The ATP World Tour Finals is underway in London at the O2 Arena. The week-long $9,000,000 tournament features some of the best names in tennis, including Dominic Thiem, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic. Thiem and Nadal were in action on Sunday, and they easily took care of their opponents in the group stage match. Nadal was in complete control of the match, as he bounced Andrey Rublev 6-3, 6-4 in straight sets.
Thiem had to work harder for his win. He ousted Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6, 6-4, 6-3. The first set was dicey, but Thiem was ultimately able to edge Tsitsipas out in a close one. The rest of the contest was smooth sailing for the No. 3 ranked player in the world. Nadal and Thiem both did their part, now it’s time for Djokovic to follow up. He is coming off a loss in the Vienna Open against Lorenzo Sonego in a stunning upset.
After making easy work of fellow Serb, Filip Krajinovic, and Croat, Borna Coric, in straight sets, Sonego played the match of his life on October 30. The 25-year-old Italian, ranked No. 32 in the ATP, pulled off one of the upsets of the year with a 6-2, 6-1 win over the overwhelming favourite in the quarterfinal. Djokovic took his eyes off Sonego and that was enough for his opponent to seize the opportunity.
Djokovic knows better, but a wake up call like that happens from time to time to the greats. That’s especially true in smaller tournaments like the Vienna Open. This came after Djokovic and Nadal played in the French Open final earlier in the month.
That loss might have taken something out of Djokovic, and after cruising in his first two matches, wasn’t focused for Sonego. Joker will be out on the court for the first time since that loss. We’ll see how he responds against a worthy challenger on Monday. Show up unfocused on Monday, and another upset could be in the cards. Head below for our free Diego Schwartzman vs. Novak Djokovic pick for November 16, 2020 in the ATP Finals.
Diego Schwartzman vs. Novak Djokovic ATP World Tour Finals Betting Odds:
Diego Schwartzman vs. Novak Djokovic Prediction:
It’s easy to see where Novak went wrong against Sonego. There wasn’t anything going right for Joker, as he was outplayed in every aspect of the match. He had three double faults, while Sonego had none. Even more surprising for Djokovic was his inability to win a breakpoint. With Djokovic, you tend to think those are going to go his way, especially against the 32nd ranked player, but he put up a donut and went 0 for 6.
Djokovic also recorded just three aces as opposed to eight for his opponent. With some time to dwell on that loss, I’m confident that we’re going to see a much better Joker on Monday. The best players in the world can get knocked down from time to time, but they know how to respond, and I’m confident we will see a more focused player in the ATP Finals.
Despite the losses to Nadal in the French Open and Sonego more recently, Djokovic is 13-2 in his previous 15 matches. In ten of those wins, he was a straight set winner and wasn’t bothered much. Djokovic and the Argentinian, Diego Schwartzman, have some history against one another. In five matches, Joker is a perfect 5-0, with two straight set sweeps most recently.
Djokovic dispatched Schwartzman in straight sets in January, 3-0, and then they met in Rome in September. It was more of the same, as Joker swept Schwartzman in straight sets, 2-0. Neither match was particularly close, with Djokovic winning 6-3, 6-4, 6-4, and 7-5, 6-3. Schwartzman is coming off a straight set loss to Daniil Medvedev on November 6 in the Paris Masters.
It wasn’t close, as Medvedev won comfortably 6-3, 6-1. He’s 2-2 in his last four matches, with another straight set loss to Alexander Zverev on October 25 in Cologne. He gets dealt an angry Djokovic on Monday to open the ATP Finals. I can’t see that going well for him. Look for Djokovic to win a close set, and then win comfortably to close out Schwartzman in straight sets.