Tennis Betting Advice - November 2020

ATP Finals Day 7 – the Semi Finals…

Saturday 21st November 2020

In your Ones to Watch email today:

  • ATP Finals – Day 7…
  • Semi Finals…
  • My 3/1 and 4/1 picks…

Welcome to Day 7 of your Ones to Watch ATP Finals daily service…

If you’re a long-time Ones to Watch reader, then you’ll know I rarely, if ever, use the word unlucky.

But I think it’s justified this morning. Friday evening’s Doubles match went against us in not one but two ways, and in pretty bizarre circumstances…

Earlier in the day, our Outright picks Mate Pavic & Bruno Soares had won their final group match, putting them in a very strong position to qualify for the semi finals. As long as match underdogs Jurgen Melzer & Edouard Roger-Vasselin didn’t beat the already-qualified pair of Marcel Granollers & Horacio Zeballos in straight sets, 2-0, then Pavic & Soares would progress.

Things got complicated before the evening match had even begun. The start of play was delayed, due to an unknown issue involving Granollers. The players all eventually made it out on court.  And all seemed well, until the score got to 5-6 as the first set reached its conclusion. Granollers then got the trainer on court, and received treatment on his right shoulder.

The Spaniard pulled his shirt back on and stepped sheepishly back out on court, and managed to hold his serve to take the score to 6-6 and a tiebreak. However, after a few unsure looks at his teammate and his camp in the empty stands, Granollers then decided to throw in the towel after just one point of the ‘breaker.

Then followed a few minutes of confusion all round, among Melzer & Roger-Vasselin, who didn’t know whether they could ‘celebrate’ making it to the semi finals or not, and among the TV pundits frantically going through the rulebook.

The problem with round-robin…

In any normal tournament, if you retire from a match, you’re out. But because the ATP Finals are played in a round-robin group format, that doesn’t apply until the knockouts begin in the semi finals.

So – if you’re still with me – Melzer & Roger-Vasselin were awarded a ‘2-0’ win by default, and benefitted from a that gift sending them through to the semis.

Granollers & Zeballos live to fight another day, although can’t now end as season No.1 after ‘losing’ last night’s match.

And our boys Pavic & Soares are knocked out, in a cruel them’s the rules situation.

If Granollers & Zeballos had stayed on court for maybe 10 more minutes and managed to win that tiebreak, then Pavic & Soares would’ve gone through. And our 7-6 Set Betting Correct Score would’ve been on at 7/1, too. That 7-6 score bet is void though, as the outcome was not able to be determined when the match was cut short by the injury retirement.

Usually I have no complaints about near misses and the like. I’m on record many times expressing my love of the tennis scoring system. If our team had had match point and lost, there would have been no bad vibes from me. But something just doesn’t feel right when players are out on court knowing that their result can affect other players’ chances of staying in the tournament. You just don’t get that with normal knockout tennis.

The question today…

The question today then, is Granollers fit enough to play, or not?

Wesley Koolhof & Nikola Mektic are priced as 8/13 (1.62) favourites to beat Granollers & Zeballos, and if last night is anything to go by, then that price only looks like going in one direction.

If you’re getting involved, check the retirement rules for tennis Match Winner bets with your bookmaker. For example, if you backed Koolhof & Mektic and then Granollers & Zeballos retired during the match, Bet365’s ‘Tennis Retirement Guarantee’ would pay out on the ‘win’ in bet credits. Paddy Power & Betfair pay out if one set has been completed.

Pavic & Soares can hope for some kind of silver lining today. If Rajeev Ram & Joe Salisbury beat Melzer & Roger-Vasselin, then Ram & Salisbury will end the year as the No.1 Doubles pair in the world. But if Melzer & Roger-Vasselin win that one, the No.1 title will be handed to Pavic & Soares.

A final note on the Doubles today:

  • 8 of the 11 completed Doubles matches this week (73%) have gone to a final-set decider
  • 13 out of 22 sets have been 7-6 tiebreaks. And that number rises to 14 out of 23 if you count the one that got started but not finished last night (60%)

Entertainment in store today…

The Singles is the main event, and today’s semi-final schedule is a blockbuster one. The markets are close, and any one of these four men could be lifting the title come Sunday evening. It’s super competitive. And in these circumstances, I’m in favour of the two younger players to get over the line, in three-set battles…

Dominic Thiem v Novak Djokovic

Only one of their last five encounters has been settled in straight sets, and the one that wasn’t ended 7-6, 7-6, as close as you can get. Thiem was sensational in his 7-6, 7-6 win over Nadal earlier this week. The Austrian is a 6/4 (2.5) underdog to beat Djokovic this afternoon. Novak hasn’t been firing at quite his top level. I like the best price on a Thiem win, 2-1 in the Set Betting market, at 4/1.

Daniil Medvedev v Rafael Nadal

Nadal has won each of their previous three meetings, but Medvedev has won all his matches so far this week, and goes into tonight’s semi final as the 8/11 (1.73) favourite in the Match Winner betting. Their last two clashes have seen both men win a set. Again, for the price, I like the ‘Next Gen’ player to take it 2-1, with odds of 3/1 available.

We can look forward to some exciting and entertaining matches today. I’m taking two prices that fit with that expectation.

Ones to Watch:

Dominic Thiem v Novak Djokovic

  • Set Betting: Thiem to win 2-1 is 4/1 with Bet365, William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral, 888 Sport, Unibet, NetBet, 10Bet, Sportingbet, Bwin

Daniil Medvedev v Rafael Nadal

  • Set Betting: Medvedev to win 2-1 is 3/1 with Bet365, Skybet, BetVictor, Boylesports, 888 Sport, Unibet

I’ll be back tomorrow for the Finals.

Enjoy the tennis…

Best wishes,

Oliver Upstone

Tom Wilson

Ones to Watch