World Tour Finals Tournament Preview
The final event of the ATP season is this week as the World Tour Finals, featuring the top eight players who have accumulated the most ranking points this season, starts at the O2 arena in London.
It's one of my favourite events on the tour with high quality tennis almost guaranteed, and prior to me moving to the north of England I used to try and get to the O2 to watch the action.
Last year there were 80.7% service holds which is very slightly higher than the 80.3% tour average for Indoor Hard so there's little to take into account there.
Going back through the historical results, in 2010 there were just 3 matches going the maximum 3 sets out of 15 (and just one group match out of 12). In 2011 this figure was completely different, with 9 out of 15 going the duration whilst in 2012 this figure was 7/15. So overall in the past three years 19 matches out of 45 went 3 sets and this percentage is high - 42.22% - which is one of the highest percentages on tour.
On this basis competitive matches are likely and opposing the first set winner in select circumstances appears very viable.
It's interesting to see that in 2010 the percentage of matches ending in straight sets was very high and so was favourite success with 13/15 favourites winning, returning £413 from £1500 staked if you used £100 stakes with the best closing prices from oddsportal.com.
In 2011 the figure returned was a very slight profit of £12 (I disregarded the match between Nadal and Tsonga which was evens apiece) and in 2012 this was barely bigger at £14.
However it's interesting to note that there was not a negative year backing favourites and from the small 44 match sample a return of £439 was obtained (9.98% ROI).
I feel backing underdogs must be done in select circumstances this week.
One player I won't be likely to oppose is Novak Djokovic who despite potentially being more tired than his rivals after winning the Paris Masters has a truly incredible late season record, losing just one match in the last two years in matches after the US Open (September to November) and that defeat was a shock loss to Sam Querrey after bagelling the big serving American in the first set.
The Serb is a strong outright favourite with a current best price of 2.20.
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