The Paris Masters is already underway in the French Capital and whilst current World No.1, Novak Djokovic does play, he isn’t amongst the favourites this week.

Novak Djokovic

After several weeks out following US Open success and a subsequent shoulder injury, sustained whilst playing in the Davis Cup, Novak Djokovic finally returned to action last week in Basel. Despite taking a comfortable route through to the semi-finals he was easily beaten, 6-0 in the final set against Nishikori and seemed to be troubled by the same shoulder problem which had forced him off the tour for over a month.

Jo Wilfrid TsongaDjokovic is scheduled to play here from Wednesday onwards but with the shoulder clearly a problem and the London Tour Finals just around the corner, it’s very hard to see Djokovic giving his all in this one. He can currently be backed at 7-1, and whilst they’re the best tennis odds we’ve seen for the Serb in 2011, there’s a clear reason for it, and for me, it’s probably wise to ignore the World No.1 here.

Federer and Murray

With Djokovic injured and Nadal missing out altogether, it’s no wonder that the sportsbooks have the current World No’s 3 & 4 as the favourites here in Paris. Murray has been on an awesome run and has won the last two Masters 1000 events but having not won one of these all year, Federer did manage to pick up a title in Basel last week. Federer loves the indoor courts and was outstanding in beating Djokovic and Nadal in London last year to become the World Tour Champion.

At 7/4, Federer’s tennis betting odds aren’t quite what I would have hoped for. He does appear to have an easier route through the draw than Murray, but at 4/1, I’m certainly seeing the Scot as the best value bet of the top seeds.

The French

Jo-Wilfired Tsonga is looking for a big week in Bercy and knows that success can book him his place in the Tour Finals. He’ll be buoyed by the fact Novak Djokovic is in his half of the draw and is carrying an injury, whilst with Nadal missing too, David Ferrer becomes the second highest ranked player in this half, and the Spaniard isn’t at his strongest on the indoor hard courts. 

The French always do well here and have had finalists in the last couple of years. For all the reasons above, Tsonga can only be backed at 7/1, but it could be a great value bet and should he reach a final against Federer or Murray on Sunday afternoon, the vociferous home support of the Parisian crowd could well see him over the line.

Gilles Simon and Gael Monfils have both played some strong, consistent tennis in 2011 and could do well here. Monfils was runner up to Soderling last year and has a favourable draw, whilst Simon has been steadily climbing back up the rankings and will be a danger in the draw. 

Because of how well the French normally do at this venue, odds of 10/1 on Monfils and 33/1 on Simon are both great value and should certainly be considered. 

The Americans

There are definitely some big hopes for the US here. Following his most successful year on the Tour, Mardy Fish comes into this one as a top value 55/1 outsider. The American No.1 is still gunning for London and has reached a couple of Masters 1000 finals already this year. He has Federer is his quarter of the draw but at those odds I’m seeing Mardy Fish as THE value tennis bet this week. 

Similarly, Andy Roddick could do well. Already successfully through his opening match, Roddick knows it’s been a bad year for him and without any end of year finals on his schedule, this is the last chance for him to make an impact at a big event. You can currently get Roddick at the same odds as Fish, (55-1) so a small bet on both men could be the way to go this week. 

Tips

It’s very tempting to take 7/1 on Novak Djokovic but everyone wants to challenge the Serb at the moment and if he’s not 100% fit it’s very unlikely he will stave off challenge after challenge to win the event. Murray is the best tip of the top seeds, but for me, Jo-Wilfired Tsonga is the man most likely to come out victorious in the BNP Paribas Masters final on Sunday afternoon.