King of Clay: Nadal is the Best in Monte Carlo, Again

Rafael Nadal vs Kei Nishikori (6-3, 6-2)

Rafael Nadal winning the Monte-Carlo Masters is a bit of an old cliché now. After all, he has already won the tournament 11 times—an open era record.

Pre-match betting odds never really doubted Nadal, and the Spanish maestro showed live betting fans the reason for that as he made easy work of Kei Nishikori who is trying to get back to the upper echelon of the men’s ranking.

Nishikori appeared ready to stage a sports betting upset after jumping to a 2-1 lead in the first set, thanks to a beautiful passing shot. However, that’s all the challenge that he could muster as he surrendered the next four games and gifted Nadal the opener.

Nadal didn’t give his Japanese opponent any chance of a comeback and won five straight games to start the second set. Nishikori tried to salvage his survival hopes and was able to save a set point with a nice volley at the net. Nonetheless, the King of Clay proved to be too strong on the red surface, eventually closing out the match with a forceful backhand winner.

It took Nadal one hour and 34 minutes to finish Nishikori, with post-match statistics showing that the 31-year-old won both the service and return games. Both players had just one service ace, but Nadal dominated all other areas en route to a straight-set victory.

The win gave Nadal his 31st Masters title (and 76th overall), allowing him to move one ahead of fellow “Big 4” member Novak Djokovic for career Masters titles. He is also the first man ever to win the same tournament 11 times, having won his first championship at the Principality of Monaco in 2005.

“Eleven titles here, it’s unbelievable. It’s something difficult to imagine,” Nadal said. “The history with this tournament is unique.”

Moreover, the result ensured Nadal the top ranking, ahead of Roger Federer who decided to sit out the clay-court season again.

Former World no.4 Nishikori, meanwhile, is still trying to recapture his form after a four-month absence due to a wrist injury. However, he can take some encouragement from the fact that he beat Tomas Berdych and Marin Cilic on his way to this stage.

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Will Nishikori Make a Stunning Upset?

Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters Men’s Singles Final

Rafael Nadal vs Kei Nishikori

Fans of Kei Nishikori were definitely thrilled to see him back at the top of the pro tour, making big strides in the tournament. He reminded sports betting fans why he is still worthy of a punt despite his absence in the US Open and the Australian Open.

He will be facing a tough challenge in the final against Rafael Nadal, the overwhelming favourite among betting websites. Betting odds of -1.50 @ 1.24 means that many expect Rafael Nadal to sweep through the Japanese star in straight sets. Meanwhile, Nishikori got a boost from Asian handicap odds, giving him 3.50 for a +1.50 safety net.

Their prior match history justifies why the odds as skewed the way they are. Nishikori won only two of the ten games they have played in the tour. His last victory over Nadal was in the 2016 Olympics where the Spaniard forced a final set before Nishikori was able to seal the game.

Moreover, Nadal’s performance so far this season has been nothing short of impeccable. The World No1 settled all of his Monte Carlo matches in swift fashion. Grigor Dimitrov’s performance in the first set of the semi-final was the biggest semblance of a resistance seen from Nadal’s opponents.

While Nadal has every right to feel confident, he insisted on working on his forehand winners ahead of this match. His physical and mental condition will be in top form when they meet, and he will remind everyone why he is the King of Clay.

However, not all hope is lost for Nishikori. Dimitrov provided a bit of a template to show how he can win games. As long as he remains steadfast and maximizes his weapons, he has a shot of at least getting a set out of Nadal. He survived scares from Tomas Berdych, Andreas Seppi, Marin Cilic and Alexander Zverev. While Nadal is a notch above these men, he can definitely come back from whatever ditch the Spaniard tries to leave him in.

It is highly likely to see Nadal hoisting the trophy for a record 11th time, but Nishikori won’t likely let that happen easily. We will definitely see exciting tennis being played at Monaco.

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Watch Out for the Best of Men’s Tennis at Monte Carlo!

Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters

Less than two weeks after the Sunshine Double, the top online betting stars of men’s tennis now head to Monte Carlo for the first Masters 1000 event of the clay-court season.

While some of the ATP players got the clay season going in Houston earlier last week, the true test is in the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters where betting odds are expected to be tight thanks to its long tradition of champions.

