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Friday, 15 November 2019

ATP World Tour Finals Tennis Day 6 Picks 2019 (November 15th)

The Group format was used a few years ago in Tennis tournaments outside of the End of Year Finals and it was very quickly decided that this was not the way to improve the game for either the players or the fans.

Having 'dead rubbers' within the Group means there are always going to be questions about whether players are giving their all and you can't deny that Dominic Thiem was simply not as motivated for his final Group match on Thursday as his opponent Matteo Berrettini. Being through to the Semi Final meant Thiem had other things to worry about.

Of course the 215,000 prize money on offer for the winner of the match is motivation, but these elite players are at a level where that money is not an overriding factor for them and Thiem was clearly looking ahead to the Semi Final coming up on Saturday.

No one was overlooking each other in the second Group match of the day as Roger Federer beat Novak Djokovic to snap a losing run to the Serb. That win has moved Roger Federer through to the Semi Final while eliminating Djokovic and also ending his chances of finishing as World Number 1 in the end of year Rankings.

That might have eased the pressure on Rafael Nadal, who is in action on Friday as he looks to work his way into the next Round. Both matches on Friday look intriguing and I think this will be a good day of tennis for those fans attending the O2 Arena.

Hopefully it will be a better day for the Tennis Picks in a week where the underdogs have barked very loudly with the majority of matches being won by those set as those.

Stefanos Tsitsipas + 2.5 games v Rafael Nadal: The only player in this Group who knows his own situation going into the final round robin of matches is Stefanos Tsitsipas who moved through to the Semi Final thanks to a relatively comfortable straight sets win over Alexander Zverev. Playing a final match on Friday might not be ideal in preparation for the Semi Final, but I think the youngster is going to have plenty of time before he is due back on court, although there are some question marks as to how much motivation he will have to get back into a match and drag it out knowing the Semi Final match is coming up.

I don't think any tennis player goes onto the court without a concern for the win/loss, but this is a rare tournament in which a defeat doesn't end the event for Tsitsipas. Knowing he is going to be playing the winner of the Novak Djokovic versus Roger Federer match will almost certainly mean Stefanos Tsitsipas wants to make sure he is as physically ready for that match as possible.

The layers are factoring that into the prices and facing Rafael Nadal is about as tough a physical challenge as you are going to get on the ATP Tour. It doesn't help that Nadal is going to be supremely focused with the chance of making it through to the Semi Final, although there is some pressure on the Spaniard too as he will want to win this one in straight sets to give him the best chance of progressing. That will push Nadal to 4-3 in terms of sets won and lost this week, but even then he will need some help from Daniil Medvedev in the other match to come in the Group.

That will be as far from the mind as it can be for Nadal who will know he can only control his own part of the deal. He was as fortunate a winner as you will find on Wednesday when Daniil Medvedev missed two break points to move into a 5-0 lead in the final set decider and also missed a match point at 5-1 up that ultimately cost him in the tie-breaker.

Rafael Nadal admitted it was a match you would win 'one in 1000' and he is going to need to be a lot better to secure a victory in this one. Out of the two players Stefanos Tsitsipas has been playing at a considerably higher level so far this week and I don't think Rafael Nadal is fully healthy which is going to make it that much tougher for him.

The fighting spirit makes the Spaniard very dangerous and he has dominated the two matches these two have had on the hard courts. However Stefanos Tsitsipas does hold a win on the clay courts over Nadal in 2019 and he should be playing with a real belief while also spending a lot less time on the court than his opponent which can aid him too.

I do like Stefanos Tsitsipas with a start on the Handicap in this one, especially if he serves as well as he has been. His return might not be the best of the eight playing in London, but Tsitsipas was very good against Alexander Zverev and in this match he is facing an opponent whose serve has not been as effective thanks to the injury he has been dealing with.

A fully fit Rafael Nadal would be a great price, but the layers have factored in that injury. I am still surprised he is a strong favourite though and that has much to do with the 'must win' nature of the match for Rafael Nadal, but that just makes Stefanos Tsitsipas the value to push him all the way as he looks to maintain momentum through to the Semi Final.

Daniil Medvedev v Alexander Zverev: I was very much hoping that this match would have been played first on Friday because at that point there would be no doubt that Daniil Medvedev is alive in the tournament. A win for Rafael Nadal in the other Group match, which has been scheduled for the afternoon session, would eliminate the young Russian before this match takes to the court and I do think that makes it a tough one to read.

Alexander Zverev's situation is much clearer going into the match- if Nadal has won in straight sets, he will need to do the same here, while a three set win for the Spaniard or a Stefanos Tsitsipas win would mean any win would be enough to take Zverev through to the Semi Final for a second year in a row.

He could even work his way through to the Semi Final with a loss depending on how Rafael Nadal has been beaten, but those permutations become a little more clouded and the main ambition for Zverev going into the day will be winning his own match in straight sets.

As good as Zverev was in his win over Nadal on Monday he was as poor on Wednesday as he collapsed in the eventual defeat to Stefanos Tsitsipas. There are still vulnerabilities about the defending Champion's game which has been evident throughout 2019 and led to a season which has not been quite as good as he would have hoped for.

It is still a good enough year to return to London, but Zverev has not pushed on and he could see a dent in his Ranking if he is not able to get out of the Group Stage of the World Tour Finals. Alexander Zverev is going to have to serve better than he did against Tsitsipas particularly when you think Daniil Medvedev has been returning as well as he has been. However the Russian will also know he needs to step up his game having not really been as productive on that side of his game as we know he can be.

Daniil Medvedev has played at a consistent level in this tournament as he has just fallen short in his two matches. There is no doubt that he will be kicking himself for losing to Rafael Nadal having dominated the final set right up until the point he was serving for the match at 5-2, but the collapse has to hurt both physically and mentally.

My one concern has to be that Medvedev is going to perhaps lose his way in this match if Rafael Nadal has eliminated him earlier in the day. I do think he will want to end his three match losing run before the 2019 season is out, and Medvedev did recently snap his record of defeats against Zverev when crushing him in the Shanghai Masters Final for the loss of five games.

That is a key win and I do think the consistent level might be too much for the defending Champion. If Alexander Zverev falls behind I can see him getting on top of himself and that may see him fall away as he did in his last match, and that makes backing Daniil Medvedev appealing.

I believe the focus will still be there with the Medvedev game whether he has a chance of progressing or not and I just think the pressure might be too much for Alexander Zverev to handle on the day. My expectation is that Medvedev will make enough balls back in play to break down the German's game and that can lead to a win in this pick 'em contest.

It would not be a surprise if Medvedev drifts in the market if Rafael Nadal has won his match against Stefanos Tsitsipas, but I will take the prices on offer now.

MY PICKS: Stefanos Tsitsipas + 2.5 Games @ 2.00 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Daniil Medvedev @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)

ATP Finals Update: 4-6, - 5.38 Units (20 Units Staked, - 26.90% Yield)

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