ATP World Tour Finals: Federer to strike early against Djokovic

Day two of the ATP World Tour Finals features an exact repeat of the semi-finals in Bercy last week, as Rafa Nadal faces David Ferrer and Novak Djokovic takes on Roger Federer.

Last night’s wager on Juan Martin Del Potro fell a single game short of covering the handicap, as a sluggish start from Delpo, combined with some of Richard Gasquet’s best tennis led to the Frenchman taking the first set.

I said yesterday that he could well sneak one and all would still have been fine had Del Potro taken his two set points to win the second set 6-2, which in the end proved costly.


Roger Federer vs Novak Djokovic (BET and STREAM LIVE on Unibet TV from 20.05 GMT)

We have no requirement to delve too far back in the form books for this one after Djokovic won in three against the Swiss maestro in Paris on Saturday and the match odds are much the same again.

Djokovic will start as the 1.30 favourite again and once more Roger’s chances will depend largely upon winning in two sets, as it seems wholly improbable that the Swiss would grind out a win in three given his variances in level this year.

If Federer can keep up the sort of start he made in Bercy then he has a shot and Fed backers would perhaps side with the 2-0 win at a tempting 6.00 rather than the 3.40 in the match odds.

The Swiss maestro has at least one good set in him against top class opposition, but he has tended to dip and has strayed from the game plan in recent matches too, ending up trying to win his way, which isn’t always the best policy.

An unknown quantity in this match as opposed to last week’s match is the physical condition of Djokovic, who admitted to a few aches and pains at the end of Bercy and it could take him a little while to get going here tonight.

Conditions here are in theory the same as Bercy or perhaps a touch slower, so the only change from a few days ago is that Djokovic may be in worse shape physically, but how much only he and his team really know.

In all of their previous six indoor hard court meetings Djokovic has never won the opening set in fewer than 10 games – and he’s only won the opening set at all on two occasions, which leads me to the first set options on Federer.

The over 9.5 total games looks good again, as it did last week, while the 2.80 for Federer to win the opener looks like the best wager for bigger priced backers and here at the O2 where the Swiss enjoys conditions that looks better than the 1.30 outright on Novak.

It’s hard to see Federer coming from behind to beat Djokovic, as he is yet to do it against Nole. Infact, in his entire career, Federer has only come back from a set deficit seven times in best of three matches against the current top-10 ranked players.

He’s only achieved that feat twice since 2009 and they were against Stan Wawrinka and Tomas Berdych and he’s only ever done it once on indoor hard, which was against Andy Murray here four years ago.

Fed’s best chance is early and if he comes out serving well and moving well he has a good chance of grabbing that opener at a nice price.


Best Bet

Back Federer to win set one vs Djokovic at 2.80