Indeed, it is where the best of the best play and go all out in hopes of winning the title and cementing their status as live betting favourites ahead of the clay grand slam at Roland Garros.

Rafael Nadal, the usual suspect, is the favourite to win the tournament. He won it ten times already, and few would undoubtedly bet against the man who is hailed as the “King of Clay.”

Furthermore, no one has ever won a Masters tournament more than ten times, so that will give Rafa the added motivation to bring home his 11th and make history.

Of course, the competition is not only about Nadal. After all, Novak Djokovic is also participating and could well make life hard for the defending champion as he tries to make a comeback into the ATP scene.

It should be remembered as well that Djokovic ended Rafa’s historic eight-win title streak in the tournament in 2013 before beating him once again in the semis in 2015 en route to the title.

Roger Federer won’t play in Monaco after deciding to skip the entire clay campaign, but that doesn’t mean it will lack the star power that we saw in the hard courts earlier this year.

Marin Cilic, Alexander Zverev and Grigor Dimitrov round out the top four seeds, and all three have a shot at tainting Nadal’s clay dominance. Cilic had a hot start to the ATP tour after reaching the Australian Open final, while Zverev seems to be returning to form following his finals run in Miami.

Dimitrov, meanwhile, is determined to break his slump after an up-and-down start to the campaign. Not to mention that he’ll look to avoid another early exit following his second-round departure in the event last year.

Other top players such as David Goffin, Lucas Pouille, Albert Ramos Viñolas and Diego Schwartzman are also capable of springing a surprise or two considering that all four of them reached the last eight of the 2017 version of the affair.

The same goes for the ever-entertaining Kei Nishikori and #NextGen star Denis Shapovalov, though there are still concerns about their form.

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The Greatest of Greats are Back to Delight!

Australian Open Men’s Singles QF

Every tennis and sports betting fan knows how dominant Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have been, so it’s undoubtedly a great live betting treat that we’ll be able to witness them in another grand slam quarter-finals…and maybe beyond.
The road to Australian Open glory, however, won’t be easy for them as Grigor Dimitrov, Kyle Edmund Marin Cilic, Tomas Berdych, Tennys Sandgren and Hyeon Chung all look to sway the betting odds and put an end to their domination.

Grigor Dimitrov vs Kyle Edmund
Britain’s Kyle Edmund served his way to his first-ever grand slam quarterfinal, beating Italy’s Andrea Seppi in a four-set thriller that saw him hit 25 aces.
Whether he can keep up the momentum (and the production) remains to be seen. Nonetheless, Grigor Dimitrov poses a tough break for the 23-year-old star considering that the Bulgarian all-rounder knows how to beat him—as seen in their recent meeting in Brisbane that ended with Dimitrov winning.
I expect Dimitrov’s experience to make the difference here, so choosing him on Asian Handicap -1.50 @ 1.65 is the best punt to make.

Rafael Nadal vs Marin Cilic
Marin Cilic has only dropped two sets in the competition so far, and his confidence is evident when he declared that there’s no one he can’t beat if he’s on top of his game.
The 29-year-old’s monster serving and forehand will make life hard for Rafael Nadal, who was limited to just one match in three months before the Aussie Open. Even so, the Spanish legend is adjusting well in his return to tour and should be in higher spirits with his 5-1 record against the Croatian big hitter.
This one should be close, but Cilic’s current form makes him a tempting bet on +1.50 @ 2.51.

Tomas Berdych vs Roger Federer
After taking down Marton Fucsovics in just two hours and one minute, Roger Federer looks ready for another return to the finals in Melbourne.
Tomas Berdych can tell that he is up for a tough task, admitting that he doesn’t know the “key to success” against the new and improved Federer. Also, it sure doesn’t help that he hasn’t beaten the Swiss maestro in their last eight meetings, which include a third-round encounter in this tournament last year.

Tennys Sandgren vs Hyeon Chung
No one would have predicted these two to be in the quarter-finals; but here they are now, writing the best feel-good stories of the Melbourne slam.
Both players will enter the match with elevated confidence following their surprise victories; however, it looks like Hyeon Chung has made himself the favourite in this game after pulling out the most Novak-esque performance against Djokovic himself!
Oh, the Korean phenom also met Tennys Sandgren in Auckland earlier this month, during which he beat the American in three sets.

