The stats say Djokovic will not lose to Gasquet and Sean Calvert concurs!
"In their last three meetings on hard courts that were played over the best of three sets and completed in two, Nole created nine, 10 and 12 break point opportunities, which is a good indicator of how comfortable he is facing up to the Frenchman’s game."
The opening Masters 1000 series tournament of the North American hard court swing reaches its climax tonight in Toronto.
The 2012 Rogers Cup has been a pretty decent one for us, despite John Isner's dreadful performance in the semi-finals against Richard Gasquet last night.
Isner looked to be terribly leggy after two matches on Friday and sprayed unforced errors off both wings with alarming regularity, allowing Gasquet to win by doing little more than keeping the ball in play.
So, Gasquet reaches the final in Toronto for the second time, but he will have his work cut out against world number two Novak Djokovic when they clash at around midnight tonight UK time.
Nole has won their last four meetings in straight sets and his game matches up so well to Gasquet's that anything other than a comfortable win for the defending champion would be a major surprise to me. The market reflects that with Djokovic a 1.162/13 favourite.
In their last three meetings on hard courts that were played over the best of three sets and completed in two, Nole created nine, 10 and 12 break point opportunities, which is a good indicator of how comfortable he is facing up to the Frenchman's game.
The Gasman's single handed backhand delights the purists, but it can rarely breach the Djokovic defences against the Nole double-hander and the Gasquet forehand and serve aren't big enough weapons against the very best.
Gasquet has had a fantastic week under the watchful gaze of Sebastian Grosjean and he'll be back inside the world's top-15 tomorrow, but he is 2-13 against top-10 ranked opponents in his last 15 matches with two victories over top-three ranked opposition in the last five years.
Put another way, Djokovic has lost one of his last 73 matches against players ranked at number 21 plus in the world and that was against Kei Nishikori in Basel last year. Gasquet goes into this match as the world number 21.
So it's no shock to see him installed as the 1.162/13 favourite, despite finishing very late last night against his mate Janko Tipsarevic in what was an impressive performance - his best of the week so far.
Tommy Haas was able to trouble Djokovic with his single hander, but Tommy has more on his shots than Gasquet and of course the Frenchman is not the best athlete in the world whereas Djokovic is.
I'm struggling to find a way, other than fatigue on Nole's part, that Gasquet can win or even take a set tonight and for betting purposes this looks like one for the handicap.
Djokovic has won their last four matches by at least five games in total, so it makes sense to back him minus 4.5 games today, which will be a price of around 1.910/11.
Back Djokovic -4.5 games at 1.910/11