The season finale of the ATP Tour campaign gets underway inside the o2 Arena in London on Sunday when the opening group matches take place in the ATP World Tour Finals, a huge event for everyone involved.
As always on the six days of group action we have a singles and a doubles match on show in each of the two sessions and the quality comes from the off with Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer both in action over the day.
Rajeev Ram & Joe Salisbury vs Raven Klaasen & Michael Venus
The first match of the 2019 version of the tournament begins with a tight looking doubles contest when the only Briton on display this year, Joe Salisbury, and his partner Rajeev Ram take on the pair of Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus for valuable points.
Ram and Salisbury have been in good form towards the end of the campaign and will fancy their chances of qualifying from the group. If that is to happen they will need to beat what is to my mind the weakest pair in the competition. We’ve seen Klaasen and Venus fly under the radar successfully already this season though and it shouldn’t be ruled out that it will happen again. I think the Brit-American pair will win this but 4/5 in the first match of the week isn’t for me.
Novak Djokovic vs Matteo Berrettini
The opening singles match of the tournament sees the favourite for the title, Novak Djokovic, taking on the improving Italian talent Matteo Berrettini, who has a daunting debut in his first go at this competition.
Djokovic could well sweep the group and is a massive favourite to win this match but the one thing Berrettini could have on his side is the fact the pair have never met, so he has no scar tissue that others who have taken on Djokovic and failed have, and also Djokovic hasn’t seen his serve before which might allow him to keep it closer than the odds suggest. This is all about Djokovic you feel but at the prices I’m happy to leave this one until we’ve seen conditions and how the world number two is performing.
Marcelo Melo & Lukasz Kubot vs Ivan Dodig & Filip Polasek
The pick of the doubles matches on the opening day of the tournament comes in the evening session where Marcelo Melo and Lukasz Kubot, for so long the best pairing in the world, take on the relatively new partnership of Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek.
This will be their fourth meeting of the year which is pretty incredible given that Dodig and Polasek only got together in June. It is them who have won two of the three meetings that have gone before but they are still the outsiders to come out on top here. Melo and Kubot have had an ordinary year by their standards, winning just one title whereas they are used to cleaning up in the doubles format. I think they are there for the taking here. They have come here before in great form and failed and I don’t see them at that level here. Dodig and Polasek are playing great stuff and I think they can come out on top here.
Roger Federer vs Dominic Thiem
The last match of the opening day of action inside the o2 Arena sees Roger Federer, who amazingly hasn’t won this title for eight years, taking a first step to putting that right when he takes on Dominic Thiem who will be looking to improve an indifferent record in London.
I expect Thiem to be a lot more competitive this season than he has in previous ones but Federer will arrive here fresh and if he gets his serve working you would expect the Swiss star to have enough here. Novak Djokovic is waiting round the corner for both these men so there is no room for defeat here. That should ensure we see a competitive match but the lines and prices all take that into consideration so my singles betting will have to wait for another day.
Back I.Dodig & F.Polasek to beat M.Melo & L.Kubot for a 4/10 stake at 2.10 with Betfair
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