The final of the ATP Tour Finals signals the end of the 2020 main tour season, and after two semi-finals full of drama on Saturday, Dan Weston returns to preview tonight's match...
"Throughout the tournament so far as well, Medvedev has the edge. Both players have held around 90% of the time, but Medvedev has achieved much more success on return."
Thiem and Medvedev battle through dramatic semi-finals
Neutrals couldn't have asked for much more from yesterday's semi-finals, with Dominic Thiem and Daniil Medvedev getting 2-1 victories over the traditional elite veterans, Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal, respectively.
This quick paragraph doesn't begin to tell the story of the two matches, however. Thiem won a final set tiebreak 7-5, after failing to convert four match points in the second set tiebreak. Djokovic threw away a 4-0 final set tiebreak lead to only win one more point in the entire breaker, and in a tough tournament for us this week, this was our second final set tiebreak loss - accurately illustrating the fine margins and variance of top level tennis.
As for Nadal, he failed to serve out for the match at *5-4 in the second set and failed to create a further break point chance subsequently, as Medvedev took the tiebreak and then earned two late breaks in the final set to continue his unbeaten record at the tournament so far.
Medvedev now nine unbeaten in a row indoors
Having won in Paris several weeks ago as well, Medvedev is now nine unbeaten in a row indoors in November, and he is the market favourite for the final as well, with his current price at 1.784/5. Thiem is the slight underdog, available at 2.265/4 currently on the Exchange.
My model makes Medvedev the value here, pricing him at 1.558/15. On 12 month outdoor hard/indoor hard data, he has around a 3% edge on both service hold and breaking opposition, so numbers-wise at least, he looks like the better player going into this.
Medvedev with data edge over Thiem
Throughout the tournament so far as well, Medvedev has the edge. Both players have held around 90% of the time, but Medvedev has achieved much more success on return and looks to be playing at a higher level this week in London so far - unsurprising given that he is unbeaten and has only dropped one set, against Nadal yesterday.
Thiem will have positive memories of the match-up having beaten Medvedev in the semi-final on outdoor hard court at the US Open several months ago, but this match today is likely to be played in much quicker conditions indoors, which is another positive for the Russian who tends to do better work in those pacier conditions.
Given this, it's Medvedev who is our pick for the final tonight, and if he does so, will consign Thiem to a second successive final defeat here in London after the Austrian lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas here last year.