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Friday, 17 November 2017

ATP World Tour Finals Day 6 Picks 2017 (November 17th)

The ATP World Tour Finals have got a couple of 'winner takes all' contests in the Group Stage this week before the Semi Finals are set for Saturday.

It is something of a disadvantage that the players in the second Group have to play Friday and then take on rested opponents on Saturday, but at this level of the Tennis Tour I would not expect it to be a tremendous problem in a best of three set situation.

However you would also be foolish to ignore the fact that the players in the second Group are only 6-12 in the Semi Final matches since this tournament has moved to the O2 Arena in London and that has to be on the mind of someone like Grigor Dimitrov who has already won the second Group.

Unfortunately tennis is a sport in which it can be hard to simply give up without looking bad in front of the paying public and I expect Dimitrov to put in a full effort in his remaining Group match against Pablo Carreno Busta.

His Semi Final has yet to be decided while I am writing this, but Dimitrov would likely be a slight favourite against Alexander Zverev and a stronger one against Jack Sock depending who has won their Semi Final on Thursday evening.

The other Semi Final will be between Roger Federer and the winner of the Dominic Thiem versus David Goffin Group match which is played on Friday. Regardless of the winner, Roger Federer is going to be a big favourite to move through to the Final on Sunday and I expect the prices will reflect that.

David Goffin v Dominic Thiem: There are factors in play here which does make it harder to figure out who will be moving through to the Semi Final at the ATP World Tour Finals when Dominic Thiem and David Goffin play one another on Friday afternoon. Both players have a win over a Spanish opponent to get into this decider with Goffin beating an injured Rafael Nadal and Thiem beating alternate Pablo Carreno Busta in three sets on Wednesday.

Both have been beaten by Grigor Dimitrov this week but it has to be said that the Thiem match was a lot closer having gone down in the final set. On the other hand Goffin won just two games in his defeat a couple of days ago, but I just think things went wrong for the Belgian that day and Dimitrov couldn't miss.

The body language was not the best from Goffin who has to be looking forward to representing Belgium in the Davis Cup Final next weekend. There is the factor of him perhaps wanting to get some rest ahead of the Final beginning next Friday with Belgium's hopes resting squarely on his shoulders, but I don't think Goffin will want to head to his team with back to back defeats and getting more playing time on an indoor hard court can't hurt him.

However you can't ignore how Goffin played against Dimitrov and the body language on the day. I am chalking it up to Goffin perhaps being frustrated with how things went on the day and I expect a much better performance all around from him.

Goffin is going to be facing an opponent in Dominic Thiem who showed plenty of heart and determination in his three set win over Pablo Carreno Busta, although I think Thiem should have wonthe match much more comfortably. Fatigue issues continue to be a problem for Thiem until he is able to get a better schedule in place earlier in the season, and I think someone like Goffin is able to really highlight those with his consistency.

There is no doubting Thiem is flashier and has the power and shot making to really excite the crowd. However he has played back to back three set matches already this week which has to be a critical factor in this match, while Thiem is only 3-7 in the head to head with Goffin.

That includes losing both matches played against Goffin in 2017 and the head to head on the hard courts are 1-4 in favour of the Belgian. The speed of the court could be a problem for Goffin if Thiem is on with his shots, but I think Goffin knows how to play this match and I expect he can outlast Thiem as the underdog.

Grigor Dimitrov - 4.5 games v Pablo Carreno Busta: This is a big number of games for Grigor Dimitrov to cover when you think he is already through as the top Seed in this Group and may be concentrating on the Semi Final to come. However I think Dimitrov will want to keep the momentum going after a couple of confidence boosting wins and he should be too good for Pablo Carreno Busta.

It was a fantastic performance from Dimitrov two days ago as he crushed David Goffin in straight sets, but that was a peak Dimitrov performance and I can't see him replicating that level in this one. However I also think Dimitrov doesn't have to be as close to perfect to beat Carreno Busta in the final Group match of the 2017 ATP World Tour Finals.

The Spaniard will have some motivation considering the money on offer for each win at this tournament so I am not so concerned that he has already been knocked out. However he will have to be a lot better to beat Dimitrov having been a little fortunate to get into the position he did in the third set against Dominic Thiem a couple of days ago.

The Carreno Busta serve is his weakest shot and defending on this court has proven to be very difficult which is an issue if Dimitrov is as aggressive as he has been so far.

I also think the match with Thiem was closer than it should have been because the latter has been having a few issues with his fitness at this time of the season. Even then Carreno Busta gave up break points in over half of his service games played and trying to deal with that pressure against an opponent like Dimitrov who has broken his opponents nine times already this week could be a challenge.

Dimitrov can be a little up and down at those big moments despite what he showed against David Goffin a couple of days ago. He was only 3/8 on break points against Thiem in his first match and Dimitrov can be someone who gets flustered when dealing with those points, while Carreno Busta showed plenty of guts to save as many break points as he did in his loss.

However Carreno Busta has been in poor form since the US Open Semi Final and I think he will have difficulties to contain Dimitrov in this one. He may have won the last two matches against Dimitrov, but both came on the clay courts that would favour Carreno Busta and I think the Bulgarian is the superior player on a court like the one they will meet on on Friday evening.

If Dimitrov can take the chances that come his way more often than not, I think he is able to win this one fairly easily. He should create enough break point chances in enough games to work his way to a 6-3, 6-4 win in this final Group match.

MY PICKS: David Goffin @ 2.00 Ladbrokes (2 Units)
Grigor Dimitrov - 4.5 Games @ 2.10 Paddy Power (2 Units)

ATP World Tour Finals Update: 6-4, + 2.56 Units (20 Units Staked, + 12.80% Yield)

1 comment:

  1. I'm personally a big fan of Rafa. Did an illustration of Rafa and Roger a while back. You can check it out and download it for free if you want on the following link:


    Let me know what you think :)