Thursday’s ATP World Tour Finals betting tips
Novak Djokovic finds himself under a bit of pressure heading into the final round of Green Group matches at the ATP World Tour Finals with the world No 1 needing a win to reach the semi-finals.
The Serb, who is chasing a record-breaking seventh Tour Finals title in Turin, was upset by home favourite Jannik Sinner on Tuesday evening, leaving him in danger of a group stage exit.
It was the 24-time Grand Slam champion’s first defeat since losing the Wimbledon final in July, with Sinner coming through in three sets to put himself in control of the Green Group.
With two wins out of two, Sinner is on the verge of becoming the first Italian to reach the last four of the season-ending tournament as he gears up to face Holger Rune in Thursday’s late game.
Rune still has a shot at qualifying for the semi-finals after his walkover win against Stefanos Tsitsipas, who subsequently pulled out of the Tour Finals.
Tsitsipas’ withdrawal means Djokovic will be facing ninth seed Hubert Hurkacz instead of the Greek and only a win will do if the tournament favourite is to guarantee his place in the knockout phase.
Djokovic takes on Hurkacz at 1.30pm GMT on Thursday with both games available to watch via Amazon Prime Video.
Here are our tennis predictions for Thursday’s action at the Tour Finals.
Novak Djokovic vs Hubert Hurkacz predictions
The tennis odds heavily favour Djokovic to pick up his second win of the tournament against stand-in Hurkacz, who doesn’t have a great deal to play for on the surface.
The Pole can’t make it through to the next round so motivation levels are questionable for a meeting with Djokovic, who is likely to be smarting after two below-par displays.
The Serb needed three sets to overcome Rune in his first match before being edged out in a thriller by a determined Sinner 7-5 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-2).
The 36-year-old hasn’t been his usual clinical self in Turin, while there were signs at the Paris Masters that he wasn’t on top of his game, despite winning that event.
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Perhaps it’s the effects of another long season in which he won three of the four majors and made the Wimbledon final catching up with him. Either way, Hurkacz could make him work for his win.
With little value to be found backing Djokovic in any of the tennis betting markets, it’s worth considering alternatives, such as there being at least one tie breaker in the contest.
Hurkacz has been in decent form in the latter part of the season, winning the Shanghai Masters and reaching the final of the Swiss Indoors in October, while he was a quarter-finalist in Paris.
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The 26-year-old’s biggest weapon is his serve and he’s way out in front in the ATP Tour ace rankings this year, registering 1,031 aces, 339 more than Taylor Fritz in second.
The court inside the Pala Alpitour have proven to be extremely fast and Hurkacz may utilise his serve to hang around in the sets.
Djokovic has faced four tie breaks in six sets at the Tour Finals so far and we’re backing over 0.5 tie breaks at 10/11 with bet365.
Djokovic vs Hurkacz tip: Over 0.5 tie breaks – 10/11 with bet365
Jannik Sinner vs Holger Rune predictions
Sinner made a little slice of history with his first win over Djokovic on Tuesday, becoming the Italian with the most match wins in a year in the Open era.
The world No 4 has registered a career-best 59 wins this year and holds a 15-1 indoor record this season. New UK betting sites make him odds-on to pick up his 60th win of 2023 at Rune’s expense.
But Rune should come into this clash the fresher of the two men after spending just 15 minutes on court against Tsitsipas, while Sinner’s battle with Djokovic lasted three hours and nine minutes.
Rune will know whether he has a chance of going through to the semi-finals when he steps onto court and that’s likely to have a big impact on the outcome of the match.
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But whether he can qualify or not, the Dane could prove a tricky opponent for Sinner, who has never beaten Rune in two previous meetings.
Rune has also been in good form of late, reaching the Paris Masters final, and he’s won at least one set in five of his last 10 defeats on hard courts.
Sinner has dropped a set in three of his last four wins and we’re backing Rune to win at least one set at 23/25 with BetMGM.
Sinner vs Rune Tip 1: Rune to win a set – 23/25 with BetMGM
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Rune may have a few aces up his sleeve
The courts at the Pala Alpitour are playing fast and that’s leading to some lofty ace counts.
Ahead of Wednesday’s games and excluding Rune’s walkover win, there had been at least 12 aces in the five previous matches, with Sinner and Djokovic combing for a massive 35 aces.
Sinner’s serve has come on a lot since last year and has been on point recently, but his over/under ace line has been set at 9.5 by betting sites.
Rune’s line is 7.5 and there’s potentially more chance the Dane passes that mark. Rune’s serve is a solid weapon with the world No 8 winning 73 per cent of points on his first serve.
That serve was working well against Djokovic when sending down 18 aces and with our final tennis prediction, we’re backing Rune to have over 7.5 aces at 8/11 with bet365.
Sinner vs Rune Tip 2: Over 7.5 Rune aces – 8/11 with bet365
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Chris is an experienced sports betting writer who has worked with most major bookmakers and national media outlets, such as Racing Post and ITN. He covers a wide range of sports with his favourites being NFL, rugby, football and Formula 1.