The winner of Djokovic vs Medvedev is virtually assured of qualifying for the Nitto ATP Finals semis. Photo: ATP Tour
- The winner of Djokovic vs Medvedev is virtually assured of qualifying for the Nitto ATP Finals semis
- Whoever loses in Zverev vs Schwartzman has almost no chance of getting out of the group
- The head-to-heads make the underdogs intriguing bets. We break down the odds of them pulling it off below
Daniil Medvedev has beaten Alexander Zverev. And he will expect to beat Diego Schwartzman in his final group match.
So a win over Novak Djokovic Wednesday in London could give Medvedev a 3-0 record in pool play – and a match against the second-place finisher in the other pool on Saturday.
Novak Djokovic vs Daniil Medvedev Odds
| Novak Djokovic (SRB)||-2.5 (-143)||-230||O 22.5 (-121)|
| Daniil Medvedev (RUS)||+2.5 (-117)||+185||U 22.5 (-103)|
Odds as of Nov. 17 from DraftKings
Opening Matches Done in Straight Sets
Drama was in short supply Monday in the Tokyo 1970 group as Djokovic overwhelmed ATP Finals rookie Schwartzman, and Medvedev posted a surprisingly routine win over Zverev.
Afterward, Medvedev said the O2 Arena center court felt pretty quick in practice but much slower during the actual match.
That is not great news for him, because Djokovic will relish the split-second of extra time he might get to reach every ball.
The world No. 1, after a slightly shaky start, looked in fine form against Schwartzman. Medvedev, despite the score, did not look that great against Zverev.
But at least he put a win on the board.
Novak Djokovic vs Daniil Medvedev Head-to-Head
|33 (May 22, 1987)||Age||24 (Feb. 11, 1996)|
|Belgrade, Serbia||Birthplace||Moscow, Russia|
|81||Career ATP Singles Titles||8|
|No. 1 (July 4, 2011)||Career High Ranking||No. 4 (Sept. 9, 2019)|
|No. 1||Current Ranking||No. 4|
|40-3||2020 W/L record (Including ATP Finals)||24-10|
|$145,197,177||Career Prize Money||$12,566,584|
Medvedev beat Djokovic twice in 2019. But he was having a much better season. They haven’t faced each other since the ATP Cup back in January.
Djokovic won that in three sets. It’s hard to see this one going the distance.
After Dominic Thiem defeated Rafael Nadal Tuesday in the London 2020 group, it’s entirely possible the winner of this group could face Nadal in the semis on the weekend. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
Best bet: Djokovic in two sets (+123)
Schwartzman the Underdog vs Zverev
The Nitto ATP Finals format has the losers of the first round-robin matches squaring off next. So for Alexander Zverev and Schwartzman, this Wednesday clash (not before 9:00 am ET) is tennis do-or-die.
Going 0-2 in this stage – meaning, at best, finishing with a 1-2 record – is almost certainly not going to be enough to advance to the weekend.
Alexander Zverev vs Diego Schwartzman Odds
| Alexander Zverev||-4.5 (+108)||-375||O 21.5 (-122)|
| Diego Schwartzman||+4.5 (-134)||+290||U 21.5 (+100)|
Their most recent meeting doesn’t do justice to Schwartzman’s chances.
They met last month in the final of the ATP tournament in Cologne, Germany, where Zverev routed Schwartzman 6-2, 6-1.
But Schwartzman had just come through back-to-back marathon victories. Usually the Energizer Bunny out on the court, the Argentine was completely spent after his 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 semifinal win over Canadian Félix Auger-Aliassime the previous day. There just wasn’t enough time to recover.
Similarly, Schwartzman’s four-set win over Zverev at the 2019 US Open came in the middle of a rough season for the German.
Zverev looked energy-sapped in his straight-set loss to Daniil Medvedev in their round-robin opener Monday. And the second-serve yips that have beset him at times this season showed up.
Alexander Zverev vs Diego Schwartzman Head-to-Head
|23 (April 20, 1997)||Age||28 (Aug. 16, 1992)|
|Hamburg, Germany||Birthplace||Buenos Aires, Argentina|
|13||Career ATP Singles Titles||3|
|No. 3 (Nov. 6, 2017)||Career High Ranking||No. 8 (Oct. 12, 2020)|
|No. 7||Current Ranking||No. 9|
|27-10||2020 W/L Record (Including ATP Finals)||25-13|
|$23,002,531||Career Prize Money||$8,965,129|
The Epitome of an Underdog
The ATP Tour already put Schwartzman behind the eight ball when they decided to pose him in the back of this group shot.
As if Zverev’s height advantage (nearly a full foot) wasn’t already a thing.
To all the fans…
This is for you. 🤗 #NittoATPFinals pic.twitter.com/1F8Ztss3rE
— ATP Tour (@atptour) November 15, 2020
It’s hard to know if Zverev’s sub-par performance against Medvedev was due to the lingering effect of a quad strain, or if the off-court drama and pressure from the media and tennis fans is finally starting to wear on him. Or both.
If the German doesn’t reset and come out firing against Schwartzman, he could be in trouble. How he reacts will say something about the kind of competitor he is.
And you know Schwartzman will bring it all.
It feels like there might be an upset brewing. And with Schwartzman at +700 to win in three sets, it’s tempting.
Best bet: Schwartzman in three sets (+700)
Stephanie gets the straight dope from the tennis insiders. On court, she has represented her country internationally. A BA in journalism led to years on the MLB beat and a decade covering tennis globally. She’s written for Postmedia, the Guardian, the New York Times and also publishes OpenCourt.ca.