We’ve reached the championship matches in both of the ATP 250 tournaments on week 39 of the 2013 ATP World Tour in Thailand and Malaysia.
The action begins at 9am UK time on Sunday, with the final in Bangkok between Tomas Berdych and Milos Raonic, while they start at 9.30am in Kuala Lumpur where Julien Benneteau faces Joao Sousa.
It’s been another decent week for ATP betting and it was one winner from my two wagers on Saturday when Berdych won the second set over Gilles Simon in under 9.5 games, while Sousa foiled my wager on Jurgen Melzer.
Tomas Berdych vs Milos Raonic
This match will be just the second meeting between this pair following Raonic’s three set success over the Czech in Cincy last season. The Canadian took advantage of Richard Gasquet’s inability to finish off their semi final and the Frenchman was broken out of nowhere two sets running to hand Raonic a match he never really looked like winning.
Berdych meanwhile had to struggle to beat a determined Simon, who battled well despite a back problem that saw him perch on a table at changeovers. Serve will be key here and Milos will need to post some excellent numbers to ward off Berdych, who has been steadily improving throughout this tournament. It really is time that the Czech started to hoover up a few of these sort of events at this stage of his career, as his trophy haul has been very average indeed for a player ranked as highly as he is.
I think that is what we’ll see this morning from Tomas, who has the better return game and although Milos has improved since linking up with Ivan Ljubicic it still may not be good enough yet and the minus 1.5 game handicap on Berdych at 1.85 looks good here.
Joao Sousa vs Julien Benneteau
Surely it’s written in the stars that this time, finally, Benneteau will land his maiden ATP World Tour singles title at the age of 31. Benny has lost all eight of his tour level finals so far, including here last year to Juan Monaco.
Having been impressive against Stan Wawrinka in the semi finals on Saturday Benny will set foot onto court at 9.30am UK time trying to avoid emulating fellow Frenchman Cedric Pioline, who lost his first nine finals. Standing in his way is Sousa, who took advantage of an inconsistent Melzer in a distinctly average match on Saturday that went the distance meaning that Sousa has now played 28 sets since the US Open, while Benny has chalked up just the eight. Melzer was unable to take advantage of the fitness gap, but I would expect the Frenchman to do what the Austrian couldn’t here.
Whatever happens here it will be a record, with either Sousa becoming the first Portuguese to land an ATP Tour singles title, or Benny will win his first ever crown. The price of 1.37 about Benneteau looks short considering his record in finals and although I think he’ll win it, that price is not for me. I prefer the 3.60 about a 2-1 win for Benny, as there will surely be a few chokes along the way here.
Back Berdych –1.5 games to beat Raonic at 1.85.
Back Benneteau to beat Sousa 2-1 at 3.60.