The final of the 2014 BNP Paribas Open is set for Sunday at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.
And the fans paying at the door will be hoping for more of a show that the one-sided semi-final that cost me by bet yesterday when Alex Dolgopolov was a virtual no-show.
I said yesterday that much would depend on Dolgo’s serve and that was one of many aspects of his play that let him down in what was a very disappointing showing from the Ukrainian.
The final is set for around 21.00 UK time on Sunday and follows the WTA final, which starts at 19.00.
Roger Federer 2.55 vs Novak Djokovic 1.50 - BET and STREAM live on Unibet TV from 21.05
If I’d been writing this preview last season I would certainly have been heavily favouring the Serb, but his price today of around 1.50 is the biggest he’s been against Federer since the final of the O2 in London at the end of 2012.
Reasons for this are numerous, with Federer’s remarkable return to form coupled with Novak’s former air of certainty rather disintegrating of late with no tournament wins this season and a rather choky few showings in 2014.
The Serb certainly blinked with the finish line in sight last night when he was twice broken by Isner in two attempts to serve out a straight sets win and in the end he was rather fortunate that Isner’s body let him down in the decider.
Prior to that there was his strange capitulation against Federer in Dubai and a 9-7 final set loss to Stan Wawrinka in Melbourne. I’d put some of this down to the interference of the hapless Boris Becker, but the German isn’t even here this week.
Novak certainly looks a rather shaky favourite at around 1.50 today, with a couple of factors seeming to favour the Swiss in this one.
The wind, which I said yesterday shouldn’t affect Dolgo, clearly did and Federer is certainly the less likely of the two today to be affected by it as he has shown numerous times in his career. With regard to Novak one can’t help but recall him being outfoxed by Andy Murray in windy conditions in the US Open final of 2012.
The second factor is fatigue and both Novak and Isner looked cooked last night, so Federer will be glad of another straight sets win and he spent only an hour on court yesterday compared to the almost two-and-a-half of today’s opponent.
There’s little to choose in the match-up, with their career series reading 17-15 and I have to go with the value today and side with the underdog at 2.55.
Back Federer to beat Djokovic at 2.55