The best tennis players in the world are facing each other in the ATP finals in Turin and at Guadalajara for the WTA Finals. Which players should you bet on to make a winning tennis pick?
Novak Djokovic vs. Casper Ruud
Monday, November 15, 2021 – 08:00 AM EST at Centre Court
After falling in the finals in the US Open vs Daniel Medvedev, Novak Djokovic took time off. He returned to the tennis world at the Rolex Paris Masters and won the event, grabbing a bit of revenge against Medvedev in that final. During that tournament, he claimed the world’s number one ranking for the 2021 season. Novak has made 14 appearances at the ATP finals tournament in his career and won the title here five times. To illustrate his experience advantage, the seven other players have made a combined 11 appearances and won three titles.
In his first round-robin appearances in the ATP Finals, he is 12-1. His lone loss was in 2007 against David Ferrer. In 2021, Djokovic is 49-6. He is 4-0 on indoor hard courts, accruing those wins when he claimed the title in Paris. Paris was Novak’s only indoor hardcourt tournament this season.
Djokovic’s greatness is undisputed. He is by far the best tennis player in the world right now. He has the greatest return of service of all time and he’s turned his own serve into such a weapon and he is nearly unstoppable, especially on hard courts. While the reigning number one has not won this tournament in the last 5 years, Djokovic has rested since the US Open this season. He is primed to break that trend.
Casper Ruud is coming off his sixth season where consistency has been the key to his success. Ruud has entered 17 ATP tour events this season He successfully reached at least the quarterfinals in 15 of his appearances. He was a quarter-finalist in both indoor events he played this season in Vienna and then Paris. Both Djokovic and Ruud have won five titles this season. However, Djokovic has shined on the big stage, winning the Australian Open, The French Open, Wimbledon, and the ATP Masters 1000 in Paris. All of Ruud’s tournament victories came at ATP 250 events.
While Ruud is an up-and-coming player for us to be excited about, it is unlikely he will be able to match Novak’s level of play here. Novak is coming into the match in form and excels on indoor hard court surfaces. I expect Novak to win and win by a margin. Bet the game spread with Novak Djokovic at -4.5.
Maria Sakkari vs. Aryna Sabalenka
Monday, November 15, 2021 - 08:30 PM EST at Akron Tennis Stadium
Aryna Sabalenka managed to get a victory in her second attempt at the WTA Finals. Sabalenka defeated Iga Swiatek 2-6, 6-2, 7-5. Swiatek did not play her best tennis. She was complaining of cramping after the match. You could see the frustration on Swiatek’s face as the match ensued.
Credit to Sabalenka for taking advantage of Swiatek’s physical limitations, but Sabalenka did not play high-level tennis. Sabalenka double-faulted 16 times and only won 33% of her second serve points. Sabalenka only had 19 winners to go with 42 unforced errors. We must give credit to Sabalenka for getting the win when she was not playing her best tennis. However, when handicapping this next match we need to acknowledge just that...She is not playing her best tennis.
Maria Sakkari also struggled with unforced errors in her loss to Paula Badosa. Sakkari had an uncharacteristic 49 unforced errors compared to only 25 winners. The loss snapped her 4 match streak of winning against top 10 players. Overall in 2021, she is 8-5 against players in the top 10. This is helpful since every player she will face this week is in the top 10.
Sakkari also defeated Swiatek here in Guadalajara. This match will determine who advances out of the group. Sabalenka has a 4-1 head-to-head advantage. Their most recent encounter came in Abu Dhabi in January, where Sabalenka was able to get the victory 6-3, 6-2.
I think the style matchup and quick surface favor Sabalenka. Her ability to overpower Sakkari is too much to ignore. Sabalenka is 4-1 against Sakkari in her career. Sakkari’s only victory over Sabalenka was the first time they faced off in Cincinnati. Since then, Sabalenka has consistently beaten Sakkari. Sabalenka’s power game is tough for the great counter-puncher to overcome. I still have concerns about Sabalenka’s fitness after her bout with Covid, but she could get this one done quickly. I’ll take Sabalenka to get the win in this match.
Tennis Pick: Aryna Sabalenka -128 with BookMaker
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