ATP Tennis Betting: Cagey opening set expected between Djokovic and Murray

The final of the 2015 Coupe Rogers in Montreal is set for Sunday at the Uniprix Stadium between the world’s top two players.

Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray will do battle at around 20:00 UK time tonight for the 28th time for this Masters 1000 title and as ever it’s not an easy one to predict.

Djokovic failed by a single game to cover the handicap against Jeremy Chardy on Saturday in what was the routine win we expected, but needed another break of serve to cover the -4.5 games.

Andy Murray vs Novak Djokovic

What makes this 16th Masters 1000 clash between the two rather difficult to call is the revelation by Djokovic that he is struggling with an arm injury that crops up and hampers him periodically.

“Right now it's not very pleasant to play with,” Djokovic said after the Chardy match on Saturday and as bettors we have to figure out how much, if at all, this will handicap the Serb today.

Djokovic had the trainer out in the Chardy match for the injury that “comes and goes” and how will it be today if Murray pushes the world number one to a decider?

And injury played a significant part in Murray’s participation in the final when the Scot eased past an uncompetitive Kei Nishikori in Saturday’s night match, with the latter clearly struggling physically again.

That’s not to say that Murray wouldn’t have won anyway, all things being equal, as it looks a decent match-up for him against Nishikori, and with that win Murray overtakes Roger Federer to become the world number two.

Djokovic’s injury doubt has made him the biggest price he’s been against Murray at 1.43 since the Australian Open final, but considering that the Serb hasn’t lost to Murray since Wimbledon 2013 it seems a good price.

The world number one has won the last eight between them and Murray’s last win on a hard court against Djokovic was the 2012 US Open final.

In Masters 1000 play Djokovic leads 11-4 and Murray hasn’t won one at this level since Djokovic retired in the Cincy final back in 2011. Could that be an omen for today?

For those who do believe that Djokovic is struggling physically – and he hasn’t been at his best this week – the 2-0 to Murray at around 5.10 is probably the bet rather than a short-looking 2.95 for any win.

The fact that Djokovic played three sets of doubles after the Chardy match suggests to me that the arm can’t be that bad and we have seen the Serb play possum against Murray before when it comes to injuries.

Murray will be aware of the situation and how will that affect the way that he approaches this match?

Fully fit Djokovic does most things a little better than Murray and when he does beat the Scot he tends to do it fairly comfortably, so the -2.5 games at 1.62 appeals the most of the prices on the Serb.

But I’m not sure that I’m inclined to take on a short price in a match like this where there is a doubt over one of the players physically and instead I’m going to side with the set one over 10.5 games at 2.95.

Five of their last eight opening sets have gone to at least 12 games and with Murray in better form these days than most of his last clashes with Djokovic I see no reason why the Scot can’t at least keep it tight again early on.

Best Bet
Value bet: Back over 10.5 games in set one at 2.95