The second round of the ATP Masters Paris is about to commence and the viking has found a value bet in the Djokovic vs Gilles fixture. Simon Gilles pulled off an impressive performance versus Benoit Paire, hitting precise server and using his momentum in the third set to a mental advantage. A frustrated Paire made 8 double errors (most of them in high pressure 30-40 situations), and only managed to win 46% of his first serves. Djokovic on the other hand was actually having a rough time versus Tomas Belluci and but the world no. 1 was able to exploit some minor misplays from Belluci and eventually ended the game 7-5, 6-3.
Novak Djokovic will be coming into this fixture with 19 straight victories, not losing a professional game since late august in the Cincinnati Masters Final versus Roger Federer where he lost with 6-7, 3-6. The Serb has won 3 major titles in 2015 and even the great Federer himself admits that Djokovic is at (or close to) his peak and as such will dominate the scene for years to come, maybe even surpassing Federer´s records. However Djokovic put on a rather lack luster performance versus Belluci, the typical “Nole” play style was there but the energy was not. Though the explanation could be that the ATP Finals London are around the corner and Djokovic might not perform at 100% until then, or at least prior to facing some real competition. Not to speak down on the world’s top 30 tennis players, but truth be told only players such as Federer, Murray, Nadal and Wawrinka seems to be able to stand on par versus a Djokovic at full strength.
Simon Gilles will be coming into this fixture with 3 victories and 2 defeats in his latest 5 games. The Frenchman defeated his fellow countryman Benoit Paire in the first round, Gilles displayed great focus and motivation as he never lost his sights on the victory or let his emotions get the best of him even after Paire´s comeback in the second set. Paire showed a lot of emotions in that fixture and Gilles took advantage of it and eventually finished the game with 6-4, 4-6, 6-1.
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Novak Djokovic and Simon Gilles have a head to head record of 8-1 in favor of Djokovic, they last faced each other two times in 2014 and both of those matches were 2-1 victories for Djokovic, even though Djokovic´s shape has improved the fact that he seems to be holding back a little means that those matches serves as a decent preview for this fixture. Simon Gilles one win was from their first meeting way back in 2008 where he defeated Nole with 6-2, 6-7(6), 6-3. Only 2 of their 9 face offs were straight set matches so the over 2.5 sets pick should hold some value in this fixture.
The viking’s prediction for this game is that Djokovic takes it in three sets, when Nole is facing anyone sub top-10 there isn´t really any other outcome (maybe versus Ivo Karlovic, but that´s a special scenario as Karlovic´s serves requires you to stay fully focused for potentially 39 games). But the fact that the ATP Finals London are coming up and Djokovic will probably save his strength a bit (at least prior to the semi-finals here in Paris) means that there is value to be had in the handicap picks and in the over 19 games pick.
The value in this match doesnt lie in the straight up win pick but in the result and the overs picks. Avoid the 2-0 and the straight up win pick, if you´re considering the Djokovic -5.5 games or Djokovic -1.5 sets just because “it´s Nole, he doesn’t lose” then please reconsider for your bankroll’s sake.
Novak Djokovic – Simon Gilles 2-1 @ 5.65
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The vikings picks for this game:
Over 19.0 games @ 1.86
Over 2.5 sets @ 4.55
Novak Djokovic – Simon Gilles, Novak Djokovic @ 1.05
Novak Djokovic – Simon Gilles, Simon Gilles +5.5 games @ 1.80
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