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Djokovic vs Zverev & Medvedev vs Schwartzman Odds & Previews: Nitto ATP Finals – Nov 20

Stephanie Myles

by Stephanie Myles in Tennis

Nov 19, 2020 · 1:08 PM PST

Australian Open
Russia's Daniil Medvedev makes a forehand return to Italy's Matteo Berrettini during their ATP Cup final in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021.(AP Photo/Hamish Blair)
  • Daniil Medvedev has already won the group and qualified for the semifinals, so he may be looking to conserve his energy
  • The winner of Novak Djokovic v Alexander Zverev moves on; the loser goes on vacation
  • Will Djokovic be eliminated during the round-robin for the second straight year? We break it down.

The Saturday semifinals at the Nitto ATP Finals are … somewhat set.

Dominic Thiem knows he’ll finish atop the London 2020 group, to play either Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev.

Daniil Medvedev knows he’ll win the Tokyo 1970 group, and will play Rafael Nadalย  Saturday.

Nothing he does Friday in his final round-robin match will affect either fact.

Daniil Medvedev vs Diego Schwartzman Odds

Player Spread Moneyline Total
[4] Daniil Medvedev -4.5 (+121) -455 O 20.5 (-112)
[8] Diego Schwartzman +4.5 (-103) +350 U 20.5 (-110)

Odds taken Nov 19 at DraftKings

So it’s still somewhat surprising Medvedev remains a heavy favorite against Diego Schwartzman, even if the odds were narrowing some on Thursday.

Medvedev has nothing to gain on the court by winning.

That said, he has plenty to gain off-court.

Daniil Medvedev vs Diego Schwartzman Head-to-Head

Daniil Medvedev
Diego Schwartzman

24 (Feb. 11, 1996) Age 28 (Aug. 16, 1992)
Moscow, Russia Birthplace Buenos Aires, Argentina
6-6 Height 5-7
8 Career ATP Singles Titles 3
No. 4 (Sept. 9, 2019) Career High Ranking No. 8 (Oct. 12, 2020)
No. 4 Current Ranking No. 9
25-10 2020 W/L Record (Including ATP Finals) 25-14
$12,566,584 Career Prize Money $8,965,129
4 Head-to-Head 0

On the Line for Medvedev: 200 Points and $153,000

Even for a player who has already banked more than $2 million US this season, the $153,000 US at stake Friday is nothing to sneeze at.

No. 3 Thiem is more than 2,000 points ahead of him in the rankings. So the 200 points earned with a win, big picture, changes little for Medvedev.

The duelling forces are a nice payday versus … a desire to be as fresh as possible for the challenge that is Nadal.

Thiem was in a near-identical situation Thursday. He was 2-0, already having won his group, with no control over who his semifinal opponent would be, and facing an opponent who was 0-2 coming in.

And Thiem lost in straight sets to Andrey Rublev.

There are two differences.

Medvedev has even less motivation to push it; he has just 24 hours before the semifinals, while Thiem had the extra day.

Also, Rublev had beaten Thiem the last two times they met, in straight sets. Medvedev is 4-0 against Schwartzman. Even if he doesn’t play his best, he could well win.

But … if they split the first two sets, we’d give the edge to Schwartzman in three (+800 on Bet365) and call it “smart energy conservation” by Medvedev.

Best bet: Medvedev in two sets (-155)

Novak Djokovic vs Alexander Zverev Odds

Player Spread Moneyline Total
[1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) -3.5 (-103) -278 O 22.5 (-109)
[5] Alexander Zverev (GER) +3.5 (-121) +225 U 22.5 (-113)

Djokovic v Zverev for a Spot in the Semifinals

Djokovic came to London having clinched the year-end No. 1 spot for the sixth time.

Some questioned his level of eagerness. He put those questions to rest with a sharp-looking victory over Schwartzman.

But against Medvedev on Wednesday, Djokovic looked anything but sharp.

Medvedev was as impeccable as Djokovic was untidy. And the Serb admitted there were times when he was quite short of breath.

“I was, to be honest, a little bit, especially towards the end of the first set, beginning of the second. I kind of regrouped and felt better. Felt better towards the end of the match,” Djokovic said.

In that period, he lost seven straight games and went from leading 3-2 to being down 3-6, 0-3.

Djokovic also is dealing with some energy-sapping, behind-the-scenes tennis politics with the ATP.

If he was the overwhelming favorite to take his sixth ATP Finals title coming in, that’s definitely no longer the case.

Zverev, who is dealing with some off-court issues of his own, has a 2-3 record against Djokovic.

He played him twice on the same court, at the ATP Finals in 2018.

Djokovic won easily in the round-robin. But Zverev beat him 6-4, 6-1 in the final.

Novak Djokovic vs Alexander Zverev Head-to-Head

Novak Djokovic
Alexander Zverev

33 (May 22, 1987) Age 23 (April 20, 1997)
Belgrade, Serbia Birthplace Hamburg, Germany
6-2 Height 6-6
81 Career ATP Singles Titles 13
No. 1 (July 4, 2011) Career High Ranking No. 3 (Nov. 6, 2017
No. 1 Current Ranking No. 7
40-4 2020 W/L record (Including ATP Finals) 28-10
$145,197,177 Career Prize Money $23,002,531
3 Head-to-Head 2

Neither Djokovic nor Zverev in Top Form

Zverev got past Schwartzman on Wednesday but was far from dominant.

To sum up: Neither is playing great. The winner gets to face Thiem in Saturday’s semifinal with Thiem having the extra day of rest โ€“ a tough proposition for either player.

It sets up to be a non-classic that will feature both struggling for consistency and focus.

And it could well be lengthy (DraftKings has +235 odds on over 28.5 games). Bet365 has +300 for Djokovic to win in three sets; +600 for Zverev to win in three.

Best bet: Djokovic in three sets

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