Swiss Indoors Betting: Wawrinka to take advantage of kind draw in Basel
It's the penultimate week of the regular ATP World Tour season and the two events in play are to be found in Spain and Switzerland, where Sean Calvert selects the best bets...
"Wawrinka has the best draw in his home tournament and performances this season must surely have convinced the Swiss that he belongs in the top-10..."
For those hovering in and around the top-10 there is much to play for with places at the season-ending World Tour Finals still up for grabs and ranking points to be earned in Valencia and Basel in week 43.
Both of the tournaments are ATP 500 events and played indoors, with conditions in Valencia generally known as playing quite slow on a Greenset hard court and former winners here in recent years include David Ferrer, Marcel Granollers and Andy Murray.
Over in Basel at the St Jakobshalle the tournament is also played on a Greenset hard court and the speed here tends to vary, but it's probably going to be on the medium to slow side again I would imagine.
Rafa Nadal and Milos Raonic, along with the injured Nikolay Davydenko and Marinko Matosevic have withdrawn from the Swiss Indoors, leaving defending champion Juan Martin Del Potro as the number one seed ahead of Tomas Berdych, Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka in a high quality field.
In Valencia the withdrawals are a little lower key, with Tommy Robredo, Jurgen Melzer, Sam Querrey and Juan Monaco missing this week, along with the banned Marin Cilic.
Starting with Basel then and immediately it appears that Wawrinka has the best draw in his home tournament and performances this season must surely have convinced the Swiss that he belongs in the top-10, which has always been his downfall in the past.
Stan has never really looked comfortable playing at home, but his efforts in big tournaments in 2013 where he's beaten Andy Murray, Tomas Berdych, David Ferrer, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Richard Gasquet and pushed Novak Djokovic to the absolute limit twice must have increased his confidence and the link-up with Magnus Norman surely had a part to play there too.
His draw looks comfortable, with Andreas Seppi, who Wawrinka has beaten in seven of their last eight meetings, the main danger ahead of a likely semi final with Del Potro or Gasquet.
The bottom half of the Basel draw looks tough to call, with Federer drawn in a quarter with Grigor Dimitrov, Radek Stepanek and Alex Dolgopolov, while Berdych is drawn with Nishikori, Robin Haase, Ivo Karlovic and Ivan Dodig.
Federer offers zero value these days, with his only tournament win this season coming on the grass in Halle and [5.5] looks short on current form despite his fine record here.
Berdych has a tricky opener against Karlovic and if Nishikori's body holds up he's in with a shot of doing well again here after his run to the final here in 2011 when he took down Djokovic en route.
Over in Valencia local hero Ferrer, who has won this event three times in total and twice on indoor hard in the last three years, is a warm order again and he'll be tough to shake off in the top half of the draw in quite slow conditions.
The bottom half of the draw looks wide open though, with number two seed Tommy Haas most likely fatigued after a run to the final in Vienna and I could make a case for about 10 of the players in this part of the draw to make the final, but let's see if that can be narrowed down.
The doubtful list due to injury and/or fatigue includes Haas and Benoit Paire, while John Isner has a really poor record in Europe, Bernard Tomic is awful right now and Gilles Simon's record here is not good and he's never won a title after week 39 on the tour.
Philipp Kohlschreiber has never won an indoor title and never made a final anywhere after September and Albert Montanes doesn't have a prayer, so I'm drawn to one of Jarkko Nieminen, Mikhail Youzhny or Ernests Gulbis, with Kevin Anderson's form having dipped badly since the summer.
Gulbis is probably too short at around [11.0], so Youzhny, who will be rested after a few weeks off the tour and who made the final here in his only previous appearance in Valencia indoors in 2009, looks the bet at around [22.0].