As the men’s tennis season reaches the indoor hardcourt stage the leading players will be looking to qualify for the Tour Finals which are being played this November at the O2 Arena in London. Ace Betting Club had a decent US Open and is also on a good current run and winners should be easier to find as the leading players are motivated to do well.
Rafael Nadal has qualified for the ATP Finals but is unlikely to play. In fact the Spanish player is unsure when he will be able to return to competition as a long standing tendon injury continues to restrict his movement. It would be a great shame if Nadal couldn’t play in London but his absence would give an opportunity for the played ranked ninth to qualify.
Points are awarded over the course of the season and are used to determine who qualifies for the Tour finale. The top eight players qualify and at the time of writing Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray have secured their places.
Murray will obviously have the support of the home crowd and on current form he would be difficult to beat. He won the gold medal at the Olympics and then his first Grand Slam tournament in the US Open in September. However, the Scottish player has never won the finals and other players may be more suited to the playing conditions.
One of those players is undoubtedly Roger Federer. He has won the event for the past two years and overall is a six-times champion of the tournament that closes the men’s season. Since the inaugural finals in 1970 no player has won as many times as Federer, though Pete Sampras and Ivan Lendl have each won the competition five times.
The cricket Twenty20 World Cup has now reached the Super Eights stage. The top eight seeds all qualified for this phase of the tournament and despite a few upsets in the group matches the qualifying process ultimately went to form. Since the event began there have been some changes in the outright betting. South Africa are the new favourites but any of the eight qualifiers could still win the trophy.
All the matches are being shown live on television which means in-running betting will be available on each contest. The in-running markets can be extremely volatile, especially after a wicket or boundary and the markets tend to overact after a significant event. That provides decent trading opportunities but bettors in this area will have to be alert as markets soon readjust after a perceived discrepancy.
Champions League Football
In soccer the Champions League for this season has begun and there are group matches over the autumn and winter. The bookmaker’s odds suggest the final at Wembley next May will be El Classico between Real Madrid and Barcelona. Madrid have not won the Champions League since 2002 and it has become almost an obsession to be champions again.
Much will depend on the form and state of mind of Cristiano Ronaldo. He has an outstanding scoring record for his current club and he scored the decisive goal against Manchester City in the first match of the group stage. That was a heartbreaking loss for City and they may now not get out of the group due to the strength of the opposition.
Barcelona have Lionel Messi of course. He is seen to be the best player of his era and some have even suggested he is the best to ever played the game. Those who saw Pele, Diego Maradona, Johan Cruyff and even George Best may dispute that assessment but it would be difficult to ignore Messi when assessing who are the best ten players in the history of the sport.
Zenit St Petersburg and Paris St Germain have had huge injections of cash and both sides’ objective is to win the Champions League. It might take them another year to make a significant impact but the signings of Hulk and Zlatan Ibrahimovic respectively are an indication of each team’s intent.
Remarkably, Ibrahimovic has now scored in the Champions League for six teams. He is the main striker at Paris St Germain and as such he has a good opportunity to be the top scorer in this season’s Champions League. Messi has achieved that for the last three competitions and Ronaldo has also been a regular scorer for his club in Europe. The winner in this market is likely to be one of these three players.
The Ryder Cup is the third most watched sporting event on television after the Olympics and soccer World Cup. The United States have home advantage and are favourites but Europe have won four of the last five renewals. Playing at home could be key and the Chicago crowds are likely to be loud and vociferous in support of their team.
Steve Stricker and Lee Westwood are key players and both look good bets to be top points scorer for their respective sides. Stricker has formed a successful partnership with Tiger Woods in recent Ryder Cups and President Cups and if they are paired together he is likely to play in the maximum of five matches.
Westwood is also expected to have five opportunities. He has won more points than any other player in either side and his stated ambition is to become the leading points scorer in the history of the Ryder Cup. He has amassed 19 points to date and his target is Nick Faldo’s record of 25 points but he should get closer to that number this week.
Back next Friday.
Ace Betting Club