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Since Medvedev’s arrival in the higher echelons of the game, this hasn’t looked a good match-up for Zverev.
The German has now lost the pair’s last four meetings, the most recent coming just 10 days ago at the Paris Masters when Medvedev romped to a 6-2 6-2 victory.
The good news for Zverev is conditions are considerably faster in Turin than they were in the French capital but the speed here also suits Medvedev more, as he showed on Sunday against Hubert Hurkacz.
Medvedev did actually require three sets to win that one but he was untouchable on serve and didn’t have to face a breakpoint. It was a performance that brought back memories of his efforts to win this title in London 12 months ago.
As for Zverev, he was the better player against Matteo Berrettini before the Italian quit due to injury but still offered up a couple of chances.
He’ll throw down some huge, unreturnable serves here but the worry will be what happens on his attackable second serve.
Even in fairly slick conditions, Medvedev has taken Zverev’s second deal apart in the past.
In Shanghai in 2019, Zverev won just 24% of points behind his second serve. At the ATP Finals in 2019 it was 33% and only 21% at the same event the following year.
In Paris recently his figure was 36%, still not great and one which suggests he’ll really need to be getting his first serve in an awful lot.
Medvedev’s better return game will likely have a big part to play here, while he also possesses better defensive skills.
Throw in the doubts that must have accumulated in Zverev’s mind about this head-to-head and I’m happy to back Medvedev to win in straight sets at +150.
I’m also going to take a chance on the +280 being offered about a first-set tie-break.
Serve has been pretty dominant in the Pala Alpitour so far this week with three of the four singles matches having seen a breaker in the opening set.
Both of these players served very well on Sunday and so I’m bit a surprised to see this price about another 7-6 set.
The problem is the pair have only played two tie-breaks in 23 previous sets but it’s also probably fair to say that none of those matches have been played in conditions as fast as these.
It’s a priced-based play but one unlikely to be far off.
Berrettini was in tears when forced to retire from his opening match with Zverev on Sunday evening and it’s hard to see him recovering from what looked like a recurrence of an abdominal strain in time for this contest.
The odds men know that too with no prices available at time of writing.
Even without the injury, I’d have quite fancied Hurkacz anyway – he’d have probably been the underdog and might have been a decent price.
The Pole competed well with Medvedev on Sunday, winning the first set on a tie-break. His downfall was a sloppy service game at the start of both the second and third sets.
But if this match is priced up, he’ll surely now be favorite.
What seems most likely to happen is that Berrettini withdraws after practice in the afternoon and alternate Jannik Sinner comes in.
Sinner, who has been playing well indoors this autumn, lost his only previous meeting with Hurkacz – the Miami Open final earlier this year – in straight sets.
I suspect that one would be priced up with Hurkacz a marginal favorite.
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|ATP Finals Information|
|What||Nitto ATP Finals|
|Time||Sunday, November 14 to Sunday, November 21|
|How to Watch||Tennis Channel|
Andy is a sports journalist of more than 20 years’ experience and is a former betting editor of the UK-based website, Sporting Life. He has specialized in tennis for many years, previewing hundreds of ATP Tour events and reporting from tournaments such as the ATP Finals and Davis Cup final. Andy has also covered numerous other sports, with a particular interest in soccer and cricket.More info on Andy Schooler
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