ATP Tennis Betting: Wawrinka and Nadal set for another close encounter

Day two at the O2 Arena in London sees two French Open champions go head-to-head in the round robin stage of the 2015 ATP World Tour Finals.

Current French Open champ Stan Wawrinka faces nine-times champion Rafa Nadal in the Ilie Nastase Group on Monday night at around 20:00 UK time.

And we started the week in London with a comfortable win for my best bet of the day on Monday when Tomas Berdych and Roger Federer hit fewer, much fewer, than 13.5 total aces in their opening round robin match and those on the alternatives of 'no tie break' and Berdych +1.5 aces would also have collected.

We were aided rather by a dismal serving display from Berdcyh of only 44 percent of first serves in, which there is no real excuse for in indoor conditions, but the slow conditions mean a serve has to be almost perfect to be a clean ace here.

Stanislas Wawrinka vs Rafael Nadal

This pair met in very similar conditions on indoor hard only two weeks ago in Paris at the BNP Paribas Masters and it’s a match that Wawrinka won, but really Nadal will be kicking himself for losing it.

Nadal served for the opening set and had three set points in each of the two sets, but ended up losing the match 6-7, 6-7, which was also the score when the pair met the only other time on indoor hard.

That was here at the O2 Arena in London at the 2013 World Tour Finals and Nadal was the one that walked away with the win on that occasion, but he looks a touch short today.

I did think that the 1.56 or thereabouts was fair enough on Nadal in Bercy – and he should have won that match – but given the manner of his defeat it does show how fragile Rafa is at closing out matches against the big boys at the moment.

The former world number one now has a 4-10 record in 2015 against top-10 ranked opponents and because he lost that match against Wawrinka his confidence will have been shaken.

Wawrinka has now won three of their last four matches against each other and even after a very late finish at around 01:15 in Paris against Nadal he came out and took a set off Novak Djokovic the next day.

Indeed, Stan is the only player to have taken a set from Djokovic in 15 matches since the US Open and I’d have had the betting for this one at not far off an even money match.

Nadal has eased in the market a fair bit since the odds first came out, with the Spaniard now a 1.65 chance from the opening 1.55, and perhaps there is slight value on Wawrinka after the Bercy result.

But I prefer some of the side markets here, with the over 10.5 games in set one at 2.70 appearing to be a decent choice, given how very close their two matches in these conditions have been.

Four tie breaks in four sets and tight ones too, with the scores reading 10-8; 9-7; 7-5 and 8-6 in those breakers, and looking back at their last seven matches in all competitions and all surfaces five of them have gone to breakers.

So, over 10.5 and over 12.5 games appeal in set one and for the same reason the over 0.5 tie breaks at odds-against has to be another wager for consideration on Monday.

This match is certainly one of the most important round robin matches, with the winner in a great position to qualify, and it should be one of the more competitive affairs of the opening days in London.

Best Bet

Value bet: Back over 10.5 games in set one at 2.70