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Saturday, 21 November 2015

ATP World Tour Finals Day 7 Picks 2015 (November 21st)

The ATP World Tour Finals have reached the Semi Finals in London and that means there are only two days left for the Singles tournaments before the Davis Cup Final next week which will conclude the 2015 season.

Andy Murray's defeat on Friday was a big disappointment and means he is a little vulnerable as World Number 2 with a Roger Federer title win meaning the latter will be taking that position in the World Rankings.

Murray was not impressed with his performance, but he will now have a week to get back on the clay courts and get ready for the trip to Belgium where is likely going to need to win two Singles and one Doubles rubber if Great Britain are to win the Davis Cup. He won't be facing the level of competition he has this week though and I think Murray will be confident by the time that Final rolls around even if there are some weird vibes from his camp which saw them sitting high in the O2 Arena rather than courtside on Friday.

On Saturday we have the two Semi Finals played and both look like they could be very good matches on paper especially in the form that the four players have shown this week.

Hopefully I can pick three winners over the next two days to end this week in a very positive manner.

Novak Djokovic - 4.5 games v Rafael Nadal: Rafael Nadal still holds the head to head advantage over Novak Djokovic, but it is the World Number 1 who has won seven of their last eight matches against one another. That includes straight sets wins at the Monte Carlo Masters in April, the French Open back in May and in Beijing last month.

I don't think you can doubt that Rafael Nadal is in much better form than in those matches earlier in the season, but he was quite convincingly pushed aside by Djokovic in Beijing when the Spaniard won just four games.

I would be very surprised if this Semi Final is not a lot closer with Nadal producing some very strong tennis to win all three Group games. On the other hand Djokovic has not quite looked up to his very best the last couple of matches, although he had Friday off while Nadal was having to dig deep to beat David Ferrer in three sets.

It is a match up that Djokovic has enjoyed in recent matches as his more consistent length has made it very difficult for Nadal to stay in the extended rallies. His serve is also under-rated and I think Djokovic will have the higher number of break point chances in this one and Nadal is perhaps not fully restored at his top level to challenge the World Number 1.

In the last eight matches, Djokovic would cover this number of games in a victory over Nadal six times including in all three matches they have played this season. A couple of years ago Djokovic also beat Nadal by a five game margin in the Final here at the World Tour Finals and I think he will have a little too much for the Spaniard again.

After some battling rallies, I think Djokovic comes through 64, 63 in this Semi Final.

Roger Federer - 3.5 games v Stan Wawrinka: Last year at the O2 Arena, Roger Federer beat Stan Wawrinka in what had to be the most controversial match between a pair of friends. Wawrinka and Federer's wife Mirka got into something on the court which saw both players meet up and hash things out backstage at the conclusion of the match in anticipation of their Davis Cup Final exploits that were to take place later in the week.

Both men have put that incident behind them, but you know the cameras will be fixed on Mirka and Wawrinka in this match as the media perhaps hope to catch a second coming together. It is unlikely though with the respect Wawrinka and Federer have for one another and this could be a very intriguing Semi Final on Saturday evening.

There are questions that both will need to answer- Stan Wawrinka had to play Friday night and it was a tough win for him over Andy Murray although he did get it done in two sets. However, it will be interesting to see if he can recover physically, while Roger Federer had been suffering with a cold on Thursday and will hope to be in better shape come Saturday.

In their three matches this season, all of them have seen the winner dominate. Federer has won two of those and Wawrinka has won one, but each win has come in straight sets and I do favour Federer in this Semi Final. Last season's Semi Final was very competitive, but Federer played the big points not as well as he would have expected and he can make things a little more straight-forward this time around.

Federer will need to serve better than he did against Kei Nishikori, but that might be possible with the additional focus with this being a more competitive match for him. I am also thinking he will be feeling better by this moment and Federer can find his way to a 63, 64 win and a rematch with Novak Djokovic in the Final.

MY PICKS: Novak Djokovic - 4.5 Games @ 2.10 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Roger Federer - 3.5 Games @ 2.00 Ladbrokes (2 Units)

World Tour Finals Update: 7-5, + 2.70 Units (24 Units Staked, + 11.25% Yield)

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