The finals of week seven’s three tournaments on the 2014 ATP World Tour are set to play on Sunday, with Tomas Berdych, David Ferrer and Kei Nishikori all in action.
Saturday was one to forget for my bets, with Ernests Gulbis struggling to replicate his form of earlier in the week in a surprisingly one-sided loss to Berdych, while I chose the wrong option of my two considered wagers in the Marin Cilic/Igor Sijsling clash when the minus 3.5 games landed rather than the 2-0.
Our first final of the day takes place in Rotterdam at around 2pm UK time in the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament.
Tomas Berdych 1.45 vs Marin Cilic 2.70 - BET and STREAM live on Unibet TV from 14.05
The outcome of this seventh career meeting between this pair of tall, powerful hitters may rest upon the fitness of Cilic, who is now into his 10th match in the space of a fortnight.
There were certainly a few signs of fatigue in Marin’s win over Igor Sijsling yesterday in which he served poorly and framed a fair few forehands before settling down to business presumably after the adrenaline had kicked in.
Cilic won their most recent meeting on the grass of Queen’s last summer and if he were fit then he’d stand a fine chance, but I don’t think he is and I think the best play here is to take Berdych minus 2.5 games at 1.73.
Berdych hasn’t won a final in straight sets since Tokyo back in 2008 and if this goes three again he’ll surely be far stronger in the decider and the wager covers the 2-0 pretty much if Cilic is below par and falls in lacklustre fashion in two.
David Ferrer 1.34 vs Fabio Fognini 3.10 - BET and STREAM live on Unibet TV from 17.05
The second final of the day at around 5pm UK time this afternoon features the flamboyant and seemingly indefatigable Italian Fognini take a shot at the master of stamina in Ferrer.
Fogna has now played a lung busting 27 sets in 16 days compared to Ferrer’s six in the same time frame and surely that will be the telling factor here after Fognini had to come back from a set and 5-4 down against Tommy Robredo yesterday to win in three.
Ferrer meanwhile was rolling past Nico Almagro, who long since gave up on the notion of beating Ferrer and lost for the 15th straight time to his compatriot last night. Common sense would dictate that the 2-0 Ferrer at 1.92 would be the likely outcome here.
This is Fognini though – the man who reached three finals in three weeks last summer, winning two of them. He’d played 29 sets in three weeks before that Umag final that he lost heavily to Robredo, and Ferrer is the last man you want to be meeting in these circumstances.
Kei Nishikori 1.46 vs Ivo Karlovic 2.65 - BET and STREAM live on Unibet TV from 21.05
In Memphis at around 9pm UK time tonight Kei Nishikori will aim to defend an ATP World Tour title successfully for the first time in his career, and he must overcome the sizable form of Dr Ivo to do it.
Kei won’t hold great memories of the giant Croat after receiving a beating from him on home soil in Davis Cup two years ago and then retiring against him 12 months ago at Delray Beach.
For all of his talent – and it is considerable – Nishikori has won just three tour level titles and much of that can be put down to his incredibly brittle body, with many of his matches decided purely on his physical state.
Ivo had an easy time of it last night against Yen Hsun Lu who reportedly damaged his neck ahead of his semi-final with Karlovic and retired after only seven games, so the big man should be in good shape for this.
Nishikori’s fitness is always questionable, but he is a good returner and he does enjoy conditions indoors where he’s beaten the likes of Novak Djokovic, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Berdych, but his ability to deal with the huge servers is still up for debate.
Never having faced John Isner, never having beaten Karlovic in two meetings and having only played Milos Raonic once, it has to be a bit of a gamble that Kei will win this at a price like 1.46 and I prefer other bets here.
The Karlovic +1.5 sets looks solid at around 1.60, while the overs will have its supporters as well.
Back Berdych –2.5 games to beat Cilic at 1.73
Back Karlovic +1.5 sets to beat Nishikori at 1.60