Rafael Nadal has won all four major titles but one of the greatest players of all time has never won the ATP Finals (Photo by The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, CC BY-SA 2.0
- The Nitto ATP Finals begins Sunday in London
- Eight of the top nine players are participating in the season ending championship
- Where is betting value present on the opening day of play?
Outside of major championships, the ATP Finals are among the biggest tennis events of the year.
Though 20 time grand slam champion and current fifth ranked player in the world Roger Federer is not participating this year in London, all of the other big names are competing.
Sunday’s slate features third seed Dominic Thiem facing number six Stefanos Tsitsipas, and second seeded Rafael Nadal battling number seven Andrey Rublev. Let’s look closely at each match, and consider where betting value is present.
Thiem vs Tsitsipas Nitto ATP Finals First Round Odds
|Dominic Thiem||-1.5 (-108)||-122||Over 24.5 (-110)|
|Stefanos Tsitsipas||+1.5 (-134)||+102||Under 24.5 (-112)|
Odds from DraftKings taken Nov. 14
Thiem vs Tsitsipas History
The last time these players met it was in the final of this event last year. Thiem won the first set 7-6 in a tiebreak, Tsitsipas took the second 6-2, and in a third set tiebreak Tsitsipas won the championship.
Thiem has won four out of seven matches played between the two, and four have gone beyond straight sets. Thiem holds a three-to-two edge on hard courts.
Thiem is playing good but not great
Though who didn’t participate at the U.S. Open, and Novak Djokovic being disqualified were as big a stories in New York as Thiem winning, he is just a couple of months removed from his first major title.
Since winning in the Big Apple, Thiem reached the quarterfinals at the French Open, and Erste Bank Open. Now finally rested after playing back-to-back majors, Thiem is looking to cap off his best season.
Tsitsipas has struggled lately
Tsitsipas was rolling before the pandemic stopped sports. He won in France in February, and lost to Djokovic in the final in Dubai at the end of the month.
Since play resumed, Tsitsipas has been inconsistent. He reached the final in Hamburg, and semis at the French Open, but lost his second match at the Erste Bank Open, and was dismissed in his first match at the Paris Masters.
On paper these are two players that are fairly evenly matched, but Thiem has an excuse for his inconsistent effort after winning the U.S. Open, while Tsitsipas seems a little out of sorts recently. Thiem at +210 to win in straight sets feels like good value.
Nadal vs Rublev Nitto ATP Finals First Round Odds
|Rafael Nadal||-1.5 (-113)||-141||Over 23.5 (+106)|
|Andrey Rublev||+1.5 (-109)||+118||Under 23.5 (-130)|
Nadal vs Rublev History
Nadal has accomplished just about everything during his storied career, but he has never won the ATP Final. The pursuit for his 87th career tour title will come against a competitor he has only faced once.
Nadal handled Rublev 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 in the quarterfinals of the 2017 U.S. Open.
Nadal is fresh
We have often seen Nadal worn down by this point in the year. However, between the pandemic and a selective schedule, he is in very good form.
After winning the French Open, Nadal was off for just under a month before reaching the semifinals at the Paris Masters.
2021 Australian Open Odds Tracker
Rublev is rolling
After a quarterfinal appearance in the French Open, Rublev turned around and won the St. Petersburg Open and Erste Bank Open.
He was tripped up in the third round at the Paris Masters, but only two losses in the last two months is a pretty strong record.
This should be a good, competitive, and long match. The over 23.5 games is a decent play, but alternative lines like over 25.5 (+130) and over 26.5 (+160) merit serious consideration.
Dave Friedman has covered professional and college sports for two decades. From ESPN to the Associated Press, Regional Sports Networks, Metro Networks, and many local outlets, he has written about and broadcast major and minor events throughout the country.