset and I dare say that not many punters were holding a 2-0 Ferrer ticket in that match, but at least my bet was successful, as was my suggestion of over 9.5 games in set one of Djokovic vs Roger Federer in the other semi-final.
David Ferrer vs Novak Djokovic
The final begins at around 2pm UK time and this sixteenth meeting between the pair sees Djokovic start as a 1.15 favourite.
The Serb has won their last four matches and leads the overall head-to-heads by 10 to 5 currently, but Ferrer won their only meeting on indoor hard, which was at the World Tour Finals two years ago.
Their only meeting this season was back in January when Djokovic was a really comfortable winner in the semi-finals of the Australian Open and he’s a warm order again today at just a touch bigger than he was that day in Melbourne.
The world number two will need to start better than he did against Federer on Saturday, if he’s to justify those odds. Nole was nervy and below par early on in that match before turning things around impressively.
Ferrer was outstanding against Nadal and for me that was easily his best performance of the year. It does show just how much David wants to defend those ranking points from last year’s title run here.
Whether he can bring that sort of form to the table again and whether it will be enough to beat an equally fired up Novak is debatable, as it was Ferrer’s first win over a top-five ranked opponent since beating Andy Murray at the French Open last year.
One needs to go back to the World Tour Finals of 2011 to find the last time that the Spaniard managed to beat two top-five opponents back-to-back and if I recall correctly there were certainly injury/fatigue issues surrounding one or both of Djokovic and Andy Murray that particular week. Novak also lost to Janko Tipsarevic as well that week, which tells a tale.
It proves that it can be done though and I wouldn’t dismiss Ferrer’s chances totally in this match, which leads me to the over 20.5 total games at 1.95.
Back over 20.5 total games at 1.95
Follow Sean Calvert's tennis betting tips every day