Daily preview and best tennis bets in Turin

Andy Schooler made a profit again at the ATP Finals on Thursday. Here’s your look at the latest series of Friday’s group stage games in Turin.

Novak Djokovic – Daniil Medvedev (13:00 GMT)

We saw on Thursday the problems associated with deadlocks in this tournament: the already knocked out Rafael Nadal defeated the already ranked Casper Ruud in straight sets.

Those who were prepared to side with the underdog got a high-paying winner there, and Medvedev will undoubtedly have his supporters in this one, where the same situation has played out. For the record, he has 11/2 to win this 2-0.

With Djokovic already winning the group and with a semi-final to come the next day, it’s not hard to argue that the Serb won’t really be worried about this matchup and we certainly know that Medvedev has the talent to fully test him.

That said, the Russian has been below his best this week, symptomatic of his season, and it will take a bit of blind faith to back him up against a player who has justified his position as favorite in every inch of the tournament thus far.

However, I cannot back Djokovic at low prices (he is likely to win in straight sets) given how low the stakes are here.

In terms of alternatives, I’m going to mention a couple of historical trends.

These two have played 11 times before, with Djokovic winning seven times, and eight times both players winning a set.

You can get 6/4 on that happening here.

The other decent stat I saw was that 10 of their previous 11 meetings have produced 4.5+ double faults.

You can get 11/10 (bet365) on a recurrence.

However, the problem (again) with these bets is the setting. If Djokovic loses the first match, does he really want to get into a three-hour battle the day before his semi-final? And if the match doesn’t last more than two sets, will the double fault count reach five?

Having been burned on Thursday’s dead rubber, I’m happy to drop this and use the day betting bank on the match that really matters…

Stefanos Tsitsipas v Andrey Rublev (2000 GMT)

We have a de facto quarterfinal at the ATP Finals on Friday night with the winner of this advancing to a quarterfinal meeting with Casper Ruud.

It should also be a great battle as both men played some decent stuff beating Daniil Medvedev but also lost to Novak Djokovic.

Of the two, the one who impressed me the most was Tsitsipas, who caught up with Djokovic playing at a very high level on a day when a tiebreaker and service break made the difference between the players.

He then produced a tactically astute performance to beat Medvedev on Wednesday, combining things well with his use of the particularly effective slice on his oft-criticized backhand.

Rublev used his power well to get past Medvedev, but he struggled for consistency against Djokovic and that may be key here.

He will be looking to make gains on that Tsitsipas backhand, but if the Greek defense holds, it would come as no surprise if Rublev fell apart with unnecessary errors that often play a part in his defeats.

I give Tsitsipas a slight advantage.

He is the more mentally stable player and he did well on that front against Medvedev, managing to barely win despite seemingly losing a decent lead.

I would also expect a close game, especially given the stakes.

Head to head shows that seven of the pair’s 11 previous meetings have ended in a deciding set, while both players have won a set in eight of them, including both this year. Tsitsipas won those two, most recently indoors in Astana, and leads 6-5 overall.

A 2-1 Tsitsipas win looks tempting at 3/1, but I’m going to decide that in a third and final set, a gamble that comes with a provided safety net.

Betway offers an outstanding 13/10, but the widely available 5/4 is also acceptable.

Posted at 2230 GMT on 11/17/22

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