ATP Tennis Picks: Shanghai Rolex Masters Final Federer vs. Simon

Nikki Adams

Saturday, October 11, 2014 7:10 PM GMT

The Shanghai Rolex Masters is set to crown a brand new champion on Sunday as Roger Federer and Gilles Simon collide in the final. Join us as we preview this clash and serve up our free tennis picks.

Roger Federer Hot Favourite
Roger Federer is matched as the hot -400 favourite to win the Shanghai Masters at the expense of Gilles Simon. Federer, who is bidding for his 23rd ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown, reaches the Shanghai final for the second time in his career. The last time he reached the final was in 2010 when he lost to Andy Murray.

Roger Federer, who is playing in his first event since his surprising defeat to Marin Cilic at the US Open semis, has played himself into form over the course of the tournament. He got off to a slow start against Leonardo Mayer in the R32, going the distance in a highly entertaining three-set marathon 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (7). That early scare behind him, Federer’s game steadily improved. He went on to beat Bautista Agut in straight sets in the R16 and then dismissed Julien Benneteau in the quarterfinals 7-6 (4), 6-0. Arguably, his best victory came in the semis when he overcame World No.1 Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-4.
 

Gilles Simon Value Underdog
Gilles Simon has been punching above his weight class to reach the Shanghai Rolex Masters final. Indeed, few tennis bettors would have pencilled in the Frenchman in the finals of the bracket, so unassuming a figure he cuts in the draw.

Gilles Simon got no favours from the draw as his path to the final was littered with obstacles. He was forced to come-from-behind against Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 3-6, 6-0, 6-1 in the first round. Then he overcame World No.4 Stanislas Wawrinka in the R32, once again coming from behind 5-7, 7-5, 6-4. In the R16, he beat qualifier Malek Jaziri 6-2, 6-3, his only reprieve throughout the tournament. In the quarterfinals, he faced pre-tournament dark horse Tomas Berdych, a player that many tennis pundits and experts believed was the smart outside tennis pick to win the tournament. Simon, however, put paid on that notion as he overcame the Czech in another three set marathon 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-0. In the semis, Simon beat Feliciano Lopez in straight sets 6-2, 7-6(1).
 

Tennis Betting Tips And Picks
Needless to say, this isn’t the final matchup many tennis bettors expected when the tournament got underway. The glitterati of the ATP descending on Shanghai this week, tennis bettors naturally flocked to the various high-profile matchups available by the draw, those tried-tested and true players that typically have success at this level. Few had Federer vs. Simon in the final we’d wager. In any event, that’s what it’s come down to: an unlikely matchup but not as straightforward as the tennis betting market would have you believe.

Federer is matched as the prohibitive favourite to win outright at -400 while Simon is matched as the +300 underdog. These odds reflect the contrasting fortunes of this pair at this level: Federer has 22 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles while Simon has none. The closest Simon came to winning a Masters title was in Madrid (when it was a fall hard court event) six years ago.

Head-to-head, Federer leads 4-2 over Simon, albeit one match win was earned through a retirement by Simon in 2011 at the Sony Ericsson Open. Of the five remaining clashes, only one was a convincing, straight-set victory by Federer: 6-1, 6-2 at Rome. The other four saw the pair go the distance.

In 2008, they played three-set marathons at the Rogers Cup and Tennis Masters Cup, which Gilles Simon won to take the 2-0 head-to-head lead over Federer. However, in 2011, Federer levelled the head-to-head when he won the five-set marathon at the Australian Open 6-2, 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-3 and got the win in Miami. In 2013, Federer won both clashes over Simon in Rome (mentioned above) and then a five-set marathon at the French Open 6-1, 4-6, 2-6, 6-2, 6-3.

Winning in tennis is mostly about matchups, not about where a player ranks or how many titles he has. Federer may be a multiple champion at this level and the higher-ranked player, but he’s a good matchup for Simon.

So those tennis bettors looking to bank on the upset on their tennis picks could do no worse than back Simon at +300 to win outright. It’s not an unthinkable outcome. It could prove the savvy tennis pick even, particularly since Federer has had more trouble than ever before in his career closing out high-stake matches.

By that same token, at -300 tennis odds Federer might be a bit too pricey given that wavering confidence. Tennis bettors looking to back Federer would be better served taking Federer to win in three sets at +275 tennis odds. Simon has taken just about every player to three sets in this tournament. Plus, historically, this pair has fought tooth-and-nail for the win. It’s the likeliest scenario. Of course, if you’re backing the upset then Simon to win in straight sets is trading at a tempting +500 while a 2-1 win is going for +600 at Bet365 at the moment.

Free Tennis Picks: Federer to win in three sets at +275