Saturday at the BNP Paribas Masters 2012 saw home hopes extinguished and ensured we have one of the most unlikely Masters finals in recent memory today. Jerzy Janowicz completed his transition from qualifier to Masters 1000 finalist by defeating Gilles Simon in straight sets and in the process scuppered my overs bet, but David Ferrer redressed the balance later on.
Ferrer, after a tough first set in which he had to save numerous break points, took down France’s last hope Michael Llodra in the predicted straight sets and made us a small profit on the day.
Janowicz and Ferrer will contest Sunday’s final. The Spaniard, who is in his fourth Masters 1000 final today, will be desperate to win what surely represents the best chance he is ever likely to get. For Janowicz, who is set to end the year inside the top 30 in the world after this week’s achievements, there will be other opportunities down the line and I can see the world number five just having a bit too much experience today.
The Pole will still be running on adrenaline, but the nerves, if they are ever going to kick in, will probably show themselves today. Ferrer is a beast when he senses any weakness from the opposite side of the net.
Ferrer should still be relatively fresh after playing just the nine sets so far this week compared to the qualifier Janowicz, who has taken part in 16 already – on top of the fact that he was suffering from some sort of cold earlier in the week.
I would imagine that Ferrer’s priorities have changed during the course of the week, from wanting to keep something in reserve for the World Tour Finals and Davis Cup Final to giving his all to grab a Masters 1000 title and I can’t see him letting this one go today.
That’s not to say that Janowicz doesn’t have a shot at this; he will be well backed at around 2.90 today. But I think the value play is to side with Jerzy taking a set but eventually falling just short.
Ferrer has won 13 matches in a row against players of 6’4” in height and over, in which matches the 5’9” warrior has relished the challenge of taking down the big guy – today could well be another such occasion.
The world number five stands behind only Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic on first service return points won on hard courts in 2012 and that will most likely be a big factor today, as much will depend on Janowicz’s ability to grab free points on serve. He won’t be able to outrally Ferrer from the back of the court very often and his use of the drop shot may be key against such a willing runner.
There are several tempting betting options in this one, but the value for me seems to lie with the 4.0 about Ferrer winning 2-1, as I can see Janowicz producing one virtually unplayable set and that should be his lot.
Back Ferrer to beat Janowicz 2-1 at 4.0