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A Smashing Start: Sports Betting Fun in the Australian Open

The new tennis season is upon us, and that only means nothing but fantastic fun and great betting odds!

The draws have been announced, and you may have found the perfect player to cheer and bet online for, but there’s never a bad time to talk about the coming tournament and the possible upsets that may occur.

Men’s Singles

Age-old rivals start the year on top as Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are the top two seeds of the tournament. Bookies also give their full support for the two tennis stars: outright odds for Federer are 2.25 while Nadal gets a decent 3.50.

Novak Djokovic is still far from his dominant self as he makes his return to the professional circuit. While I still have my doubts over his condition, bookies slap a generous 4.50 on him. Grigor Dimitrov should be in top form after winning the ATP Finals in London, thus his 8.00 rating.

Alexander Zverev (8.50) and local favourite Nick Kyrgios (13.00) are expected to make deep runs in the tournament. Stanislas Wawrinka (15.00) should be able to shake off his poor form and bounce back. Milos Raonic (29.00), Dominic Thiem (26.00), Marin Cilic (29.00) and Jack Sock (67.00) could also make strong runs in the competition.

Fans can expect to see lightning-fast action from these men as they try to start the season on the right note.

Women’s Singles

Defending champion Serena Williams won’t be playing in Melbourne, so the women’s title is open for the rest of the field.

Simona Halep is the top seed in the bracket, but the bookies favour someone else. Elina Svitolina gets 4.50 outright due to her stunning form going into the tournament. She won the Brisbane International last week and outplayed Halep (5.00) in the WTA Final.

Angelique Kerber may be struggling to find her form, but her powerful playing style is still looked at by many to thrive in open court situations. Her 5.00 outright odds is a testament to her skill.

Gabriñe Muguruza (5.00) and her explosive shots are expected to make opponents suffer, and WTA Finals winner Caroline Wozniacki (9.00) is expected to carry over the momentum she got last year.

Maria Sharapova would like to erase the memories of her doping scandal post-Melbourne 2016 with a title. Fans can expect the Russian to scrap it out with the tough draw she finds herself in.

While these ladies will give Australians a show, it’s important to not forget the underdogs. Johanna Konta (15.00), Sloane Stephens (23.00), Jelena Ostapenko  (21.00) and Coco Vandeweghe (21.00) will try to usurp the hegemony by making their presence known. Venus Williams (23.00) will also try to keep the trophy within the family for another year.

It will be a big rumble for the women’s title, and I can’t wait to see how this plays out.

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It’s Time for the Battle of the Best!

Nitto ATP Finals Singles

The season-ending tournament to decide the best among the elite of men’s tennis is set to begin, and it’s certainly a must-watch for sports betting fans as Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer headline one of the biggest live betting event of this campaign.

Of course, it’s easy to forget about the rest of the playing field. However, make no mistake; the other qualifiers are more than capable of surprising the tennis online gambling community.

Group Pete Sampras

Rafael Nadal is yet to win the ATP Finals, but as second favourite to win the tournament at odds of 4.00, he has a lot of work to do to break that curse.

The World No.1 holds a 17-3 overall record against his groupmates, but this stage is a fitness test for him after withdrawing from the recent Paris Masters due to injury.

Dominic Thiem (23.00), Grigor Dimitrov (11.00) and David Goffin (21.00) are expected to fight for the second place in the group, but if they can exploit Nadal’s recent poor form, they can undoubtedly pull off a surprise.

Dimitrov, in particular, has a legitimate chance of making it to the next round. He remains healthy and has been on a good run lately, reaching the finals in Stockholm and the semis in Beijing.

It remains to be seen how much Thiem has left on the tank and whether Goffin can play through with his injured knee, but the two will certainly give it their all not only to make a deep run in the competition but also to try and win it all.

Group Boris Becker

Six-time ATP Finals winner Roger Federer is the favourite again to win in London at odds of 1.65, and for a good reason. The Fed Express is well-oiled and well-rested after opting to forego the Paris Masters to give his body more time to recover for this fight.

Moreover, the World No.2 is on a 10-match winning streak and is looking unstoppable on indoor hard courts, where he is 5-0 this year.

If there’s any threat for Federer’s domination here, it’s Alexander Zverev. After all, the 20-year-old—at 7.75 to win at O2—holds a 2-2 record against King Rog and is the only player in the group who has defeated him this season.

