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Monday, 14 November 2016

ATP World Tour Finals Tennis Picks 2016 (November 14th)

The ATP World Tour Finals got underway on Sunday and while this remains a big tournament for anyone to win, the focus might be on the battle between Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray for the right to end the year with the World Number 1 Ranking.

Murray has the edge at the moment, but Novak Djokovic made a winning start to his campaign after coming from a set behind to beat Dominic Thiem. Losing that set might raise some questions, but I think Djokovic was the better player and just didn't play the big point as well as he could have early in the match which might have set up a much more straightforward day in the office.

He did serve better than I may have expected though although that will be something to keep an eye on in the next few days and there were some signs of frustration which can't be ignored. However I still expect that win to spark Novak Djokovic through to the Semi Final and have a chance to reclaim the World Number 1 spot by winning the title in London yet again.

There were also no real problems for Milos Raonic who beat Gael Monfils easily in the second match having had all the chances. That means it is Raonic versus Djokovic on Tuesday with Monfils taking on Thiem in a situation where the losing player will be all but out of the tournament.

Monday sees Group B get underway and I think every match in this section is going to be fascinating to watch. Andy Murray might be the big favourite to win the tournament, but I don't think it is clear cut that he comes out of this Group and will surely be tested by the other three players in the Group.

The picks went 1-1 on Sunday with Novak Djokovic covering and Gael Monfils failing to do the same, but I do hope we can start putting some positive results together on Monday.

Stan Wawrinka + 1.5 games v Kei Nishikori: The conditions in London look faster than they have been for the World Tour Finals in recent years. It will be interesting to see how the players deal with things in the coming days, but neither Stan Wawrinka nor Kei Nishikori can afford to make a slow start in their adjustments in what looks a very strong Group.

Only two players will go through to the Semi Finals so the winning player in this one will take a big step towards that, although it is Andy Murray that will be considered a big favourite to go through. It isn't straightforward though with Wawrinka and Nishikori both knowing they are capable of beating Murray and so their opening match against one another is going to be very interesting.

It has all the makings of a really tight match and their past matches against one another suggests that will be the case with one or two key points making the difference. Stan Wawrinka has a definite power edge in the contest, but Kei Nishikori might feel he has the better consistency although a faster surface should give Wawrinka a little edge which can make all the difference.

The only Swiss representative in the World Tour Finals has the bigger serve too and that can only aid Wawrinka although he hasn't really performed to the standards that saw him win the US Open since that triumph. Nishikori did reach the Final in Basel where the conditions will likely be similar to the ones he sees in London, but I wouldn't be surprised if we need to go deep into a third set to separate these players.

I do think Wawrinka can win this one outright if he can serve well, but I will take the games at a decent price and look for him to keep it close even if he doesn't quite have enough to take the victory.

Marin Cilic + 3.5 games v Andy Murray: This was initially a 4.5 game start for Marin Cilic which would have been very appealing, but taking the games at odds against still looks a positive in this second match in Group B on Monday evening. Cilic will be battling the home fans as well as the World Number 1 Andy Murray who is coming into this tournament looking to have a big run in London for the first time.

Both players have been in very good form in the indoor portion of the tennis season and the quicker conditions in London will give Cilic a real chance to upset players in the World Tour Finals. If he is serving well he can get a few short balls from which he can penetrate the Murray defences and he did beat the British player when they met in the quick conditions of Cincinnati.

I don't think this court will be as quick as Cincinnati or Dubai, but we saw Murray have some issues with the big hitting from Fernando Verdasco and Tomas Berdych when he played those two in Paris. The courts at the O2 Arena are expected to be of a similar speed as the ones in Paris so Cilic has to feel he has the power to break down the Murray defences too.

Murray is going to be very motivated here this week, and he has a lot of momentum behind him having been on a long winning run since losing in the US Open Quarter Final. However he has beaten none of the top eight players in that run and he has lost the last two times he has played those players that have ended in these spots. On the other hand Cilic has had some big wins since the US Open and I think he will keep this one competitive and I will back him with the games in the pocket.

MY PICKS: Stan Wawrinka + 1.5 Games @ 1.83 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Marin Cilic + 3.5 Games @ 2.20 Paddy Power (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 1-1, + 0.40 Units (4 Units Staked, + 10% Yield)

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