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Tennis Betting: Four-time champion Djokovic gunning for a fifth in Dubai

Novak Djokovic kicked off his Dubai campaign in fine style, seeing off veteran Tommy Robredo in straight sets on Monday. It marked Djokovic’s first match since winning the Australian Open at the expense of British No.1 Andy Murray, but the Serbian starlet was no worse for the wear after the three-week layoff. He never faced a break point in the 6-1, 6-2 first round win over the Spaniard.

The win puts Djokovic a match-win away from his 700th career singles win (AP), a feat he’ll in all likelihood accomplish when he takes on Tunisian wild card Malek Jaziri on Wednesday – he’s a ridiculous 1.005 runaway favourite in his second round encounter with Jaziri. Colour the world shocked if the unheralded Tunisian pulls off the upset.  

Djokovic is something of a going concern in tennis, running at optimum production. Did you know that he hasn’t missed a final of any event he’s played in over year, and presently holds 12 titles? Other worldly, springs to mind.

He’s on a frightening tear and a quick glance at the field reveals a glaring shortage of players with a realistic shot to derail him from a fifth title in the UAE Oasis. Is it any wonder then he’s got the overarching outright market by the scruff of its neck, cornered in his camp wholeheartedly.

He’s the player to beat and there’s nothing to suggest otherwise. One could therefore argue there is hardly any value in betting the Dubai Duty Free tournament outrights altogether. That tennis enthusiasts will be better served looking at other matchups in the early rounds for their betting thrills.

Be that as it may, predicting huge upsets – when and where they might occur – remains one of the most thrilling, if not rewarding, exercises in sport. In the interest of sports betting as a whole the mere possibility of true competition demands it. Whenever you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, bears considering.

Perhaps, Stanislas Wawrinka has the best shot to derail Djokovic. He enters the tournament as the second seed and has beaten Djokovic on the grandest of stages – the 2015 French Open final. Problem with the Swiss player is a penchant to blow hot and cold, something that has plagued him over his entire career. Even now when playing the best tennis of his life that saw him crack the grand slam winners circle twice he can sometimes deflate right before our eyes. Still, he’s done it before and in the best of five sets, so in the best of three sets one must consider his chances do improve over Djokovic so long as he gets off to a fast start (the pair are on a collision course in the final if all goes to plan in the draw).

Tomas Berdych or Nick Kyrgios could (using the word lightly) mastermind the upset on a rare good day; conversely, a poor day in the office for Djokovic. Berdych though is notoriously unreliable against top players, and he’s not your typical grafter either which makes him a long shot punt.

Nick Kyrgios strikes a more attractive pose on the tennis odds board, simply because he’s the quintessential dangerous floater. He has a healthy disrespect for his peers, relishing the challenge and opportunity to be the so-called ‘bad boy.’ The 20-year-old is also flush off is maiden title in Marseille, a breakthrough that could propel him into Dubai with a soupcon of optimism.

Maybe even Feliciano Lopez, who was a finalist in 2004 and 2008, could do the unthinkable – he’s on course for a date with Djokovic in the third round. But we’re blatantly straining here to find potential upset mongers lurking in the draw with him. A lot of ifs and maybes are involved in this matchup, too many to hang your hat on confidently with what any sane tennis betting expert would deem a silly wager akin to throwing water into the ocean. The probability of it paying out slim to none.

Indeed, the best upset options for your tennis wagers must be one of the aforementioned three players – Wawrinka, Berdych or Kyrgios. However, we’re loathe to settle on one or the other on our wagers. We’d rather incorporate all three into one single choice wager and towards that effort we’ve sifted through the various markets and found what we were looking for. That is, betting on the winning half. Obviously, the top half of the draw, which contains Djokovic, is favoured at 1.25 but banking on the small chance an upset were to occur the bottom half, which includes our choice triplet, can be backed at a tempting 3.75 at bet365.

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