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Monday, 11 November 2019

ATP World Tour Finals Tennis Day 3 Picks 2019 (November 12th)

The first Group matches at the ATP Tour Finals were played on Sunday and in something of a surprise Roger Federer was beaten by Dominic Thiem in what was a very close match.

That leaves the Swiss former World Number 1 in a very difficult position in the Group and he is in a must win situation on Tuesday when he takes on Matteo Berrettini who was beaten on the same day by Novak Djokovic.

It could mean we are left with a Group match at the end of the week between Djokovic and Federer that could either be an elimination match for both players or at least for Federer, but that depends on how the results go on Tuesday. First up is Roger Federer vs Matteo Berrettini on Tuesday afternoon before Novak Djokovic takes on Dominic Thiem in the evening.

Roger Federer - 3.5 games v Matteo Berrettini: Both of these players lost their opening Group matches at the ATP World Tour Finals which effectively means they are in elimination mode on Tuesday. The losing player is going to need a lot of things to break their way if they are going to get into the weekend in the tournament, but neither Roger Federer nor Matteo Berrettini should be thinking about anything but a win.

Out of the two players it was clear that Federer was a much more competitive losing player on Sunday having been broken late in each set against Dominic Thiem. He had his chances and will be frustrated in losing to the Austrian for the third time in 2019, but Federer will feel that level is going to be good enough to at least see off his opponent on Tuesday.

It was a much tougher day in the office for Matteo Berrettini as he won just three games in his defeat to Novak Djokovic in his debut at the end of season event. I do think the Italian will be better for the experience and he is unlikely to be blown away in this match, but Berrettini's continued struggles to really put his return game together rightly makes him the underdog in the match.

On Sunday Matteo Berrettini only won 25% of return points in the loss to Novak Djokovic and that put too much pressure on his own service games against one of the best returners to ever play the game. At least in this one he will feel that Federer is not quite as potent a return player as Djokovic and so Berrettini might have one or two easier games to hold serve, but even then at some point you would think Federer will find chances to break.

The key to the match is going to be the second serve of each player and the one that can get on top of that serve the best should win. You have to give Federer the real edge on that front and I think that is going to set him up to bounce back from the defeat to Thiem and virtually end Berrettini's very successful 2019 season.

These two did meet at Wimbledon and Roger Federer took advantage of the nerves and lack of experience Matteo Berrettini had to beat him comfortably back in July. I don't think the victory will come as easily as it did that day, but Federer should still find a break more in each set played in this match to cover this number.

Novak Djokovic - 4.5 games v Dominic Thiem: Finishing the year as the World Number 1 is clearly a huge motivation for Novak Djokovic and he continued moving with the momentum picked up following his title win at the Paris Masters. A totally one-sided win over Matteo Berrettini has put Djokovic in a position to all but Qualify for the Semi Final at the ATP World Tour Finals by beating Dominic Thiem.

There is little chance of Djokovic overlooking Thiem considering the latter has also won a title since the end of the US Open and got the better of Roger Federer in his opening Group match. He has yet to reach the Semi Final at the World Tour Finals in three previous appearances at the tournament, but Thiem has to be favoured to get through to the next Round having put a straight sets win over Federer on the board.

Last year Thiem did win his first match in London before losing two Group matches to exit the tournament so he will have to be focused and not think the job is done. The win over Federer was a very good one, but Dominic Thiem could easily have lost on the day and he is going to need to be a lot better if he is going to beat an in-form Novak Djokovic.

The performances from Djokovic since the US Open have been really impressive and shows a man on a mission as he looks to climb ahead of Rafael Nadal in the World Rankings. He only lost three games in dismissing Matteo Berrettini, but Djokovic has split two matches with Thiem this season which includes losing to the Austrian in a five set classic at the French Open back in June.

In fact Thiem has won three of the last four matches played between these players and that is going to give the underdog some confidence. However all of those matches have been played on the clay courts which is the best surface for Dominic Thiem to play on and he has lost all three previous matches on the hard courts between these players.

One of those matches was played here in London and Djokovic has dominated the numbers in those three wins, but it has been a long time since these two met on this surface. I do give Djokovic the edge here and you have to factor in the physical and emotional effort that Dominic Thiem had to use in order to win his first Group match.

This is a big spread on the face of things and especially if Thiem is ramping up his confidence after a big win. However Novak Djokovic is playing at a pretty incredible level at the moment and I do think he will be the fresher of the two players which should play the part in helping the Serb win and cover.

MY PICKS: Roger Federer - 3.5 Games @ 1.66 Bet365 (2 Units)
Novak Djokovic - 4.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)

ATP Finals Update: 2-2, - 0.80 Units (8 Units Staked, - 10% Yield)

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