Federer can keep ball rolling
Roger Federer can keep his good form bubbling at this week's Rogers Cup in Toronto, says our tipster Andy Schooler.
- Related Content
Wimbledon runner-up Roger Federer can keep his good form bubbling at this week's ATP Rogers Cup in Toronto, says our tennis tipster Andy Schooler. Recommended bets: 2pts e.w. Roger Federer to win - impressed at Wimbledon & with a good draw can continue that form on the fast hardcourts The big guns come back out to play at the Rogers Cup this week as Masters 1000-level tennis returns to the ATP World Tour. The event signals that the countdown to the US Open has truly begun with the likes of Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray all making their first appearances since Wimbledon. Rafael Nadal is the notable absentee from that list. The winner of this tournament last year when it was staged in Montreal suffered a wrist injury in practice, preventing him from playing in Toronto and next week in Cincinnati. While the Spaniard remains confident about being in New York for the final Grand Slam of the season, that must now also be in serious doubt. As is the case with so many of these Masters events, the Big Four have dominated over the past decade and you have to go back to 2003 to find a winner for outside the elite quartet, who have now captured 72 of the last 86 titles, including 13 of the last 14. While there has been plenty of talk about a new generation, particularly after the performances of Grigor Dimitrov, Milos Raonic and Nick Kyrgios at Wimbledon, the Big Four remain the ones to beat and that's reflected in the betting where Djokovic, Federer and Murray are the top three in the market. History clearly suggests the winner will come from this trio but I'm prepared to immediately jettison Murray from any staking plan. The Briton's defeat to Dimitrov in the Wimbledon quarter-finals was just the latest example of him finding a fellow member of the world's top 20 too good. He's struggled to beat the best since undergoing back surgery last year and although this part of the season is one of his favourite periods, I find it hard to see him suddenly finding the form to win in this company. Murray arrives following a solid training block in Miami with new coach Amelie Mauresmo but that will also mean new ideas will be implemented in his game in the coming weeks. Certainly week one of the new plan isn't a time to be backing Murray, who has done little of note in Canada since winning here in 2010. For me, Djokovic looks a worthy favourite and seems the most likely winner. However, I'm faced with a familiar Masters dilemma - does the price accurately reflect that man's chances and, if not, should I be looking elsewhere for each-way value? At a best price of 5/4, I can't say I'm particularly keen on backing Djokovic, even though he comes in as the man to beat having won Wimbledon, plus three of this season's Masters events, including the two North American hardcourt tournaments earlier in the year. He's also got a strong record in this one. He won in Toronto in 2012 and Montreal in 2011 with only a final-set tie-break defeat to Nadal ending his hopes of a hat-trick last season. In the last seven runnings, he's been to at least the semis on five occasions. The other two appearances brought quarter-final defeats so it's clear that there's no concern about a post-Wimbledon hangover or rustiness. However, it all comes back to the price and 5/4 about the Serb winning five matches in this company is not mouthwatering. Murray certainly has the game, if on form, to trouble Djokovic (they could meet in the last eight) while both his Australian Open conqueror Stan Wawrinka or Dimitrov will fancy a crack at the world number one in the semis.
- The action gets under way at 1600 BST on Monday and is being televised live in the UK on Sky Sports.