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Nadal’s French Open obsession leaves value elsewhere in Rio

| 17.02.2015

Returning for a second year on the ATP World Tour, the Rio Open may only be in it’s infancy but it offers a wealth of great outright winner options for Ladbrokes customers – provided they accept the idea that Rafael Nadal may not come out on top.

The Spaniard is the 5/6 favourite to retain the title he won last year but after a lukewarm showing at the Australian Open and with Roland Garros just around the corner, no one will be expecting him to go all guns blazing in Brazil.

Beaten by Tomas Berdych in straight sets in Melbourne, Nadal looked a shadow of his one great self throughout the tournament having previously gone five sets with US unknown Tim Smyczek in one of the previous rounds.

The 11/8 favourite to retain the French Open title he has already won nine times, the increasingly injury-prone Spaniard may opt to save his ‘A’ game for Roland Garros.

After all, his route to victory in Rio last year was at times far from straightforward with the most testing match coming against compatriot Pablo Andujar in the semi-finals with Nadal progressing after a third-set tie break that ended 12-10 in his favour.

With Nadal likely to go steady, alternatives like David Ferrer and Tommy Roberto look like contenders for the Rio Open title.

Ferrer made it to the semi-finals of this competition last year and is 3/1 to go all the way this time around, something that is a very likely possibility given his status as no.2 seed.

The 32-year-old came close to ATP Tour Title success at the Cincinnati Masters at the back end of last season, losing to Roger Federer in three sets but could go one better here though his success could well depend on an early Nadal exit.

Ferrer has been beaten in his previous two clay court event finals on the tour with Nadal the one to vanquish his countryman in both instances.

Elsewhere in the betting, 20/1 shot Tommy Robredo represents a dark horse pick to reign supreme in Rio, having made the quarter-finals of the event last season.

Robredo came agonisingly close to an ATP Tour title at the end of last season, finishing runner-up to Andy Murray on two separate occasions – first at the Shenzhen Open and then in the Valencia Open in an encounter where the Scot saved several match points.

With no Murray to deal with in Rio, however, Robredo could be another to capitalise on Nadal taking it easy in Brazil.

All odds and markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Jack Beresford

Jack Beresford is a content writer with over five years of experience in writing about sport and betting, including a two-year spell with Axonn Media. Contributes articles to HereIsTheCity and Lad Bible, while previous credits include Bwin, FTB Pro, Bleacher Report and the QBE rugby. Avid follower of tennis, rugby union, motorsport and football, Jack also writes about poker for Cardspiel.com alongside Guardian journalist Dominic Wells.