Daniil Medvedev can end a breakthrough year on a high
Daniil Medvedev can end a breakthrough year on a high

Tennis betting tips: Preview and best bets for the ATP Finals


Andy Schooler brings you his player-by-player guide to the 2021 ATP Finals – and picks out his best bets for the action in Turin.

Tennis betting tips: ATP Finals

3pts Daniil Medvedev to win the ATP Finals at 3/1 (BetVictor, BoyleSports)

1.5pts Andrey Rublev to qualify for the semi-finals at 11/8 (Coral, Ladbrokes)

0.5pt Hubert Hurkacz to win the Red Group at 11/1 (Paddy Power, Betfair, bet365)

Sky Bet odds | Paddy Power | Betfair Sportsbook


Nitto ATP Finals

  • Turin, Italy (indoor hard)

After 12 highly successful years in London, the ATP Finals has moved on.

Italy is its new home, more specifically, Turin.

Sadly, reports suggest ticket sales won’t be at the same level as they were in England even though a home player, Matteo Berrettini, has qualified.

The Wimbledon runner-up takes his place among the elite field, made up of the eight best players across the season.

It features two debutants – Hubert Hurkacz and Casper Ruud – although the top seed is a familiar face.

Novak Djokovic has already secured the year-end number one spot for a record seventh time. This week he will bid to equal Roger Federer’s feat of six ATP Finals titles.

He will do so on GreenSet Grand Prix indoor hardcourts – the same surface used at the recent Paris Masters.

It was criticised, not least by Daniil Medvedev, for being too stodgy but early indications from practice suggest it may be playing a little quicker in Turin.

To the naked eye, it doesn’t look fast, even though organisers of the Next Gen ATP Finals, being played in Italy over the past week, clearly made a decision to speed things up.

Anyway, let’s not get too caught up in that. Most of this field have proved they can adapt to different conditions.

Time to take a look at the contenders, who have been split into two groups of four. The top two in each progress to the semi-finals.

GREEN GROUP

Novak Djokovic

  • Best odds: Title – 7/5; Win group – 4/9; Qualify for SFs – 1/5
  • Race to Turin position: 1
  • World ranking (at Nov 8): 1
  • 2021 win-loss record: 48-6 (5 titles – Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, Belgrade, Paris)
  • 2021 win-loss v top 10: 12-3
  • 2021 indoor record: 4-0 – W Paris
  • Tournament record: 38-16 – SF 20, Gp 19, RU 18, RU 16, W 15, W 14, W 13, W 12, Gp 11, SF 10, Gp 09, W 08, Gp 07
  • Recent form: W Paris

Record v group opponents:

v Tsitsipas – overall: 6-2; indoor hard: 1-0; 2021: 2-0
v Rublev – overall: 0-0; indoor hard: 0-0; 2021: 0-0
v Ruud – overall: 1-0; indoor hard: 0-0; 2021: 0-0

Djokovic went so close to winning the fabled Grand Slam this year, falling at the very last hurdle by losing the US Open final to Daniil Medvedev. Still, winning the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon in the same year is a feat last achieved in 1969 which puts some perspective on what a spectacular year it’s been. Perhaps even more remarkable was the fact the Serb was able to put the disappointment of New York behind him straight away. After an extended break, he returned to the match court in Paris recently and duly claimed a record-breaking 37th Masters 1000 title. That said, you can certainly argue he’s not been as dominant. Of his 11 matches since Wimbledon, Djokovic has won just two in straight sets which suggests he could be vulnerable in a field of this class. Still, one of the great fighters knows how to dig in when he has to and a 12-3 record against the top 10 his year suggests he’ll take all the beating.

