ATP Finals: Thiem and Dimitrov hold the aces in London
David Goffin gave us a 14/5 coup with victory over Rafael Nadal who has now pulled out of the ATP Finals with the knee injury that had put his participation in doubt.
As the next highest-ranked player in the world rankings, Rafael Carreno Busta is the man to replace his fellow Spaniard in the Pete Sampras group, but he joins the end-of-season tournament ill-prepared and out of form ahead of his clash with Dominic Thiem on Wednesday night.
Carreno Busta has struggled since his surprising run to the US Open semi-finals in which he took the opening set against Kevin Anderson, but lost the next three.
The 26-year-old from Gijon has reached the second round in just one of his five events since then, his latest flop coming at the Paris Masters against world No 111 Nicolas Mahut, a player nine years his senior.
Thiem holds a 5-1 lead in previous meetings between the players, although five of those matches were on clay. Their only match on hardcourts came at last year's US Open when the Austrian fought back from losing the opening set to win 3-1 at Flushing Meadows.
Form was something Thiem lacked heading into the finals, but he performed reasonably well against Grigor Dimitrov and a straight-sets win against Carreno Busta looks the sensible option at 10/11.
Dimitrov takes on Goffin in the earlier match with both players looking to book a spot in the semi-finals following first-round wins.
The Bulgarian admitted he was nervous during his match against Thiem and he certainly showed it, throwing away the chance to serve for the match by losing seven points in a row at 30-40 and 5-5 to take the match into a decider.
Goffin played well enough against a clearly struggling Nadal but still needed three sets to see off his injured opponent.
The players have met three times this year, with Goffin finally ending a run of six successive defeats in Rotterdam, but Dimitrov beat the Belgian in the final in Sofia, also on indoor hardcourts.
Dimitrov is 4/7 favourite to make it two wins from two but 29/10 for a 2-1 victory looks good value in what should be a tight encounter.
Dominic Thiem to beat Rafael Carreno Busta in straight sets @ 10/11
Grigor Dimitrov to beat David Goffin 2-1 @ 29/10
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