The Nitto ATP Finals got underway yesterday, with Russian Daniil Medvedev battling past Pole Hurkacz 6-7, 6-3, 6-4 to get a win under his belt. Disappointment followed for home-favourite Matteo Berrettini who had to pull out of the tournament due to injury. Another Italian, Jannik Sinner is set to take his place for the rest of the tournament.
Djokovic takes on Norwegian #1 Casper Ruud in his opening encounter. We take a look at what can be expected from the match:
Novak will be well rested
The Serbian got his revenge last week, defeating Daniil Medvedev to win the Paris Masters title, after his crushing loss at the US Open finals in September. He took some time off after the US Open, and although he wasn’t totally convincing he seems to be getting his mojo back.
Djokovic has an amazing 12-1 win loss record in first round-robin matches at the year end event, with his sole defeat coming at the hands of David Ferrer way back in 2007.
Ruud’s consistency has been amazing
People may question the Norwegian #1’s success at big events, but his level of consistency is second to none. He has played in 17 ATP tournaments thus far in 2021 and has reached the quarter finals in 15 of them, including his two indoor outings in Paris and Vienna.
The 22-year old is level with Djokovic in terms if titles won this year (5 each), but all wins came at Masters 250 events and four of those came on his favourite surface clay.
Fast courts make Djokovic firm favourite
Ruud has managed to hold his own on slower indoor surfaces this year. But Djokovic’s ability on hard courts, coupled with the faster conditions in Turin will make it tough for Ruud to get a hold in his opening match up.
Back Djokovic to win 2-0 @ 1.40
Timofey Skatov vs Renzo Olivo
Both players meet for the second time this year, with Skatov leading the H2H 1-0 having beaten Olivo 7-5, 7-5 in Perugia, Italy (clay). They meet again on clay in Campinas, Brazil in their round of 16 clash. Olivo has seen a massive dip in his form, even on his favourite clay courts this year. We think Skatov will be too strong for him yet again.
Back Skatov to win @ 1.95
Kimmer Coppejans vs Matthias Bachinger
The German Bachinger deservedly starts as the 1.61 favourite in this match against the Belgian Coppejans. Bachinger is an indoor hard court pro, holding a 224-162 win-loss record on the surface. In comparison, Coppejans holds a mediocre 18-32 win-loss record on the surface.
Back Bachinger to win @ 1.61