After tipping a big-priced finalist in Asia last week Sean Calvert is back to preview the draw for this week's Masters 1000 tournament in Shanghai...
"Federer's wins over Djokovic pretty much exclusively come on quick hard courts and he has the right conditions in Shanghai to defeat the Serb again, as he did a year ago in the semi finals."
We were nicely in profit in week 40 of the ATP World Tour thanks to a run to the final for my 65.064/1 Cash Out shot Benoit Paire in Tokyo.
The eccentric Frenchman took down Grigor Dimitrov, Marcos Baghdatis, Nick Kyrgios and Kei Nishikori en route to the title match and could be cashed out for a £165.00 profit from a £10 stake ahead of the Japan Open final.
Paire saved us from an otherwise poor week in which Kevin Anderson and Alexandr Dolgopolov lost in round one and David Goffin in round two in Tokyo and Beijing.
Masters 1000 tennis returns to the tour in week 41, with a $7 million prize pot up for grabs at the Shanghai Rolex Masters.
Played on outdoor hard on a Decoturf surface it's quick here and certainly one of the top three or four in terms of court speed, which is why our reigning champion is Roger Federer and Feli Lopez has made the semis three times.
Qualifying results have seen the likes of Lukasz Kubot and Nikoloz Basilashvili record victories, which is another hint at how quick it is here.
Novak Djokovic, who won here in 2012 and 2013, is drawn in the top half as number one seed against Andy Murray (who won here in 2010 and 2011), Tomas Berdych, David Ferrer, Lopez, John Isner and last year's surprise finalist Gilles Simon.
Murray's levels of commitment right now have to be questioned, as he ponders his approach to the Davis Cup Final next month, and he won't want to take any risks with his fitness in any of the tournaments before then.
Berdych looked unwell in Beijing last week after a tournament win in Shenzhen the week before, but he may be okay after a few days off and he is a former semi finalist here.
The chances of the Berdman beating Murray, Djokovic and then probably Federer in a final are surely more than 40.039/1 though and he doesn't really appeal to me as an outright bet.
Simon might be interesting in Berdych's section and at 200.0199/1 he seems a better pick than the Czech and the best option at the prices in that quarter of the draw.
Isner looks exhausted and although conditions here should suit him he rarely has anything left by this time of the season and hardly ever performs on the Asian swing (or away from the USA).
Lopez was available at 500.0499/1, but not now, as I had that, and although he's in Djokovic's section of the draw he has half a chance in these conditions, as his record here shows and perhaps Novak will be tired after Beijing, as unlikely as it seems.
Ferrer is a former finalist here (in 2011), but he would need Djokovic to lose to have any chance in that part of the draw and maybe someone like a Gilles Muller could sneak through to the last eight.
He faces a seemingly demotivated Richard Gasquet, who didn't bother practising after the US Open and was easily beaten by Roberto Bautista-Agut in Tokyo last week.
With a similar profile to Lopez and a semi final showing in Tokyo last week Muller may go well at a big price and 600.0599/1 is certainly that and again I've had a little bit on that in case anything untoward happens to Djokovic.
But the bottom half of the draw looks open, with Federer the obvious pick in these conditions and the Swiss should be fresh, having played just a couple of Davis Cup matches in the last month.
Federer's wins over Djokovic pretty much exclusively come on quick hard courts and he has the right conditions in Shanghai to defeat the Serb again, as he did a year ago in the semi finals.
In Fed's quarter of the draw are Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Kevin Anderson and Kei Nishikori, and it could be Anderson who gets to play Federer, with Tsonga looking well below his best and Nishikori likely to be struggling after a tough week in Tokyo.
Anderson disappointed us last week in a poor loss to Muller in round one in Tokyo, but at 250.0249/1 he looks the best of the big prices in that part of the draw.
The final quarter sees Rafa Nadal, Stan Wawrinka, Marin Cilic, and Milos Raonic battle it out and Wawrinka looks in the best form of that quartet right now after a good title-winning performance in Tokyo.
Raonic and Nadal are far below their best form at the moment, but Cilic might go well this week and 80.079/1 is not the worst price, and conditions should suit the former US Open champion, who has made the last eight here before.
He does have a dismal record in Masters 1000s though, with six quarter-finals lifetime, but no further, which isn't the best return for a major winner.
Nadal could well go in round two, with a match against Ivo Karlovic and Jeremy Chardy on the cards for the Spaniard, who was convincingly beaten by Djokovic in the Beijing final on Sunday.
So, there are a few tempting prices around, but ultimately this is a Masters 1000, and they usually end up being between a handful of players at the most and Federer and Djokovic will most likely make the final this week again.
Back Federer at 4.67/2
Tennis 2015 season P&L
Profit based on £10 stake per bet = +£621.68