- Chris Sobey
From a betting perspective last week we experienced no outright successful advice (but we did predict the Djokovic vs Murray final and result) and came so close with Makarov and Keys,’ who both looked like landing us wins at 13/2 and 5/1 winners for their Quarter section.
Well it was the less illustrious of the two Murray brothers who came out victorious and claimed the well-deserved limelight after completing a thrilling weekend of Grand Slam Tennis, which culminated in at times three thrilling encounters. Andy Murray admirably stayed up until 2am that morning to witness his brother and new partner Bruno Soares come from a set down to win a tight battle 7-5 in the third set.
It was great to see Jamie finally gets the monkey off his back and if he keeps working as hard with Soares more success is sure to come again soon.
The women’s final was an epic to watch, it had you enthralled from the start with a host of outstanding rallies. We also witnessed something new and special; a player who has turned herself in to an elite athlete over the last 12 months.
It was interesting to watch Serene implode emotionally as Kerber punished her in to submission with a game of guile and power that would have befitted any grand stage. It was Serena’s second consecutive failed attempt at winning those elusive 22 Steffi Grand Slams and let’s hope she can finally turning things round and take the next on.
However, you can’t take anything away from Kerber, who turned here dreams in to a reality today. She will now know the full joy of what only a handful of prestigious players in history have been able to achieve, which is winning your first Grand Slam and living that feeling for what it means to you.
The men’s final was a bit of a disappointment in comparison and Murray had Djokovic close in both the second and third sets when he was dictating play. But you could see he was not fully convinced or in support of the strategy at times and the clear demons in him that come out on court need to be tempered as they usually drive him to distraction and defeat at this level.
Djokovic winning his sixth Australian Open title and matching Roy Emerson’s record of six has been an unbelievable privilege to experience over these years and to watch him (frustratingly at times) develop in to the most dominant player of the men’s game. The only things left for him to add to his CV is the elusive French Open and possibly the Calendar Golden Slam, which he is more than capable of achieving
There's no rest for the journey men on this week’s ATP Tour with no less than three ATP Tournaments taking place. Two indoor events, a new one in Sofia Bulgaria, and the long standing Montpellier Open, which is a French fans favourite and a tournament that’s produced a home grown player who has won four of the last five titles
Montpellier is a quick indoor hardcourt surface that can suit local players who get to train there and veterans with a good serve and volley game. Defending champion Richard Gasquet might struggle after missing the start of season with injury and with top seeds not having the best record in Montpellier (two in the last decade).
Another top class Frenchman who has the attributes to challenge this week is Gael Monfils. He played well at the Australian Open giving Milos Raonic a great match and as long as he’s come back without any serious ailments he’s worth a shot at 5/1. He’s avoided what on paper looks likely to be the tougher half of draw and with the second seed also having a poor record at Marseille over the last decade (never won or made the final) I definitely won’t be investing in Marin Cilic who’s not been at his best lately.
French players have won 5 of the last 10 titles, including reaching nine finals in this period, hard to ignore. With that in mind there’s an unseeded player who made six of the last ten finals, but none of last 4. There’s one veteran French player one who stands out having already bee in in good from reaching the third round at Sydney from qualifying recently. If Mahut at 33/1 has returned in better shape than third seed Simon the potential is definitely there for him to do well this week. He has a huge amount of experience and his serve and volley game will suit the conditions perfectly.
The Sofia Open in Bulgaria is a new ATP Tournament on the 2016 calendar, but with no historical data to draw on we will leave this tournament alone.
The final tournament takes place in Ecuador and can be fought out between the second and third seeds Fernando Lopez and Thomas Belluci.