The ATP Finals continue in London on Tuesday, and Dan Weston says there is decent value in the evening game where Andrey Rublev looks a false underdog...
"Rublev has held over 90% of the time in indoor matches since the tour resumed, and I think this match should be pretty serve-orientated - a dynamic which is often the case for Tsitsipas’ matches as well."
Straight set wins for Monday's favourites
As I suggested in yesterday's column there were straight set wins for Monday's two favourites in Group Tokyo 1970, with Novak Djokovic overcoming the loss of an early break to get past Diego Schwartzman with minimal fuss, while Daniil Medvedev did exactly the same in his clash against Alexander Zverev, as the Russian repeated his recent Paris Masters victory to get his second win over Zverev in the space of several weeks.
Nadal accurately priced to defeat Thiem
Today's action comes from the other group - London 2020 - and Sunday's two winners meet the two losers. In the afternoon match, scheduled to take place at 14:00 UK time, Rafa Nadal faces Dominic Thiem, and the market has Rafa as the 1.625/8 favourite. This price looks about right to me, with my model going 1.608/13 about the King of Clay to get the win here.
We can't ascertain much from their head-to-head history. While Nadal leads 9-5, all but two matches were played on clay, with the duo sharing two very tight matches on hard court - a five-setter which Nadal edged via a final set tiebreak in the US Open quarter final in 2018, and Thiem getting revenge with three tiebreak wins en route to a four-set triumph this year at the Australian Open.
Indoors across the last two years, Nadal has much better service numbers - we can't forget that he didn't drop serve against Rublev on Sunday as well - while return data for the duo is broadly similar, and this gives him the pre-match edge for this clash.
Rublev can edge tight match against Tsitsipas
Moving on to the evening match, realistically, both players know this is a virtual 'must win' and I'm surprised to see Andrey Rublev the pre-match underdog against Stefanos Tsitsipas, at a current 2.26/5.
This market line on Rublev doesn't make much sense to me - Rublev has performed better indoors than Tsitsipas since the tour resumed, and was also ahead of Tsitsipas in the outright betting (justifiably, in my opinion).
I actually make Rublev 1.748/11 to take this, so the market line with him as a slight underdog looks like some value. Rublev has held over 90% of the time in indoor matches since the tour resumed, and I think this match should be pretty serve-orientated - a dynamic which is often the case for Tsitsipas' matches as well.
Projected hold percentages are in the mid-high 80%s, and I'm giving Rublev the edge for what looks likely to be a tight clash where both players should be extremely motivated to get the win.