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Saturday, 18 November 2017

ATP World Tour Finals Day 7 Picks 2017 (November 18th)

The Davis Cup Final is still to come next weekend, but this is officially the end of the Tennis Tour for 2017 over the next couple of days with the ATP World Tour Finals down to the final three matches.

On Saturday we have two Semi Final matches before the Final is played on Sunday evening and then everyone can have a break and start preparing for the 2018 season which begins on New Year's Eve in Brisbane.

It really doesn't feel like a very long break, but that is the way it goes and the likes of Grigor Dimitrov, Roger Federer, Jack Sock and David Goffin will be looking to build some momentum for the new season. We have seen in previous years players following their tennis in London with a strong start to 2018, while Goffin could use the performances here to inspire Belgium to a big success in the Davis Cup.

That's for another day though and the concentration on Saturday is on the two Singles Semi Final matches to be played throughout the day. It is Roger Federer and David Goffin who have been given the afternoon session before Grigor Dimitrov takes on Jack Sock in the second Semi Final in the evening.

Roger Federer - 4.5 games v David Goffin: I backed David Goffin to beat Dominic Thiem as the underdog in their 'winner takes all' Group Stage match on Friday and that means the Belgian Number 1 has earned himself a Semi Final spot. That is the good news, but the bad news for Goffin is that he has to face Roger Federer who has dominated their previous head to head and looks to be rounding into peak form at just the right time to win another ATP World Tour Finals.

He may have won all three matches played so far this week, but Federer has yet to really hit his best form. That has been highlighted by the close nature of his matches with the last two needing three sets to earn this wins over Alexander Zverev and Marin Cilic.

Federer should be well rested having had Friday off while Goffin was winning a tense match against Dominic Thiem, but I have to be a little concerned with the slightly irritated manner in which Federer has carried himself this week. Maybe he is searching for perfection or been a little a tense because of the limited chances he knew he would get against some stronger servers, but Federer has to be happy he has come through with three wins.

Another factor that will encourage Federer is the kind of tennis he is going to face against Goffin with the latter not someone who is going to overpower an opponent. He will allow Federer to build a nice rhythm and I do think Goffin's serve is one that Federer will enjoy attacking which should mean he is on the front foot for much of this match.

The Federer serve has been a big weapon for him so far on a court that should suit him in this match up and I think the former World Number 1 is going to be too good for Goffin here.

Federer is 6-0 against Goffin which includes a 6-1, 6-2 win over him in Basel last month. The Swiss player has won all four matches against Goffin on the hard courts and has generally dominated those matches with one set dropped and this number of games is one that I think Federer is going to be good enough to cover.

As much as I want to credit Goffin for making it through to the Semi Final, I think it can't be ignored he beat an injured Rafael Nadal and a fatigued Dominic Thiem to do that. Now he faces a player who is much more confident and healthy than those players and I think Federer is able to work through to a 6-3, 6-3 win.

Jack Sock + 2.5 games v Grigor Dimitrov: The first Semi Final at the ATP World Tour Finals may not be as competitive as the fans will be hoping if it goes the way I expect. However I think the second Semi Final could a really good match between Grigor Dimitrov and Jack Sock and I am finding as difficult as the layers in trying to separate them.

That might be a surprise when you think how the two players have progressed through the Group Stage to reach this Semi Final.

While Jack Sock lost his opening match and needed final set deciders to beat Marin Cilic and Alexander Zverev, Grigor Dimitrov won all three matches in the Group and he has dropped just four games combined in the last two matches.

It shows Dimitrov is in very strong form and enjoying the conditions at the O2 Arena, but I have to factor in the weaker Group in which he was operating. I certainly think Dimitrov would have had his work cut out if he was swapped with Jack Sock while I would have expected the American to come through the other Group with some room to spare so I think this has all the makings of a close match.

Sock has the head to head advantage having won the last three matches between the players including in Indian Wells back in March, but I have to have a touch of concern with the amount of tennis he has had to play here. However Sock is enjoying his time and this has been seen as playing with 'house money' having sneaked into the ATP World Tour Finals and Sock has looked very confident with his tactics on the court.

You have to accept Dimitrov is going to be the fresher player despite playing on Friday while Sock was resting. He has not been taxed in either of the last two matches and Dimitrov has been producing some very strong tennis.

However I think the lack of pressure against his has just allowed Dimitrov to play his tennis with some freedom and I am looking for Sock to produce the big serves and heavy forehands which can force Dimitrov to look for more. If Sock serves well he has every chance of a third consecutive win as the underdog here in London and I do think there is a chance that Dimitrov is undercooked and ill-prepared for this one having won two matches easier than expected.

With the mental obstacle of facing a player who has gotten the better of him in their professional meetings and the serve working effectively enough for Sock, I do think the American can make use of these games, and I think he can challenge the Dimitrov serve with every chance of this one going at least three sets and being close all the way to the end.

Sock is good enough to win this and that makes the games being given to him that much more appealing here.

MY PICKS: Roger Federer - 4.5 Games @ 1.80 Sporting Bet (2 Units)
Jack Sock + 2.5 Games @ 1.91 Ladbrokes (2 Units)

ATP World Tour Finals Update: 8-4, + 6.76 Units (24 Units Staked, + 28.17% 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 :)