Paris Masters 2016
The final Masters tournament of the year always brings with it a few story-lines and 2016 is no exception. Firstly, there is the battle for world no. 1. Andy Murray could overtake Novak Djokovic as the top ranked player in the world in Paris, depending on their results. In theory, therefore, both men will be motivated to do well in Paris. Murray certainly seems to be the man in form in the second half of the year, while Djokovic has looked below perfection since his win at Roland Garros. On the other hand, Murray has played a lot more tennis recently and coming in from a full week in Vienna, fatigue may be an issue for the Scot. In addition, Djokovic has much the better record at the event, with four titles to Murray’s zero. It’s a tough one to call and the bookies can’t seem to decide either. Betfair are offering the best odds on the pair and Djokovic is at 2.62:1 and Murray at 2.88:1.
Secondly, for the rest of the pack, there is the race to London. Wawrinka, Nishikori and Raonic have already qualified for the World Tour Finals and there may be a temptation this week to save themselves for that event. Conversely, with two spots left to fill, those still in with a chance of qualification should have extra motivation. This group features Thiem, Cilic, Berdych, Goffin and, at a push, Tsonga. Finally, it shouldn’t be forgotten that Paris is a chance for the French players to shine in front of their home fans. The likes of Gasquet, Simon and Pouille will be looking to end 2016 on a high.
Winner: I fancy Murray to continue his run in Paris and secure his first title. Betfair 2.88:1.
Long Shot: Should Novak falter, the top half of the draw becomes wide open. Richard Gasquet is coming back to form with a win in Antwerp and didn’t play much tennis last week. With qualification for London out of the question for him and nothing to lose, he could take advantage of the situation and make the final. An each way bet at 67:1 with SkyBet offers value.