The Green Groups at the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals come to a close on Thursday as we confirm the four semi-finalists from the singles and the doubles from this part of the draw in what is shaping up to be an excellent season finale in Turin.
With the Green Groups being back on show again on Thursday we get another chance to see the defending champion Novak Djokovic in action as well as the home star Jannik Sinner among others on a decent looking day of tennis.
Ivan Dodig & Austin Krajicek vs Santiago Gonzalez & Edouard Roger-Vasselin
We begin the day with arguably the most straightforward game of a potentially chaotic Thursday as the first doubles match sees the number one seeds of Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek going up against the Mexican-French team of Santiago Gonzalez and Edouard Roger-Vasselin where the equation is pretty simple.
There are no special permutations for this one. It is simply winner goes through to the semi-final and the losers go home so this is what we want really. Both teams have lost to Granollers and Zeballos and both had eased past the other Gonzalez and his partner Molteni. I have to say I’ve been more impressed by Gonzalez and Roger-Vasselin this week and there is a feeling that the even money on them to win this game could be a bit of value, even allowing for the fact that Dodig and Krajicek have won all three meetings, all of which were this year. The first two though came in Rotterdam and Wimbledon where the number one seeds won in straight sets on both occasions with each set being won in a tiebreak, while Dodig and Krajicek came from a set down to win in Beijing more recently. Those battles tells me there is little between the two teams this week so it might well be worth siding with the better form which comes from the outsiders so far in this tournament.
Novak Djokovic vs Hubert Hurkacz
The singles match in the day session sees Novak Djokovic looking to take his title defence into the semi-finals when he goes up against the alternate Hubert Hurkacz who has come in for Stefanos Tsitipas for this contest.
Hurkacz can’t advance so he is playing purely for ranking points and a bit of prize money but if he could have picked a surface to face Djokovic on it might well be this one, particularly at the end of a week where the Serb has already slugged it out in two three-hour marathons. Hurkacz will get plenty of help with his serve and I think that keeps Djokovic honest in this match. Ultimately though, while Hurkacz has often been competitive against Djokovic in their past meetings, he is 6-0 down in them and knowing that he needs to win to make the last four I don’t see Djokovic losing here, but I wouldn’t be surprised if his day’s work is tougher than expected and the odds suggest. I’ll sit this one out though.
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Marcel Granollers & Horacio Zeballos vs Maximo Gonzalez & Andres Molteni
The night session in Turin on Thursday begins with the doubles match which in terms of competitive edge is a dead rubber as the already through to the semi-finals pair of Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos meet the Argentine pairing of Maximo Gonzalez and Andres Molteni, who will be departing the event after this match.
There is a chance that Granollers and Zeballos will need to win this match to top the group and whether they do need to or not I would expect them to do that. They have been very impressive so far whereas the Argentine debutants have looked exactly that. You wonder if with the pressure being off Gonzalez and Molteni can show some of the form which got them into the event but I think the court is a little quick for them and that is obviously an issue. I’m expecting a third straight win for the Spanish-Argentine pairing but I’m in no rush to get involved in short prices in a dead rubber.
Jannik Sinner vs Holger Rune
Two of the brightest talents in the game round off the show on Thursday when the home star Jannik Sinner bids for a third win in succession in his debut in the tournament when he takes on fellow young debutant Holger Rune in a blockbuster match.
These two men have both been involved in epics with Novak Djokovic this week. Sinner came out on top in front of a raucous home crowd while Rune narrowly went down. Rune has had the advantage of only having to play three games on Tuesday while Sinner was slugging it out with Djokovic for more than three hours. It will be interesting to see whether that has any impact on proceedings here because if it does Rune might just fancy his chances in this one given that he leads the head-to-head 2-0, albeit both matches went to a third set. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this goes to a decider and if I was forced to bet I might back the overs in the games. There is a part of me that thinks that Rune is value at a hefty price but I don’t really fancy taking the crowd on so I’ll sit and enjoy what should be a fantastic contest without a betting interest.
Back S.Gonzalez & E.Roger-Vasselin to beat I.Dodig & A.Krajicek for a 3/10 stake at 2.05 with Boylesports
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