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Federer a huge favourite to make winning start to clay season

| 12.04.2011

With the unbeaten Novak Djokovic failing to show-up in Monaco for the Monte Carlo Masters, Federer will avoid the two guys he’s lost to this year until a potential final meeting with Rafael Nadal.

Nadal will be relishing a return to the clay court and he gets his tournament underway tomorrow against Jarkko Nieminen, a match he is 1/100 to win, but second seed Federer faces Philipp Kohlschreiber later this morning.

Federer is a huge 6/1 in the Monte Carlo Masters betting to win the tournament, and considering his second seeding makes him the top seed in his half of the draw, a place in the final looks on the cards.

The big-serving Kohlschreiber provides the first test of Federer’s clay court skills but considering the world number three is 1/12 to win, the German looks unlikely to justify his odds of 6/1 to win.

Federer has never lost to Kohlschreiber and has only ever dropped one set in the six games against the German.

The two have never met on clay but Kohlschreiber struggled to a 2-1 win over Andrey Golubev in the first round and Federer can justify his odds of 1/4 to win.

The tightest of today’s Monte Carlo Masters betting markets is Ernests Gulbis tie with Milos Raonic, and the 8/15 for Gulbis to win looks the pick of today’s value.

Gulbis made a first round exit at the French Open last year but his two previous tournaments saw him make a quarter-final and a semi-final.

Raonic didn’t win either of his David Cup ties on clay last year and while he defeated Michael Llodra in three sets in the first round, Gulbis is the more accomplished on the clay surface.

Raonic is 11/8 to win but after Gulbis defeated Alexandr Dolgopolov in straight sets in the first round, he can do the same today and is 11/8 to win 2-0.

A £20 stake on Gulbis beating Raonic 2-0 would return £47.50. Get a free tennis bet worth up to £30 when signing up here for a new Ladbrokes.com account.



Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.