Marin Cilic (13.00) won’t fancy his chances given his record against his peers here, but he will hope his experience can help him contend for a place in the semis at least. The same goes for surprise finalist Jack Sock (23.00), who will look to use his new-found calm and composure to shock the world, and himself, once again.

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Which Players Deserve Your Free Bets?

Rolex Paris Masters QF

The 2017 ATP World Tour is almost at its curtain call, but that doesn’t mean that Asian handicap betting will also slow down! In fact, I predict a lot of fun and winnings in store for us punters!

This piece is the perfect place to look for betting tips for the Paris Masters. All of the last eight lads have the potential to win it all; it’s just a matter of skill, form, and a sprinkle of luck that will differentiate the winner from the rest.

Juan Martin Del Potro vs John Isner

The first match of the evening would be a clash between powerful serves and an outstanding baseline play.

Isner has been nothing short of impressive in Paris, overcoming strong opposition in Grigor Dimitrov and Diego Schwartzman to reach the quarter-finals. However, Del Potro has won most of his hard-court matches against the American. He also cruised through Robin Haase and Joao Sousa.

I don’t believe the Argentine will trip at this stage of the competition, so Del Potro -1.50 @ 2.06 is an easy punt to make.

Rafael Nadal vs Filip Krajinovic

Nadal will end the year as the world’s best tennis player and will want to compound that accomplishment with another win in France.

Krajinovic had an impressive run to reach this stage of the tournament. He has showcased his strong mental game and good form on his way to the Last 8. However, I don’t think he can overcome the Spaniard’s outstanding play at the moment.

This should be a win for Nadal, but I think the Serbian should be able to take a set. Put your money on Krajinovic +1.50 @ 3.08.

 Marin Cilic vs Julien Benneteau

Benneteau made an impressive run to reach the Paris Masters, taking down impressive players such as David Goffin and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the process.

However, I think Cilic will easily cruise to the semi-finals. The 35-year-old Benneteau has managed to take Cilic to full sets in their three matches in the late 2000s, but the then-20-year-old managed to keep him at bay. I don’t see the script changing now, of all times.

Benneteau should be able to take a set at the very least, so place your punts on Benneteau +1.50 @ 2.09.

Fernando Verdasco vs Jack Sock

Spain and the United States have great odds of having their players reaching the final, but a win from either one would boost their chances even more.

Sock’s age and energy from the baseline could help him get games from Verdasco, but he has to watch out for the Spaniard’s forehand top spins. If he manages to contain his elder opponent’s baseline attacks, then he’ll more likely make it through.

I feel that this game would also go the distance, so place your money on Sock +1.50 @ 1.44.

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Did You Bet Online for a Great Federer Win in Shanghai?

Rafael Nadal vs Roger Federer (4-6, 3-6)

If there’s one thing live betting fans learned in the Shanghai Masters final, it’s to never underestimate Roger Federer even if he’s showing signs of vulnerability.

Betting odds were stacked against Federer ahead of his 38th match with arch-nemesis Rafael Nadal. However, he didn’t let it stop him from showing the Spaniard who the best tennis player is this 2017.

Playing with the motivation of reducing the gap for the year-end World No.1, Federer stepped up on the big stage and rallied to beat Nadal in straight sets amid the torrential rain that drenched the Qi Zhong Tennis Center.

More amazingly, Federer did it against an opponent brimming with confidence after winning 16 straight matches and dropping only a single set in the whole tournament.

The 30-year-old Nadal never really had the chance to dictate the pace of the match as Federer dominated right from the start, jumping to a 4-2 lead in the first set. The Swiss Maestro controlled the game and piled pressure on his great rival with a series of accurate backhands and forehands.

Not to mention that Federer’s service game was also on point, winning 83 percent of his first serve points to close out the opening frame.

Nadal saw some hope come the second as he managed to stay close with the 36-year-old at 2-2. However, it didn’t last long after Federer claimed the break at 3-2 with a beautiful drop volley winner that forced Nadal to misfire.

It was all Federer from there on, punishing Nadal for not changing tactics to counter his game plan centred on his forehand-to-backhand game.

