ATP Mutua Madrid Open Betting: Long shot Berdych the value alternative to Rafa and Nole

5May 2013

ATP Masters 1000


The clay court swing continues, as the ATP World Tour moves on to Spain for the Masters 1000 Mutua Madrid Open, where tennis expert Sean Calvert selects the best  bets..


The infamous blue clay of last year has been dispensed with and it's back to the red dirt for 2013, but it should still play a little bit quicker than the majority of  clay events due to the altitude of the host city.


It is a former indoor hard court event and has only been played on clay since 2009 when Roger Federer won, as he did last year on the blue clay and in between times  Rafa Nadal won it in 2010 and Novak Djokovic a year later.


Rafa starts as marginal favourite at around 2.10 this year, ahead of Djokovic who trades at around the 2.5 and then we have Federer at 15.0,  Andy Murray at 17.0 and David Ferrer at around 29.0.


The draw sees Djokovic paired with Murray, Tomas Berdych and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in what is a handy section of the draw for the Serb and for me he really should be  favourite ahead of Nadal in these conditions.


Nole may have a tricky opening match though against Grigor Dimitrov who we saw give Rafa a real test on the clay in Monte-Carlo a few weeks ago and prior to that the  young Bulgarian acquitted himself really well against both Djokovic and Murray and had he held his nerve the result could have been much closer in both matches.


An early defeat for Djokovic would obviously benefit others in the top half, which as well those already mentioned includes Stan Wawrinka, Janko Tipsarevic, Milos  Raonic, Gilles Simon and Juan Monaco, plus the likes of Alexandr Dolgopolov, Jerzy Janowicz, Kevin Anderson, Fernando Verdasco and Martin Klizan.


But it's surely last year's finalist Berdych who would be the most likely to step up to the plate and 67.0 seems like it could be a handy price for back-to- lay value hunters seeing an alternative wager to the obvious favourites Nadal and Djokovic.


The Berdman hasn't impressed so far this clay swing, with losses to Fabio Fognini and Tommy Robredo, but in conditions that will suit him a bit more and with ranking  points to defend we should see an improvement from Tomas this week.


Murray and Tsonga have a lot of improving to do to even figure in the shake-up here and I don't see any value in backing either of them. Murray is a shocking price  considering his clay court form and he'll do well to reach the last four.


The bottom half looks tough, with Nadal, Federer, Ferrer, Nico Almagro, Tommy Haas, and Richard Gasquet set to battle it out and Federer might fancy his chances of  going close to retaining his Madrid crown after being given a pretty decent section of the draw.


His opponents look very beatable, with arguably only Gasquet capable of defeating the Swiss before the semi final stage.


Rafa's section looks harder to negotiate, with Ferrer the obvious stumbling block and Almagro and Haas also looking to do damage in that section along with Robredo,  Fognini and Andreas Seppi.


This is probably Nadal's least favourite event of the clay swing, with conditions not perfect for him and at not far off even money I don't see any sort of value in  backing Rafa this week.


Djokovic will be popular at around 2.5, but if you can get around 67.0 for Berdych that is much more of a palatable price and is likely to be a  decent back-to-lay investment, as he looks the most likely semi finalist from that quarter of the draw. If anything happens to Rafa and Nole before the semi final  stage then so much the better, but at that price a profit seems a distinct possibility anyway.


Recommended Bet

Back-to-lay Berdych at 67.0



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Keywords: ATP Mutua Madrid Open, Berdych, Rafa, Nole

Source: Betfair

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