Roger is opposable in scorching Brisbane heat
The 2015 tennis season kicks off in Brisbane, as three of the tour’s top ten players star in a quality field. Roger Federer leads the outright betting priced at 5/6 but looks far too short and is worth opposing. The Swiss star’s resurgence was one of the highlights of last year, but he is likely to struggle in his 2015 season’s opening tournament.
The intense Brisbane heat was a factor in his shock defeat to Leyton Hewitt in this competition last year, with the ‘Fed Express’ laying the blame with what he described as “unbearable conditions.” With similar temperatures predicted this time around it is highly debatable whether the 33 year old will be able to last four best of three set matches.
The young guns are also in town, with Kei Nishikori, Milos Raonic and Gregor Dimitrov all determined to start the season well and close the gap on the top boys. Federer is in a nightmare section of the draw, potentially needing to beat all three of these players to claim the title.
Raonic and Nishikori both recorded wins over Federer last season, and it is Nishikori who I am taking to win the tournament at odds of 9/2. The US Open finalist has undertaken a rigorous training regime with coach Michael Chang to get him in shape for the early season starter.
Kei won an impressive 80% of his hard-court matches in 2014, and his all round game should prove too versatile for likely semi final opponent Raonic, whom he holds a 4-1 head to head advantage against. It is ultimately the Japanese stars’ speed and fitness that should see him race to the finish line against Roger, as Nishikori would likely repeat the physical tactics that saw him beat the 17 time Grand Slam Champion in the heat of Miami 14 months ago.
He is excellent value at 9/2 and should be backed whilst the price still lasts.