With the win, Federer claimed his 27th Masters 1000—his second in the tournament—and stopped Nadal from breaking the record with the most titles in the category. He also stays in the hunt for the World No.1 and has the chance to get closer to it at Basel and Paris where 1500 points are at stake.

“I’m not thinking about it. I just try to be healthy now. I’ll go back to Switzerland tomorrow with my team and decide what I’m going to play, whether I’ll go to Basel and Paris. I’m focused on London and winning there. If I play like this, maybe, who knows I’ll get close to it (the No 1 spot),” Federer said after the match

Moreover, the victory marks Federer’s fifth straight win over Nadal, having already beaten him four times this 2017—in the Australian Open, Indian Wells and Miami, and now Shanghai.

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Watch Out for Another Epic Clash of Legends!

Shanghai Rolex Masters Finals

Rafael Nadal vs Roger Federer

Now, it’s down to these two online betting favourites…again. And it’s only a fitting matchup to end the biggest live betting event of the men’s Asian tour.

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer play their 38th blockbuster, and although they are not fighting for a grand slam, it’s just as thrilling for sports betting fans considering that it will intensify the fight for the year-end No.1.

Not to mention that there’s a piece of history at stake for both icons. A Nadal victory will see him record his 31st Masters 1000 title, while Federer could get his 350th Masters 1000 win and tie Ivan Lendl for the second most Open Era titles.

After beating Marin Cilic in straight sets, Nadal established himself as the favourite entering the Shanghai Masters final. He is also on a 16-match winning streak, which gives fans a glimpse of how confident he will be in this game.

The Spaniard also has the edge when it comes to head-to-head record against his Swiss rival, winning 23 times as compared to Federer’s 14.

King Roger, of course, won’t easily back down. Not after surviving the threat of Juan Martin del Potro.

It’s true that Federer lost his aura of invincibility that we saw at the start of the season. He’s no longer the same untouchable man he was earlier in the year and looks like Father Time is catching up to him.

Despite his recent struggles, however, he has the psychological advantage over Nadal, who he beat in all of their three meetings this year. The last time Nadal defeated Federer was back in 2014.

It should also help Federer that the game will be played on a fast hard court, a surface which favours the 36-year-old than the so-called King of Clay.

Both players remain in good shape and are playing solidly. I think Nadal is currently in better form as compared to Federer, but it’s difficult to write off the latter especially in big games like this one.

I predict this match to go the distance, which makes Federer a good choice on Asian Handicap +1.50 @ 1.47.

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Shanghai’s Top Stars have Their Eyes on the Finals!

Shanghai Rolex Masters SF

This year’s tennis season has been all about the renaissance of two premier live betting favourites, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. Both are over 30 years old—with Federer already 36—but they have proven they still have a lot left to offer the online gambling community.

It’s the same story for the two in the Shanghai Masters, and as they head in the semifinals, they will look to be the last men standing in the main event of the ATP Asian swing.

Rafael Nadal vs Marin Cilic

Betting odds point to Nadal comfortably winning this fight against Croatian heavy hitter Marin Cilic. Not only does the Spaniard has won 15 straight matches since August, but he also holds a 4-1 record against Cilic, winning their only 2017 meeting at Acapulco in straight sets.

The 28-year-old Cilic has the physical tools and power to make life a little hard for Nadal. It should also motivate him that he’s one win away from booking a place in the World Tour Finals. However, Cilic needs to play flawlessly if he is to pull off an upset, something which is unlikely against the in-form World No.1.

Another straight-set victory might be on the books for Rafa, making him a solid choice on Game Handicap -4.50 @ 1.99.

Roger Federer vs Juan Martin del Potro

This match could end up closer than what most fans expect, especially with Juan Martin del Potro beating Federer in their US Open quarterfinal meeting last month.

However, the big concern for Delpo is the injury scare he suffered in the last eight against Viktor Troicki of Serbia. The Argentine star hurt his surgically-repaired left wrist after tumbling during the match, and that accident could prove costly as it might even give Fed a free pass to the finals.

King Rog, on the other hand, is coming off a confidence-boosting victory against Richard Gasquet and should be hard to stop with his complete all-around game.

If healthy, Delpo can give the Swiss Maestro a good run for his money. Nonetheless, with things still uncertain, the smart money is on Federer Game Handicap -4.00 @ 2.01.

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