This tournament really feels like it is going to be a race in three, and it is hard to see any shock winners in the field when you look at the form of the big names lately. Of course the three I am referring to are Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev. You can hardly fault the form of any of them in the lead-up, and it is more a matter of looking at the draw for each of the players to see where the potential value lies for any of them.
The first thing to point out in my opinion is that Nadal is only a slight favourite due to sitting in the opposite half to Djokovic and Zverev. Flip Djokovic and Nadal and you would have Novak as a clear favourite, with Zverev second favourite in my opinion.
There are two different ways to tackle this tournament. If I were to pick a “most likely to make the final” I would be looking in the direction of Nadal (with saver on Cilic), however if I want best value selection to win the whole thing, I would side with Zverev (Djokovic close behind, however he does have a draw that is quite tough). Outside of Isner who won in Atlanta, it is hard to make a claim for any of the other seeds in the top section going the distance. Fognini is coming off winning a title, Del Potro is coming off a crushing loss to Fognini (and didn’t look 100% throughout his tournament last week), Carreno Busta and Schwartzman don’t have enough form on hardcourt to warrant a play, and Kyrgios is clearly below 100% fitness.
The second half of the draw is wide open, however looking at his performances last week, it is very hard to justify opposing Alex Zverev on his current form. He was simply brutal in Washington, and on that form it is really difficult to see anyone outside of Djokovic beating him, especially with the fitness concerns around Thiem and Raonic, and form concerns for Dimitrov, Goffin, Sock and Bautista Agut.
At the end of the day, I think this is a race of 4: Nadal and Cilic in the top half, and Djokovic and Zverev in the bottom half. I like Zverev to defeat Nadal in the final, and start to accelerate the changing of the guard that I think a lot of tennis watchers have been waiting for quite a while to witness.
Note: The ATP Toronto is now underway but you can still get on Zverev at decent prices at Betfair Australia
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