The ATP Dubai sees Novak Djokovic (10/11) makes his first appearance since winning the Australian Open, and Roger Federer (10/3) also make his first appearance since the season’s first grand-slam event.
The pair have won the last six renewals of the ATP Dubai between them (Djokovic 4 and Federer 2), and it’s odds-on that one of them will add another title to their burgeoning CVs.
Andy Murray (5/1) and Tomas Berdych (12/1) are the other top-players in contention, and you can have 100/1 about any other player
In the Australian Open, Djokovic took 5-sets to see off Stan Wawrinka in the semi-final, whilst he momentarily looked down and out against Andy Murray in the final as he looked to be suffering with cramp, yet rallied to take the third and fourth sets with ease. Meanwhile, Murray looked good up until the final, overcoming Berdych in the semi-finals.
Federer is perhaps the most interesting player to take from Australia though, as he made an early exit after looking as though he suffered an unreported finger injury, and should arrive here fresh and hungry to make amends for that unexpected defeat.
If the four big seeds reach the semi-final, as expected, Djokovic should have little trouble in beating Berdych whom he leads 17-2 in their head-to-heads, whilst Federer may be feeling more buoyant than Murray; who may still be feeling the effects of his Australian Open final defeat.
Not only did Federer win his opening event of the season, he’s also won 2 of his last 4 hard-court matches against Djokovic, including in the semi-final of the 2014 renewal of this event.
The 3-set format of the event also suits his ageing legs better than tournaments were matches are decided over the best of 5-sets, as should the smaller field which means he has to play less matches to win the title.
Roger Federer 5 points each-way @ 10/3 (½ odds 1-2 Boylesports)
Story of Last Week
Rafael Nadal fell at the semi-final stage after being asked to play two matches within 20-hours, but at least David Ferrer managed to secure us a one point profit on the week by reaching the final, as advised, at 6/5.