WHILE the UK shivers through another brutal winter, the best tennis players on the planet will continue their preparations for the first major of the season in Australia with a stop-off in Qatar.
One of ATP World Tour 250 series events, Russian Nikolay Davydenko is the defending champion after he saw off none other than Rafael Nadal 0–6, 7–6, 6–4 in 2010’s final.
The tournament perhaps offers a chance to the game’s lesser lights to shine as Nadal and Roger Federer make their plans for Australia. However, given that Britain’s Andy Murray has won the tournament twice in the past three years, UK-based internet customers looking to make their bets, (many of whom will tune in just to recall what the sun looks like) could be forgiven for following their hearts when making their final predictions.
Federer is also a two-time winner of the event and is sure to figure prominently in the tournament’s betting odds given his history of success.
However, one well-known sports writer was anxious to put matters into perspective: “The leading players will be looking at results in January as a stepping stone to Australia. A place in the final will undoubtedly assist any player’s position in the world standings, but it’s all about learning how to cope with the heat after a winter break.
“Betting on Andy Murray to reach the tournament’s latter stages should offer decent value, but punters should be mindful of the history of this event. It has thrown up some unlikely winners such as Nicolas Escude and Stefan Koubek, so if you fancy making use of one of the many free bets on offer from online bookmakers, you might be best served scouring the odds for a player further down the standings – one capable of making a charge.
“These tournaments highlights how deep the talent pool on the pro tennis tour is. They also show that precious few fixtures can be taken for granted.
“As several players will be a little sluggish following a prolonged seasonal break, we can anticipate a smattering of shock results, each of which are likely to reward a bold bet.
“It’s also worth having a look at the doubles event which is also being held in Qatar. Combining a bet on a doubles team with one on a singles winner can pay out handsome dividends. It follows that the bold predictor with a ‘spare’ free bet supplied by an online bookmaker may consider using it to maximum effect by staking a win double.
“Remember, fixtures such as the Qatar Open are immensely useful guides for punters looking to place their bets on the Australian Open, one of the highlights of the tennis calendar. It’s also worth noting that punters who get the new campaign off to a winning start will feel significantly more confident when it comes to placing their bets on what’s going to happen Down Under.”