Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: 2020 ATP Tour: Nitto ATP Finals

2020 ATP Tour: Nitto ATP Finals

We take a look at the Selected Round Robin Matches from the Nitto ATP Finals taking place at O2 Arena, London (Indoor Hardcourt).

Photo Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

O2 Arena, London (Indoor Hardcourt)
Nitto ATP Finals
Selected Round Robin Matches- 17th November

Danil Medvedev (1/6) vs Diego Schwartzman (4/1)
Danil Medvedev is the name on everyone’s lips following his crushing victory over Novak Djokovic. To be sure, it was hardly vintage Djokovic on court. But for a man who counts Djokovic as a childhood hero- he was watching the Serb win slams when he was eight- this was a brilliant effort.  It extends his recent dominance over the World Number One. Medvedev seems to be peaking at just the right time.  For much of the year he played second-fiddle to Andrey Rublev in the dangerous Russian stakes. Following a disappointing season he was exceptional in Paris, once again showing his proclivity for this last quarter of the year. Much like Dominic Thiem, Medvedev has the comfort of knowing that he is already through to the next round. But I don’t predict any respite from a man simply oozing confidence at the moment.  

This has been something of a baptism of fire for the diminutive Diego Schwartzman. It didn’t help that his first match was against a five-time champion in this event. He showed some gumption against a slightly beleaguered Alex Zverev. But he simply doesn’t have the raw power on either side to trouble the top players. His quarterfinal loss in Bercy was perhaps the level that he should consistently aim for on this surface. Everything about his game is made for clay. I think of another super-short player of year’s past: David Ferrer.  Ferrer certainly made the most of his abilities despite his limitations. But Ferrer possessed enough power on that forehand wing to hurt his classier opponents.  I don’t want to seem like I’m getting too down on the Argentine. I just think he’s perhaps benefited from this chaotic year more than most.  

Danil Medvedev leads this head-to-head handsomely. He leads 4-0, with three victories coming on hardcourts. Some may think there is value in backing a Medvedev win in three sets. But I don’t think that Medvedev is the sentimental type. He will want a brisk conclusion so he can focus on the semi-final.  Schwartzman has enjoyed a fantastic year but simply doesn’t have the firepower to compete with these guys on this surface. Medvedev in straight sets at 8/15 is the best I can do. 

Jockeys Ride Horses

Alex Zverev (4/11) vs Novak Djokovic (4/9)
This year has seen the men’s tennis universe turned into something akin to an HBO drama. The Covid crisis led to the Adria Tour and all its madness.  Then you had Djokovic’s maddening moment of line-woman abuse at the US Open. But all of that demonization seems a pale thing now in the wake of the assault accusations levelled at Alex Zverev.  So, I think it’s fair to say that this virtual quarterfinal match has a lot hinging on it.  Alex Zverev still looked unconvincing against the fairly lightweight Schwartzman. One thing I will say is that his big serve came through majorly in the latter stages of that match.  Still, his Paris Masters performance seems eons away in the wake of the past week. Now he has the unenviable task of attempting to take down a wounded World Number One.  

With 24 unforced errors, Novak Djokovic was uncharacteristically poor against Danil Medvedev in his last outing.  It was as if he couldn’t redirect the rudder once the ship had gone slightly off course. That result made it three out of four defeats for Djokovic against the lanky Russian.  To keep his hopes of winning a record-equalling 6th ATP Finals alive, Djokovic will need to bounce back quickly.  Though Zverev is hardly playing inspirational tennis, his huge serve and undoubted talent make him a dangerous player to underestimate.  

Djokovic leads the head-to-head narrowly 3-2.  He won their last encounter at last year’s French Open.  But the more curious data lies in their 2018 meetings at this very event. They met twice, with Djokovic winning comfortably in the round robin stages. But Zverev won when it mattered, beating the Serbian in the final to claim the biggest title of his career. I really think Zverev is good value for an upset here. Djokovic looked so poor against Medvedev it was unreal. Zverev is a great fit for this surface and could become an unlikely semi-finalist.  

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