Eight games into the inaugural International Tennis Premiership League and the Indian Aces need to win just two of their remaining four games, and take the maximum 2 bonus points from each of their other two remaining games, to be crowned the winners.
And that will only be required if either the UAE Royals or the Manila Mavericks can win their remaining four games.
The UAE Royals are first to get the chance to close the margin on Monday, and are boosted by Novak Djokovic’s decision to play Roger Federer in what will be the most eagerly awaited clash of the League so far. The crowds in Delhi will also be looking forward to Ana Ivanovic vs Caroline Wozniaki, whilst Pete Sampras plays Goran Ivanisevic in the past-masters singles.
Having backed the Indian Aces ante-post at 5/2 and again at 11/8 after the first round of matches, I don’t feel the need to go in again at 11/10 (though I would certainly wouldn’t put-off anyone who hasn’t backed them already having a few quid on).
The individual matches in the Aces vs Royals match look to more value in them though.
Djokovic vs Federer
The world’s best and second best players meet for the seventh time in 2014, and the score currently stands at 3-3 (though Federer withdrew before the start of last month’s ATP Final). Perhaps more relevantly, with this being a one set match, Federer has won the first set in each of their last four completed matches.
Djokovic has probably also been spending some well deserved time with his new daughter in the last few weeks, whilst Federer has been keeping his eye in; leading Switzerland to Davis Cup victory, and winning his three IPTL matches 6-0, 6-1, 6-4.
The selling point for Djokovic, apart from his proven talent and younger legs, is that he’s unbeaten indoors for two years. However, the 5-4 for a Federer victory looks the value.
1 point Federer @ 5/4
Ivanovic vs Wozniaki
Ana Ivanovic has won both of their 2014 clashes and five of their seven clashes in total. She’s also been in brilliant form during the tournament; winning six of her eight singles matches. Meanwhile, Wozniaki has won only one of her three single matches, though at least it was her last one.
I’d priced Ivanovic up at 4/6 – and 5/6 looks good value.
1 point Ivanovic @ 5/6
Sampras vs Ivanisevic
The two 43-year-old ex-Wimbledon Champions haven’t played a competitive match against each other since 1999, whilst Sampras has won 12 of their 18 matches, including the last five they played against each other.
However Sampras (8/11), who lost 6-2 to Patrick Rafter in his first game, looks to have been priced up on form from 15 years ago. Meanwhile, Ivanisevic has beaten Rafter twice so far in the league and can defeat old rival Sampras here at 11/10.
Ivanisevic @ 11/10
It also looks a good idea to combine Ivanovic and Ivanisevic in a double at around 11/4.
1 point Ivanovic and Ivanisevic double @ around 11/4