Hurkacz victory ends Norrie’s dream
Hubert Hurkacz’s attempts to make the ATP Finals ended in success with his three-set win over James Duckworth, meaning that Cameron Norrie can no longer qualify directly for the final eight showdown in Turin. His reward today is a clash with Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals, while after straight-set victories yesterday, Alexander Zverev meets Daniil Medvedev in the second match today.
Djokovic could be tested by the Pole
Novak Djokovic 1.211/5 vs Hubert Hurkacz 5.709/2: Unsurprisingly, the world number one is a strong favourite to get the job done and lay down a marker to Hurkacz, who he may end up facing in Turin. The duo haven’t met since 2019, when Hurkacz was ranked outside the top 50, so there’s absolutely no relevance gained from looking at any of their previous meetings.
The improvement in Hurkacz this year has been stunning. He ended last season ranked outside the top 30 and in a current ranking system where short-term improvement isn’t necessarily reflected, to end up qualifying for the ATP Finals illustrates that development in his game, and a Masters 1000 title and Wimbledon semi-final shows that as well.
Hurkacz has the opportunity to make another Masters final today but tournament favourite Djokovic is favoured by the market to prevent that. I’m not sure Djokovic should be so short-priced here, with Hurkacz having strong indoor numbers this year and I wouldn’t be shocked at all if the Pole was able to test Djokovic this afternoon.
Medvedev looking generously priced against Zverev
Alexander Zverev 2.1211/10 vs Daniil Medvedev 1.865/6: Zverev has been excellent in recent months, losing just two matches since he was eliminated by Felix Auger-Aliassime at Wimbledon, but it is worth noting that he’s only faced three top five players in that time, winning one and losing one against Novak Djokovic, and edging a final set tiebreak against Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semi-final of Cincinnati.
That win against Djokovic was Zverev’s only underdog victory in that time period.
So, while that run has been impressive, it lacks a little context when considering today’s match-up considering Zverev is the pre-match underdog, and justifiably so. Medvedev, as discussed previously, is strong in quick conditions and while he’s been slightly unconvincing so far in his route to this stage, the Russian has better numbers in the last 12 months indoors, with an edge on both service and return points won on the surface.
Considering this, I’m happy to make Medvedev my recommendation today. My model indicates he is a little generously priced here, and I think the world number two has an excellent chance of progression to the final tomorrow.
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