Day two of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals sees Stanislas Wawrinka take on Tomas Berdych in Group A and Sean Calvert previews the action at the o2...
"Berdych has a losing 4-5 record against top-10 opponents this season and clearly he struggles with this match-up, with Wawrinka dominating their recent career series, so I'm not seeing the Czech as a worthy favourite here."
Andy Murray's awful display on day one of the World Tour Finals put paid to my 'three sets' bet yesterday, with the Scot unable to muster so much as one set against Kei Nishikori.
In what was a poor match, Murray couldn't defend his woeful second serve against a nervy opponent who threw in eight double faults and served at 46%.
Group A takes centre stage at the o2 in London on Monday, as Stanislas Wawrinka and Tomas Berdych face off in what could be a pivotal clash in terms of qualification from the round robin stage.
This pair met here a year ago in the opening match of the tournament and if I remember rightly it was a very nervy affair and one in which Berdych won the second set tie break 7-0 before going on to lose the decider.
Indeed, Berdych has only once qualified from the group stage in his four previous visits to the o2 and that was in 2011 when the Czech went on to lose to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the last four.
Wawrinka made the last four a year ago on his only previous visit to this championship and he certainly has a chance to do so again if he can recapture his form from earlier in the season.
The Swiss comes into this struggling for results, with another in a series of choky losses that have blighted his year coming in Bercy last week when he lost from 1.011/100 against Kevin Anderson.
He takes on Anderson's nemesis Berdych for the 15th time in their careers at 2pm on Monday and I would make him slight value as underdog here.
Having won his last four against Berdych he can at least take that knowledge into this match and indeed Stan has won seven of the last eight against this opponent, so he should be confident on Monday.
But a 2-4 record since the US Open, with losses to the likes of Tatsuma Ito and Mikhail Kukushkin, as well as Anderson don't read well and that plus the fact that he hasn't been past the last eight anywhere since Queen's Club explains why he's underdog today.
Berdych hasn't exactly been setting the tour on fire either and he was distinctly average at best last week in Bercy, where he struggled to get over the line to qualify for this tournament.
The Czech creaked past Adrian Mannarino and Feli Lopez before coming from a break down in the final to beat Anderson and then choked in the latter stages against Milos Raonic in Paris, but he'd done enough.
Berdych has a losing 4-5 record against top-10 opponents this season and clearly he struggles with this match-up, with Wawrinka dominating their recent career series, so I'm not seeing the Czech as a worthy favourite here.
The 2.26/5 looks a decent bet and big priced backers will like the 4.67/2 about the 2-1 to the Swiss in what looks set to be a very nervy affair, with both players likely to be edgy here.
Wawrinka in particular has been poor in tight situations of late and should probably be layed for safety at around the 1.051/20 mark if he gets to serve for the match.
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