The final of the BNP Paribas Masters 2015 is set for Sunday in Paris, with Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic meeting for the 30th time at the Palais Omnisports in Bercy.
The number one and two ranked stars in the 'race for London' will meet again after Djokovic took down Stan Wawrinka in three sets, finishing with a bagel, while Murray defeated David Ferrer in two.
We were rather unfortunate with the set one overs yesterday in that we were a game away and that Djokovic served first against a Wawrinka who looked like Saturday night’s coffee had kept him up most of the night.
Novak Djokovic vs Andy Murray
This 30th career meeting between the Brit and Serb is an intriguing affair, as it’s being played so late in the season that Murray’s tactical approach could possibly be a little different to usual.
We’ve endured countless matches between this pair that have featured aimless, lengthy rallies ended by an unforced error from one or the other and on this horribly slow surface in Paris more of the same is expected.
If there were a bet available on more unforced errors than winners I’d be all over that, but unless Murray decides that all-out attack is the only way to win this match without a three-hour marathon then we’re looking at a dour afternoon’s viewing.
The pair have only met three times on indoor hard, with Djokovic winning all three, and you have to wonder how far Murray is prepared to go here, with the O2 still to come before that all-important Davis Cup Final in 19 days time.
Djokovic’s record on indoor hard speaks for itself, with the Serb currently on a run of 34 matches unbeaten in all competitions since losing to Sam Querrey here in 2012.
But at 1.28 it’s not that appealing a prospect and one wager that I much prefer is the under 9.5 aces at 1.87.
On this pudding of a surface it’s only been the John Isners and Ivo Karlovic’s of this world that can get the ball through the court and with two great returners of serve (at least in terms of getting a racquet on the ball) playing today surely aces will be few.
Even on a fast surface like Shanghai they hit seven aces in total in their match there last month and when they met here in Bercy last year there were six in total.
Murray and David Ferrer hit five (all Murray) yesterday and I can’t see this match going long enough (in terms of number of games) for the pair to hit 10 aces or more in these conditions.
Djokovic -3.5 games is another decent wager, with all of Djokovic’s last six wins over Murray in best-of-three play having come by at least four games.
Value bet: Back under 9.5 aces at 1.87