Stefanos Tsitsipas

  • Best odds: Title – 10/1; Win group – 5/1; Qualify for SFs - evens
  • Race to Turin position: 4
  • World ranking (at Nov 8): 4
  • 2021 win-loss record: 55-18 (2 titles – Monte Carlo, Lyon)
  • 2021 win-loss v top 10: 5-7
  • 2021 indoor record: 6-4 – L32 Paris, L16 Vienna, QF Marseille, SF Rotterdam (and 1 win at Laver Cup)
  • Tournament record: 5-3 – Gp 20, W 19
  • Recent form: L32 Paris, L16 Vienna, QF Indian Wells

Record v group opponents:

v Djokovic – overall: 2-6; indoor hard: 0-1; 2021: 0-2
v Rublev – overall: 4-3; indoor hard: 2-1; 2021: 1-1
v Ruud – overall: 1-1; indoor hard: 0-0; 2021: 1-1

Tsitsipas won this title two years ago in London but it’s hard to make much of a case for a repeat in 2021. Form hasn’t been great of late but more of a worry has to be his physical fitness. He quit his last match in Paris on November 3 with an arm injury and spoke afterwards about it being a long-term issue that had “gotten bigger in the past couple of weeks” before adding that “going out on the court practising doesn’t make it better”. Tsitsipas notably cancelled a planned practice session on Thursday before saying on Friday that he was still feeling pain. With preparation so poor, form disappointing and a record against the elite which isn’t exactly sparkling, he has to be opposed this week.

Andrey Rublev

  • Best odds: Title – 25/1; Win group – 8/1; Qualify for SFs – 11/8
  • Race to Turin position: 5
  • World ranking (at Nov 8): 5
  • 2021 win-loss record: 48-20 (1 title – Rotterdam)
  • 2021 win-loss v top 10: 3-3
  • 2021 indoor record: 7-3 – L32 Paris, QF St Petersburg, L16 Moscow, W Rotterdam (and 1 win at Laver Cup)
  • Tournament record: 1-2 – Gp 20
  • Recent form: L32 Paris, QF St Petersburg, L16 Moscow, L32 Indian Wells, SF San Diego
  • Record v group opponents:

v Djokovic – overall: 0-0; indoor hard: 0-0; 2021: 0-0
v Tsitsipas – overall: 3-4; indoor hard: 1-2; 2021: 1-1
v Ruud – overall: 4-0; indoor hard: 0-0; 2021: 2-0

Rublev came into this event buzzing last year after a successful late-year run only to then tumble out by losing his first two matches. There’s no such momentum this time around. He’s struggled for wins indoors this autumn and his sole 2021 title came back in March. The good news this may be an easier group to qualify from than the other so there’s a chance he’s able to play himself back into form. A perfect record against Ruud will certainly help, while he’ll also face Djokovic for the very first time so the element of surprise may work in his favour. The Russian certainly has the power to cause every opponent problems and he may be overpriced at 25/1.

Casper Ruud

  • Best odds: Title – 25/1; Win group – 15/2; Qualify for SFs – 8/5
  • Race to Turin position: 8
  • World ranking (at Nov 8): 8
  • 2021 win-loss record: 53-15 (5 titles – Geneva, Bastad, Gstaad, Kitzbuhel, San Diego)
  • 2021 win-loss v top 10: 2-7
  • 2021 indoor record: 7-2 – QF Paris, QF Vienna (and 1 win at Laver Cup and 2 in Davis Cup)
  • Tournament record: Debut
  • Recent form: QF Paris, QF Vienna, L16 Indian Wells, W San Diego

Record v group opponents:

v Djokovic – overall: 0-1; indoor hard: 0-0; 2021: 0-0
v Tsitsipas – overall: 1-1; indoor hard: 0-0; 2021: 1-1
v Rublev – overall: 0-4; indoor hard: 0-0; 2021: 0-2

Having previously looked a claycourt specialist, Ruud is beginning to show signs of becoming a real contender on hardcourts too. He won his first hardcourt title in San Diego recently to continue a strong second half of the season. With results now coming on faster surfaces, I can see some parallels to the way Dominic Thiem transitioned from clay to hard successfully. While I’m not suggesting the Norwegian will be winning the US Open any time soon, he does warrant a bit more respect that the oddsmakers are giving him. The problem is his record against the elite is pretty poor with a weaker backhand wing able to be exposed by the best. Still, having landed in a group with the injured Tsitsipas and the out-of-form Rublev, maybe he’s capable of a surprise run.


