It was a perfect end to a testing week in Valencia and Basel on Sunday, as both of my best bets were successful at good prices. First up in Basel, Juan Martin Del Potro brought us a quick win at 2.0 by taking the first set against Roger Federer. The big Argentine went on to edge the contest in a final set breaker, but our work was done early in that one.
Then I managed to successfully call an Alexandr Dolgopolov match the right way and we were rewarded with a 2.65 winner when the Ukrainian pushed local favourite David Ferrer all the way to a deciding set.
The ATP Tour moves on to Paris for the final tournament of the main season, with just the ATP World Tour Finals to follow next week for the elite players. The BNP Paribas Masters is a final chance this year for someone to land a Masters 1000 title.
Roger Federer has already withdrawn and it’s certainly questionable as to how much of an effort the other top players will make this week ahead of London. The courts here will be quite slow, as they were last year, and if anything perhaps a touch slower - with tournament organisers keen to replicate conditions at the O2.
Last year there were a lot of odds-on losers in the first round in Bercy, with only three of 16 winning favourites, but the prices were close and the biggest priced outsider that won was around 2.5. These are tough matches to call.
One favourite who should win today is Andreas Seppi, who takes on Martin Klizan at 10am UK time today and is expected to continue his good recent indoor form. The Italian reached the final in Metz and followed that up by winning the title in Moscow, so a bit of a dip last week in Basel - where he lost to Benoit Paire in the first round - was perhaps expected. Rested up, he should be too solid for Klizan today.
Klizan has been in good touch of late, winning in very slow indoor conditions in St Petersburg, but he’s done nothing since then and has had a weary, end of season look about him in his most recent matches.
One outsider that I fancy taking a chance on today at 2.28 is Jerzy Janowicz, who takes on another weary-looking individual in Philipp Kohlschreiber today. Janowicz is at a career high of 64 in the world rankings and has been impressive in qualifying here in Paris, dismissing Dmitry Tursunov and Florent Serra for the loss of just 12 games in total.
The big Pole has the power to hit through these slow courts and with Kohlschreiber’s confidence bound to be low after a poor run since the US Open, it’s worth backing Janowicz to end the German’s season here.
Back Seppi to beat Klizan at 1.60
Back Janowicz to beat Kohlschreiber at 2.28