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tennis | Wednesday, November 16, 2022 8:50 AM

Wednesday Tennis Best Bet: ATP Finals, Novak Djokovic vs Andrey Rublev

Wednesday Tennis Best Bet: ATP Finals, Novak Djokovic vs Andrey Rublev
Marco Canoniero / Alamy Stock Photo

Novak Djokovic vs Andrey Rublev Best Bet: Wednesday, November 16th

Nice straight sets win for Felix Auger Aliassime over Rafael Nadal. It was a little shaky early on, as he gave too many free points to the man known as Rafa, but once he steadied himself on serve, he was clearly the much better player and controlled far more points than his legendary adversary.

For Wednesday, we’ll preview the match between Novak Djokovic and Andrey Rublev, with the winner locking up a spot in the semifinals.

In this article:

Novak Djokovic vs Andrey Rublev Preview

November 16th, 13:00 UK Time

After taking down his nemesis in a close third set in his opening match, things won’t get any easier for Rublev, as he takes on Djokovic on Wednesday, looking to lock up his place in the semifinals at the year-end finals.

Beating arguably the greatest player to ever step on a tennis court is tough anywhere, but doing so when he’s in a groove and on quicker indoor hard courts? An even tougher task.

It is worth noting that Rublev did manage to beat the Serbian No. 1 earlier this season on the clay courts in Belgrade, but there are a few caveats worth noting with that win. First, that was during a period Djokovic couldn’t gain any kind of rhythm, since he wasn’t allowed to play so much of the ATP calendar. He had a loss to Jiri Vesely, an exit in his first match in Monte Carlo at the hands of Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and a trio of three setters in Belgrade leading into that tilt.

Since getting back on tour more regularly, he’s won Rome, Wimbledon, Tel Aviv and Astana and reached the finals at the Masters event in Paris. When in this kind of groove, he’s much tougher to beat.

The matchup at this very venue in the ATP Finals of 2021 is a much more accurate barometer for this one. In that match, Djokovic dispatched the Russian with relative ease.

That’s because it’s a tough stylistic matchup for Rublev, as his temporary bouts with inconsistency can be exploited by the rock-solid baseline game of Djokovic, and his return game simply isn’t as polished, meaning the man they call “Nole” is far more likely to apply consistent pressure on return.

Finally, if we look at the guys who have beaten Djokovic on indoor hard courts since the start of 2021 (points distributing tournaments only), they actually profile similarly.

Alexander Zverev got him in three sets at this event last year, while Holger Rune bested him in a tight third set in the final in Paris just a few weeks ago. The thing they have in common? Strong serves, excellent return games and – most importantly – a top-shelf backhand wing. That last one is by far the most relevant since Djokovic possesses one of the best backhands the sport has ever seen. If you don’t have an elite backhand of your own, he’s shown it’s almost impossible to keep pace with him in these conditions. Unfortunately for Rublev, that is the one part of his game that can be picked on.

Novak Djokovic vs Andrey Rublev Best Bet

I’m bullish on Djokovic to win this one in straight sets with the odds implying it only ends Djokovic 2-0 about half the time.

The form, pedigree, conditions, backhand matchup, as well as the edge on the return of serve all favour him overwhelmingly.

  • Selection: Djokovic to win 2-0
  • Best Odds: 2.04 (Pinnacle)
  • Stakes: 3/10

Odds as at 6:00 am on November 16th, 2022. Odds may now differ.

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