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Tuesday, 15 November 2016

ATP World Tour Finals Tennis Picks 2016 (November 15th)

It was something of a frustrating day for me on Monday with both picks going down, but a 1-1 day might have been much more realistic.

Stan Wawrinka came out so flat on Monday that it was unreal, but he has lost a Group match in each of his previous appearances in the World Tour Finals and still managed to go through to the Semi Final. He can bounce back, but I was disappointed with what looked to be a lack of real desire on his part to get back into the match which was evident after just a few games.

On the other hand I think a little more luck and composure at the big moments would have given Marin Cilic every chance of covering in his match with Andy Murray if not winning that match outright. Murray must be feeling some of the tennis he has had to play over the last few weeks to get into the World Number 1 position as well as having that tag around his neck which has worn down other players in the past.

Murray's record in London at this tournament is not the best either and it is clearly something he wants to change, but Marin Cilic missed his chances early in this match and early in the second set while failing to look after serve effectively.

That also means the favourites have all won comfortably so far this week which hasn't been good news for my picks as I backed three underdogs. Two of those were very disappointing in their opening matches, but I definitely feel I made the right decision to oppose Murray who could have easily dropped the first set if Cilic had been better at the big points.

We go back to Group A on Tuesday as the two winners from Sunday and the two losing players meet each other in the second of the round robin matches in the Group. That means we could see the first players going out/making it through to the Semi Final at the end of Tuesday evening but the overall Group is going to come down to Thursday when the final round of matches are to be played.

Gael Monfils - 1.5 games v Dominic Thiem: Both Dominic Thiem and Gael Monfils were beaten in their opening matches on Sunday although the former showed more of the quality tennis that has taken him into the top eight this season. The problem for Thiem is that he has admitted some tiredness and the way he fell apart against Novak Djokovic after taking the tiebreaker in the first set has to be a concern.

Having a day of rest will help Thiem, but the collapse has been something of a feature of his matches down the stretch in what has been a long season for him. He did win the Tie Break Tens competition in Austria, but the regular tennis points have been tough for Thiem and I am not sure he has a lot left in the tank for the remaining days of the 2016 season.

It hasn't been plain sailing for Monfils either and I was little disappointed that he couldn't produce more in his loss to Milos Raonic. The Frenchman has some solid results to end the 2016 season but he has to show a little more tennis smarts to look for the win in this one rather than entertaining the crowd.

That has been an issue for Monfils through his career, but he has looked more focused in 2016 and I think he can pick himself up from his opening loss. I don't hold much hope for either of these players to make it through to the Semi Final, but I think Monfils can keep his chances alive for another couple of days by using his athleticism to just wear down Thiem over the course of this match.

Thiem admitting he is feeling a little tired would be a worry and I think Monfils can continue the run of straight sets win in this tournament and I will back him to cover the games.

Milos Raonic + 3.5 games v Novak Djokovic: The favourites have been winning easily so far this week so backing against Novak Djokovic who is desperate to finish the year with the World Number 1 Ranking is perhaps a little foolhardy. That is probably even more so when you think he has dominated Milos Raonic in their previous matches and would have covered this number in their previous two matches in 2016 and three in a row in their best of three contests.

That includes a win in the Paris Masters in 2014 for the loss of just five games in what are similar conditions that the players will be facing in London.

However my reason is that Djokovic might be motivated this week but he has also still got some issues that need to be resolved. There looks to be a couple of problems with his camp which came to the fore on Sunday after dropping the first set while the Djokovic serve is still not working to the same level as it was a few months ago. Another problem has been the unforced errors that Djokovic has produced which is considerably below what we expect from him and these are situations that Raonic can take advantage of.

I was concerned about the leg issue Raonic had and whether that would have an affect on his serve in the opening match. Those were set aside by a huge serving day and the Canadian has a big enough game to give Djokovic something to think about and this looks enough games for Raonic to at least produce the first really competitive match at the Tour Finals.

There is every chance we will need at least one tiebreaker in this one too and a strong serving display coupled with taking some of the chances Raonic gets to break serve should see him within this number.

MY PICKS: Gael Monfils - 1.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Milos Raonic + 3.5 Games @ 2.05 Boyle Sports (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 1-3, - 3.60 Units (8 Units Staked, - 45% Yield)

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