RED GROUP

Daniil Medvedev

  • Best odds: Title – 3/1; Win group – 6/5; Qualify for SFs – 4/9
  • Race to Turin position: 2
  • World ranking (at Nov 8): 2
  • 2021 win-loss record: 54-12 (4 titles – US Open, Marseille, Mallorca, Toronto)
  • 2021 win-loss v top 10: 7-4
  • 2021 indoor record: 9-2 – RU Paris, W Marseille, L32 Rotterdam (and 1 win at Laver Cup)
  • Tournament record: 5-3 – W 20, Gp 19
  • Recent form: RU Paris, L16 Indian Wells

Record v group opponents:

v Zverev – overall: 5-5; indoor hard: 3-2; 2021: 2-0
v Berrettini – overall: 2-0; indoor hard: 0-0; 2021: 1-0
v Hurkacz – overall: 1-1; indoor hard: 0-0; 2021: 1-1

Medvedev played some superb tennis to win this title in London 12 months ago and he enters his title defence as a Grand Slam champion having won the US Open in September. By ending Novak Djokovic’s dominance of the majors, Medvedev truly believes he belongs in this company now and definitely looks a worthy favourite in this group. His defensive skills are at the very top table, while he has a terrific ability to transition from defence to attack with his breathtaking array of shots. Seems to have Zverev’s number at the moment having beaten him four times in a row, including for the loss of just four games in Paris recently. Unbeaten against Berrettini too so should be around at the business end of the week, quite possibly in the final.

Alex Zverev

  • Best odds: Title – 6/1; Win group – 19/10; Qualify for SFs – 4/7
  • Race to Turin position: 3
  • World ranking (at Nov 8): 3
  • 2021 win-loss record: 55-14 (5 titles – Olympics, Acapulco, Madrid, Cincinnati, Vienna)
  • 2021 win-loss v top 10: 8-7
  • 2021 indoor record: 9-2 – SF Paris, W Vienna, L32 Rotterdam (and 1 win at Laver Cup)
  • Tournament record: 8-7 – Gp 20, SF 19, W 18, Gp 17
  • Recent form: SF Paris, W Vienna, QF Indian Wells

Record v group opponents:

v Medvedev – overall: 5-5; indoor hard: 2-3; 2021: 0-2
v Berrettini – overall: 3-1; indoor hard: 0-0; 2021: 1-0
v Hurkacz – overall: 1-0; indoor hard: 0-0; 2021: 0-0

Highly impressive since Wimbledon, Zverev holds a strong argument for being the best player in the second half of 2021. He has lost just three times in 31 matches, a run which took in a gold medal at the Olympics. However, there’s a concern he may have too much tennis in his legs, especially after he surrendered tamely to Medvedev in the semis of the Paris Masters. Still, his serve, so often a problem in the past, has been firing well and his backhand is one of the best in the business. The 2017 champion will have a shot at another title if he brings his A-game to Turin.

Matteo Berrettini

  • Best odds: Title – 16/1; Win group – 10/1; Qualify for SFs – 11/8
  • Race to Turin position: 6
  • World ranking (at Nov 8): 7
  • 2021 win-loss record: 41-11 (2 titles – Belgrade, Queen’s)
  • 2021 win-loss v top 10: 1-6
  • 2021 indoor record: 3-1 – QF Vienna (and 1 win at Laver Cup)
  • Tournament record: 1-2 – Gp 19
  • Recent form: QF Vienna, L32 Indian Wells

Record v group opponents:

v Medvedev – overall: 0-2; indoor hard: 0-0; 2021: 0-1
v Zverev – overall: 1-3; indoor hard: 0-0; 2021: 0-1
v Hurkacz – overall: 1-1; indoor hard: 0-0; 2021: 1-0

Home crowd support helped Andy Murray for years in London and Berrettini will be the fans’ man in Turin this week. He’ll hope that carries him out of this group but that’s far from certain given his 1-6 win-loss record against the top 10 this year. Berrettini’s serve-forehand combination worked spectacularly on the grass (the Italian actually leads the tour for first-serve points won) but since reaching the Wimbledon final he’s gone just 9-4. A thigh injury sustained in SW19 didn’t help on that front but it’s undeniable he’s failed to find his best since that day. Expect opponents to target a backhand weakness; the crowd can only do so much.

