French Open implications
Overwhelming French Open futures’ market support is divided between Rafael Nadal – the indisputable Clay Court King – and Novak Djokovic – the Monte Carlo Masters defending champion and, arguably, the only player in today’s game that many believe is likeliest to dethrone Nadal in Paris. It follows therefore this pair should lead the outright betting market at Monte Carlo this week and should be singled out by tennis bettors as the best tennis picks of the lot. Of course, there are many outsiders with clay court prowess that potentially could do some damage here as well. It remains to be seen however whether these big price underdogs could go all the way to the coveted title.
Rafael Nadal tops favourite list
Rafael Nadal leads the charge at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters and for good reason. The Spaniard has compiled a staggering 48-2 record, which includes winning an incredible eight titles in a row (2005-2012). Last year, he was denied a ninth straight tile by an in-form Djokovic who beat him in the title match 6-2, 7-6 (1).
Nadal, who is tipped as the -150 favourite to win the title, has a good draw overall with David Ferrer (+2500) flanking his corner, a player and compatriot he practically owns 21-5 lifetime and 17-1 on clay (his lone defeat their first meeting on clay in 2004). Before the pair would collide in the quarterfinals, potential stumbling blocks loom such as up and comer Grigor Dimitrov and Andreas Seppi. Although both ring in as outsiders in tennis futures and each would have to play lights out tennis to defeat either Spaniard.
Djokovic defending champion
Novak Djokovic won his first ever Monty Masters last season and he did so convincingly in straight sets. He comes into this year’s instalment as the second favourite to win outright at +175 futures betting odds. His draw is flanked by Tomas Berdych, a dangerous floater on paper but a player that flatters to deceive all too often and, thus, he’s matched at rather large +3300 tennis odds to win the coveted title. It would be quite the statement if Berdych would pull off the upset in the quarterfinals. Within their quarter sits in-form Alexandre Dolgopolov, who shot to notoriety with a victory over Rafael Nadal at Indian Wells last month. And Gael Monfils, who can never be overlooked.
Roger Federer is making his first appearance at Monty since 2011 after he accepted a late wild card into the event. Seeded fourth Federer is in play for the title according to sportsbooks but, truth be told, the tournament hasn’t been kind to the Swiss. He’s never won the event. The closest he came to the title was as a runner-up, three times to Nadal from 2006-2008.
Federer falls into the same half as Djokovic and his quarter is flanked by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the player he upended Federer at the French Open quarters last year. Indeed, this is going to be a tricky section for Federer to negotiate but given his recent form he’s definitely a potential bet worth considering.
The Australian Open champion has been struggling on form since winning his first major. He’s gone 4-2 in ATP Tour play since Melbourne and 2-1 in Davis Cup play. Yet the Swiss is the third seed and therefore a viable threat in the draw. He falls into the same half as Nadal but before he can potentially face off against the Spaniard he must navigate a successful run through his quarter that includes Milos Raonic, Tommy Robredo, Julien Benneteau and Marin Cilic. Of this quartet, Raonic looms the least dangerous on clay despite being the highest seed simply because the Canadian isn’t exactly a gazelle on the red stuff. Robredo, Benneteau or Cilic present trickier obstacles and will prove difficult if Wawrinka isn’t 100% on form.
Tennis Betting Verdict: The draw is set up for some intriguing clashes if all goes to plan – a Nadal vs. Wawrinka semi-final in the top half of the draw and a Djokovic vs. Federer semi-final in the bottom half of the draw. All four present good options in outright tennis betting markets for your tennis picks.
Nadal is the obvious choice naturally but some might find his price tag too short at -150 tennis odds. Djokovic is the best alternative for your tennis picks at +175 to win it all if you are looking for a value. That said he could have all to do against Federer in the semis – the pair is 1-1 head-to-head on the season. Wawrinka is the least likely of this lot to come through in our opinion as his form has been questionable since his coming out party in Melbourne.Tennis Free Picks: Nadal and Federer in the final; Nadal to win outright at -150