Eighth Dubai triumph is not beyond Federer
Legend looks overpriced
Roger Federer has started 2017 very much on the front foot and after missing half of last season, he already looks to be playing better than he was in early 2016.
He recently secured his 18th Grand Slam singles crown at the Australian Open and judging by his form and fitness, it would take a brave punter to rule out another coming his way.
Before then, however, there is the matter of a trip to Dubai followed by the Indian Wells and Miami spring double.
At the grand age of 35, there is no way he will be winning all three tournaments, but while he can be considered for one of the two Masters Series 1000 titles, Federer still holds a lot of love for Dubai.
Federer has gone all the way in the Emirates state no fewer than seven times and with Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal due to turn out in Acapulco this week, his main rival looks to be world number one Andy Murray.
The Scot is obviously the bookmakers’ favourite due to his ranking, but it’s a concern that he has reached the Dubai final only once in his glorious career and Murray would be no certainty to account for Federer should they meet in the semi-finals.
Lucas Pouille is another potential stumbling-block for the Swiss legend, but the French 23-year-old is far from sure to repeat last week’s heroics in Marseille, where he found only Jo-Wilfried Tsonga too good.
Stan Wawrinka, Gael Monfils, Tomas Berdych and Roberto Bautista Agut are the seeds in the bottom half of the draw. Wawrinka looks the biggest threat, but Berdych has performed well in Dubai down the years. He will not be pleased at having dropped to 14th in the ATP chart and could be a live threat to the market leaders.
1pt 7-2 Betfred, Ladbrokes
Venue Aviation Club, Al Garhoud, Dubai
Prize money $2,617,160 ($523,330 to winner)
Ranking points to winner 500
Surface Outdoor Decoturf II hard courts
Ball Head ATP
When to bet Starts 10am today
Where to watch Daily live coverage on Sky Sports
Weather forecast Mostly dry and sunny. High 29C
Time difference Dubai is four hours ahead of the UK and Ireland