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Tuesday, 14 November 2017

ATP World Tour Finals Day 3 Picks 2017 (November 14th)

You have to give Rafael Nadal all the credit in the world for the bravery and intense fight he brings onto the court every time he plays, but the Spaniard was clearly struggling in his three set loss to David Goffin on Monday evening.

It wouldn't be a surprise to anyone that Nadal decided to pull out of the ATP World Tour Finals immediately after the defeat, but the Spaniard admitted he was going to do that whether he had won or lost. He has time to get ready for the Australian Open, but there is no need to risk the knees which have cost Nadal plenty of playing time throughout his career already.

2017 has been a memorable year for Nadal as he returned to the top of the World Rankings and added two more Grand Slam titles to his collection. I do hope rest is all that is needed to get back to full health and be ready for the 2018 season because seeing Nadal at his best is still something amazing to view and tennis is better for the Spaniard being at his best.

Nadal's decision means alternate Pablo Carreno Busta will enter the ATP World Tour Finals for the first time and he still has a chance of earning a Semi Final spot with two matches to play. The first of those will come on Wednesday when Carreno Busta takes on Dominic Thiem in the match between the two players who have a loss from the opening round robin of matches in this Group.

On Tuesday we move back to the first Group as the second round of matches gets underway. We could have the first Semi Finalist decided by the end of Tuesday and also the first player eliminated from the tournament if the results go that way.

That makes it a big day of tennis at the O2 Arena with everything to play for.

Marin Cilic - 1.5 games v Jack Sock: I am not surprised that the layers are finding it quite tough to separate Marin Cilic and Jack Sock in this match which is the second one both players play at the World Tour Finals. The losses they suffered on Sunday means there is work to do to make it through to the Semi Final and the losing player will be all but out before the second match gets underway.

I am not entirely convinced that the court in London suits Jack Sock and he really struggled with his return against Roger Federer in his straight sets loss a couple of days ago. On the other hand Marin Cilic might feel he should have beaten Alexander Zverev before giving the match away in the third set and so the Croatian is perhaps the right favourite going into this match.

However you can't dismiss the fact that Sock is 2-0 in the head to head against Marin Cilic with both wins coming on the hard courts. They haven't played one another for fifteen months, but it is a mental edge and I do think that played a part in Cilic's loss to Zverev who he had been trailing 1-3 in the head to head before the defeat on Sunday.

That may come into play in this one and I think that is a factor as to why the layers think there is little between these players. I do believe that Sock is playing with the freedom that comes with a surprise appearance in the World Tour Finals, but he is going to have to return a lot better than he did against Roger Federer when facing a big serve like the one Cilic possesses.

Cilic's return game was working slightly better than Zverev's in his own loss, and the Croatian may be seen as a little unfortunate as he had looked the stronger player going into the final set. There are times when Cilic seems to throw in too many errors in succession which can make it hard to trust him against some of the other elite players on the Tour, but I am leaning towards him winning this match and covering the number in the process.

The serve should be able to exert enough pressure on Sock to see the American just make a few more mistakes on his own serve to make the difference in this one. Cilic losing their two previous matches is a concern, but I think he can give himself a chance of reaching the Semi Final with a tight win over Sock here.

Roger Federer - 3.5 games v Alexander Zverev: Both Roger Federer and Alexander Zverev won their opening matches at the ATP World Tour Finals and the winner of this one will almost certainly earn their spot in the Semi Final. Out of the two players it was Federer who looked more comfortable in the opening matches on Sunday, but this is a new day and Zverev has to feel more confident with a win under his belt.

Much of this match is going to come down to how effective the Zverev aggression is to put Federer in a tough position. The young German looks the most likely player to break through the domination of the 'big four' players that have been leading the way in men's tennis over the last fifteen years and he has plenty of big wins behind him to suggest he will be anything but overawed.

Zverev has a very big game which will likely see him as one of the leading contenders to win some of the big events to come in 2018. His serve is one that can set up plenty of easy points, while the overall game sees Zverev really pick the moments to use his aggressive groundstrokes off both wings to good effect.

He will need to bring all of that onto the court if he is going to upset Federer again having gone 2-2 against him on the Tour and having beaten him in straight sets in the Final of the Canadian Masters back in August. However it has to be said that Federer was not at full health for that Final and the situation may be reversed on Tuesday after Zverev has looked a little out of sorts at the end of what has been a long season.

If it wasn't for Marin Cilic perhaps losing some focus, it may have been the Croatian and not Zverev who won that match and Zverev has to know he has to improve his level if he is going to beat Federer. While there are some doubts about how much Zverev has in the tank, the same can't be said for Federer who looked comfortable in his win over Jack Sock and who has been in fine form to end a remarkable 2017 season.

Federer was serving very well against Sock, but the feeling is that Zverev will offer more of a threat on the return. That may just keep Federer very focused in this one and I think he can find a way to get the better of his younger opponent on a court that favours Federer more than any other player in this draw as far as I am concerned.

I will be looking for Federer to earn a revenge for his Canadian Masters Final loss and I think he can do that with a 7-5, 6-4 win.

MY PICKS: Marin Cilic - 1.5 Games @ 2.00 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Roger Federer - 3.5 Games @ 1.83 Sporting Bet (2 Units)

ATP World Tour Finals Update: 2-2, - 0.30 Units (8 Units Staked, - 3.75% Yield)

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