Like most of the world’s biggest clay court tournaments, Rafael Nadal dominated this event from 2005-2012. However, he has been blighted by injury for much of the past few seasons – and you’d be a brave man to think he’s anywhere near the player he was, at present
Last year’s renewal saw Stan Wawrinka beat an under par Roger Federer in the final, but Wawrinka has looked woefully out-of-form in recent weeks.
Undisputed world number one Novak Djokovic won here in 2013 and he’ll be keen to get his clay game in fine fettle before bidding to win the French Open later in the season – where he’ll be desperate to take advantage of Nadal’s slight demise and land himself the only Grand Slam tournament missing from his trophy cabinet.
The Serb arrives fresh from a week off after winning another ATP Miami title – and will fancy his chances here.
However, he is drawn to meet Nadal before the final and that could be a brutal match to have to play before taking one of the other top-seeds, especially the in-form Roger Federer.
Federer has made five finals here without winning, but looks to have a great opportunity of at least making the final again. However, it’s not a massively strong fancy – and just 1 point each-way is recommended.
Federer 1 point each-way @ 11/2 (Paddy Power)
Monday’s Match Bets
Klizan vs Troiki
Martin Klizan will hopefully be tired after winning in Cassablanca, and that might allow Victor Troiki to extend his winning record to 4 wins from 5 matches against the Slovakian.
Troiki 1 point @ 10/11 (Coral)
Robredo vs Seppi
Andreas Seppi holds a 2-1 advantage in the pairs head-to-heads on clay, whilst two of their three matches have also gone to three sets. The latter is 6/4 to happen again and that looks a value punt.
Total sets 3 (three) @ 6/4 Ladbrokes
Story of last week
A great match pick, if I do say so myself, picking outsider Ouhab to his match 2-0. However, I was equally bemused as Ouhab then went on to knock out our outright selection. Still – a 5 points profit on the week.