BNP Paribas Open Betting

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The BNP Paribas Open, or Paris Masters, is the final ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event of the tennis calendar and takes place in the second week of November at the Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy venue in the French capital.

Unique amongst the series for being the only event to be played on a hard, indoor court, it is consequently regarded as the most prestigious indoor tennis tournament in the world.

Since its inauguration in 1968 when Aussie Robert Carmichael took the honours, the roof has been a constant feature for the championship, however the surface has changed twice from its initial carpet, to clay and then hard.

Currently, the draw consists of a slightly smaller field than many of the other Masters Events, with only 48 players lining up – meaning that the top sixteen seeds all receive an automatic bye into the last 32 stage.

Traditionally, the tournament is an extremely open betting event – and there have been a great deal of shocks and surprises in the recent past, including in 2007 when Argentine David Nalbandian comfortably dispatched Rafael Nadal in the final.

Indeed, it speaks volumes that the sport’s two dominating forces of the past few years, Roger Federer and the aforementioned Nadal, have both as yet failed to walk away with the winner’s crown.

The tournament’s placement within the tennis calendar is, however, crucial towards explaining why they, amongst others, have perhaps fallen short.

By November, most of the world’s elite have already qualified for the following month’s ATP World Tour Finals in London and therefore do not need a strong showing in Paris as it will have no impact on their ranking.

After a gruelling year of tennis, including four Grand Slam events, the crème of the crop are likely to prefer a period of recuperation and rest as opposed to unwanted completion. And of course, a weak showing one year means that the incentive of ranking points to defend is not there twelve months on.

This is in many ways a shame for what is an excellent tournament; nevertheless it can also work in its favour by increasing competiveness amongst the other players – in particular the stars on the fringe of the world’s top eight who are seeking to try and break into the octet who will contest the end of year shoot-out at the O2 Arena.

Although then World No.3 Novak Djokovic claimed the title in 2009, all other winners from the past decade aside from Marat Safin, who briefly held the number one berth, have been ranked fourth or lower, including Brit hero ‘Tiger’ Tim Henman who performed a very credible last swansong in 2003.

For once, it is probably advisable to take all eyes off the very top players - or at least the ones who have already cemented their place in the London line-up.

Players ranked fourth down to tenth are likely to be involved in the shake-up for honours in Paris, meaning that some real value can almost certainly be found for a handful of realistic potential winners.

The Paris Masters can also provide a lot of clues as to who is holding their form leading into the ATP World Tour Finals, particularly as both tournaments are played in similar conditions.

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