The championship matches in our final ATP 250 events of the 2014 season are set for Sunday in Moscow, Vienna and Stockholm, with plenty at stake today.
Andy Murray and David Ferrer go head-to-head for ranking points in the race to London at the Erste Bank Open, while a similar scenario exists between Tomas Berdych and Grigor Dimitrov at the Stockholm Open.
Marin Cilic has already qualified for London now, but he is in the final of the Kremlin Cup against Roberto Bautista-Agut.
Those on my best bet of yesterday would have collected when Murray and Viktor Troicki went past the set one overs in their Vienna semi, while any that took a chance on the 3.75 about over 10.5 games in set one of Berdych/Bachinger in Sweden would have landed a very nice payout.
Andy Murray vs David Ferrer
I’m not seeing much from Murray this week that should make him a 1.30 favourite in what should be a keenly fought contest against an opponent who beat him just 10 days ago.
Murray was okay against Troicki yesterday, but the Serb offered little and doesn’t have the tools to dismantle the Scot’s game unless he’s having an inspired spell.
For me Murray still looks laboured and nowhere near the form of a couple of years ago and Ferrer should make this more competitive than a price of 3.40 suggests.
The layers have this at roughly the same price as when Ferrer beat Murray in Shanghai, so clearly they see that as a fluke, which can’t be the case given Murray’s 2-8 record against top-10 opponents in 2014.
Ferrer beat Murray the last time they met indoors and has won three of the last five against the Brit, with the only two that Murray won being real struggles.
One of those wins was at Wimbledon, where Murray won in a match that involved three tie breaks and the other was a final set tie break win in Miami and interestingly the winner of set one has gone on to lose the match in their last three meetings.
They’ll both be very keen to win this with London race points at stake, but I can’t be having Murray at 1.30 even if Ferrer did have a tough one against Philipp Kohlschreiber yesterday.
The German is a tricky opponent and Ferrer is highly unlikely to be tired after that match knowing his immense physical condition.
Ferrer has won the first set in four of their last five meetings, so the 2.95 about it happening again has to be a decent price, as does the 3.40 on the outright win and the 6.75 about 2-1 to Ferrer also looks very tempting.
Over in Stockholm I would side with the underdog again, with Dimitrov defending his title and Berdych not to be trusted to win titles.
The Czech still has only nine titles to his name in 10 years and has a 9-15 record in finals, with his last two being almost a double bagel loss to Novak Djokovic and a defeat after winning the opener 6-0 against Carlos Berlocq.
Dimitrov has won three of his five against Berdych and at odds-against he looks the bet there.
In Moscow I’m not sure I’d be too keen on the 1.38 on Cilic either, as he takes on Roberto Bautista-Agut on a painfully slow surface.
That one could be a real grind for the US Open champion and the 2-1 to Cilic appeals there at 3.70, as does the over 22.5 total games.
Back Ferrer to beat Murray 2-1 at 6.75