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Thursday, 17 November 2016

ATP World Tour Finals Tennis Picks 2016 (November 17th)

The last couple of days at the ATP World Tour Finals have been very much value for money for the fans in attendance with four pretty good matches in the Singles draw. We are now into the final two days of Group matches as we confirm the remaining three Semi Finalists after Novak Djokovic already won Group A.

Novak Djokovic will be back in action on Thursday when he takes on alternate David Goffin who replaces the already knocked out Gael Monfils in the draw. It isn't a completely meaningless match as Novak Djokovic is desperate to end the year with the World Number 1 spot and finishing unbeaten in the Group is a big step towards that journey for him, while David Goffin will have 144,000 very good reasons to give it his all and try and win the match too.

There is no doubting that more is on the line for Milos Raonic and Dominic Thiem who play in the last match in the Group with a very simple formula for the two players- the winner goes through to the Semi Final and the losing player can have a hard earned holiday and then begin preparation for the 2017 season.

It was a frustrating day for the picks when Andy Murray was broken serving for the match at 5-2 in the final set which would have seen him cover the number. Thankfully Stan Wawrinka got the better of Marin Cilic as expected, but I want to have a complete day when both picks come back as winners to get this tournament moving in the direction after a poor start to the week.

Novak Djokovic - 4.5 games v David Goffin: No one can watch Novak Djokovic and say he is playing at his best, but he has been good enough to win this Group and I do think he is playing well enough to beat David Goffin. The alternate comes into the draw and only found out on Wednesday that he will be playing, but that isn't reason enough to oppose him.

Goffin is a solid player, but I still think the serve is something of an issue while playing in these conditions against someone like Djokovic is tough as he tries to build his rhythm from the back of the court. If he isn't serving well it does give Djokovic the chance to get himself involved in the rallies and try and break down the Goffin game.

His movement is a strength but that might not be as helpful on a faster court in London this year although there are questions as to how much Djokovic can keep his unforced errors in check. The last few months have seen Djokovic miss far more shots than he was when dominating the rest of the ATP Tour and giving up free points to Goffin is going to be a problem in this match although Djokovic should still have a considerable edge in the match.

I am not convinced Djokovic is serving as well as he would have wanted in this tournament, but I can see an entertaining match swing his way more often than not. David Goffin has suffered some one-sided losses over the last few weeks as he fell short of making it into the top eight, but he is a flashy player and can help entertain the crowd although I expect he eventually falls 64, 63.

Milos Raonic - 3.5 games v Dominic Thiem: Milos Raonic might not have had a better chance to beat Novak Djokovic than he had in their Group match a couple of days ago, but he has to be encouraged about his chances to move through to the Semi Finals. It is a winner takes all match with Dominic Thiem but I give the Canadian enough of an edge to come through in straight sets.

It was a straight sets win for Raonic when these players met in Cincinnati a few months ago and that was down to the Canadian dominating the Thiem second serve. I do think the Austrian is an improving player, but he definitely needs to work on the second serve which brings a lot of double faults and also allows players to go on the attack and force mistakes from a player who does take big swings of the racquet and can mess up the timing when the ball is on him very quickly.

There is also the added factor of fatigue as Thiem is coming in at the end of a long season where he clearly was slowing down at the end of the 2016 season. There have been some heavy losses as Thiem has found it hard to stay in the moment in matches with mistakes coming thick and fast as the matches progress.

Thiem is capable of playing some really good tennis for some time, but that tiredness begins to set in and we have seen him lose sets by 6-0, 6-1, and 6-2 scores already this week. The pressure Raonic will put on him with his big serve and being able to come through service games a little easier will build on Thiem and the mistakes may begin to come too quickly for the Austrian to stay in the match.

Of course there is nothing left for Thiem this season so he can give his full effort here, but I am not convinced there is enough left in the tank. I can see Raonic coming through with a 75, 63 win as Thiem perhaps falls away in this one and the Canadian can move through to the Semi Final along with Novak Djokovic.

MY PICKS: Novak Djokovic - 4.5 Games @ 1.73 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Milos Raonic - 3.5 Games @ 2.10 Paddy Power (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 3-5, - 3.68 Units (16 Units Staked, + 23% Yield)

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