A trio of winning favourites last week as Andy Murray (Vienna), Tomas Berdych (Stockholm) and Marin Cilic (Kremlin) all claimed victory.
With only two ranking events left to book a place in the ATP Masters Finals in London five players have now booked their places: Djokovic, Federer, Nadal, Wawrinka and Cilic, and the remaining three spots are still up for grabs with the battle between the six highest-ranking unqualified players on the current ATP rankings Neishkori (5th), Berdych (7th), Murray (8th), Ferrer (9th), Raonic (10th) and Dimitrov (11th).
Five of the above are in competition this week with Murray, Ferrer and Berdych seeking to claim the 500 ranking points on offer in Valencia that will book their ATP Finals spot, however all three had tough weeks last week and have been on the go for several consecutive weeks now.
Valencia is essentially Ferrer’s home soil and he twice claimed victory here since it became an indoor tournament, whilst Murray has also won it once way back in 2009. The two of them who have clashed the last two weeks (one win each) are scheduled to meet in the semis.
However they are both in the more difficult top-half of the draw, and Giles Simon (bottom-half) looks to have every chance of going close again as he did when reaching the final of the Shanghai Masters – and there’s no Federer to worry about here.
A week to recover from those exertions should see Simon progress through the early rounds, after which he could meet Feliciano Lopez (who he beat in Shanghai) in the quarters. A semi against Berdych could then await but he’s beat the Czech on six of the nine occasions they’ve met – and 12/1 looks a great each-way bet.
1-point each-way Giles Simon @ 12/1
Meanwhile, Raonic and Dimitrov head to Basel, which looks the harder of the two tournaments this week as both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are playing, especially when you consider Federer has made the final for the last eight years.
Federer is the right favourite and looks a good price at 7/4, but a saver on Raonic is recommended as he’s in the easier half of the draw and could meet appendicitis suffering Nadal in the semis.
3-points win Federer @7/4
1-point each-way Raonic @ 8/1
Tuesday Tennis Tips Treble
Giles Simon 4/11 (Valencia)
Ivo Karlovic 4/7 (Basel)
Milos Raonic 2/7 (Basel)