Hubert Hurkacz

  • Best odds: Title – 20/1; Win group – 11/1; Qualify for SFs – 8/5
  • Race to Turin position: 7
  • World ranking (at Nov 8): 9
  • 2021 win-loss record: 36-20 (3 titles – Delray Beach, Miami, Metz)
  • 2021 win-loss v top 10: 4-4
  • 2021 indoor record: 8-3 – SF Paris, L32 Vienna, W Metz, L16 Rotterdam, L16 Montpellier
  • Tournament record: Debut
  • Recent form: SF Paris, L32 Vienna, QF Indian Wells, L16 San Diego, W Metz

Record v group opponents:

v Medvedev – overall: 1-1; indoor hard: 0-0; 2021: 1-1
v Zverev – overall: 0-1; indoor hard: 0-0; 2021: 0-0
v Berrettini – overall: 1-1; indoor hard: 0-0; 2021: 0-1

Hurkacz may have won fewer matches (36) than anyone else in this field but he should not be written off. He’s enjoyed some very good indoor results this autumn, winning a third title of the year on the speedy courts of Metz. However, he also proved his ability in slower conditions when reaching the semis in Paris, coming within a few points of beating Djokovic. Is another player with a strong serve in this land-of-the-giants group where breaks make be in short supply. Has beaten both Medvedev and Berrettini before so will have confidence he can get out of a tricky group on debut.


VERDICT

It’s hard to look beyond the top two seeds, Novak Djokovic and DANIIL MEDVEDEV, in terms of a winner and at the prices I like the Russian.

Medvedev beat Djokovic to win the US Open in September (his fourth win in his last six against the Serb at the time) and wasn’t that far away from a repeat indoors in Paris last week – having opened a one-set lead he failed to take his chances in the second and was punished.

Daniil Medvedev kisses the trophy after winning the 2021 US Open
Daniil Medvedev kisses the trophy after winning the 2021 US Open

But the man dubbed an ‘octopus’ for his gangly reach and subsequent ability to get balls back from all parts of the court certainly has a seat at tennis’ top table these days and should go close, especially if the conditions are a bit faster than they were in Paris.

3/1 looks a decent price, one which is more than double Djokovic’s regular odds (although Sky Bet have boosted him to 13/8 which looks sure to be popular).

I’m also going to take a couple of shots in the sub-markets, starting in the Green Group where I can’t have Stefanos Tsitsipas as an even-money chance to qualify given the clear problems he has right now.

I find it hard to envisage him in the semis and so will try ANDREY RUBLEV TO QUALIFY at 11/8.

His form is far from great but he does hold a convincing winning record over rival Casper Ruud.

If Ruud and Tsitsipas can be dispatched, Rublev should make the last four and he certainly has the talent to do that.

Finally, HUBERT HURKACZ TO WIN THE RED GROUP at 11/1 looks a big price.

He’s been playing very well indoors, almost beating Djokovic just a week ago.

The Pole has tested Medvedev whenever they’ve met and beat him at Wimbledon. I wouldn’t rule out an upset when the two clash in the tournament opener on Sunday and if that happens, he’s very much in this.

Even without it, a 2-1 record in the group will always give you a decent chance of winning a tight group – the nature of the beast means the big-priced outsiders can easily not only qualify in that scenario but also go through in top spot.

Of course, it’s a long shot but I’m convinced it’s not an 11/1 chance.

Posted at 0745 GMT on 13/11/21

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