ATP Finals Day 3: Djokovic and Sinner Clash in Decisive Match
The third day of the Nitto ATP Finals is set to be a thrilling showdown as the battle for the first qualifying player for the semifinals heats up. Six-time champion Novak Djokovic will face off against home crowd favorite Jannik Sinner in what promises to be the tie of the round so far. Meanwhile, Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas could be facing early elimination if he fails to secure a victory. The stakes are high, and the question on everyone’s mind is: who will emerge victorious?
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Holger Rune
Head-to-head: Rune 2-0 Tsitsipas
Stefanos Tsitsipas has dismissed concerns about a potential elbow injury, ensuring that Hubert Hurkacz will have to wait on the substitute bench a little longer as an alternate. However, Tsitsipas faced a tough defeat in his opening match against Jannik Sinner. While their previous encounters were mostly on clay, the head-to-head record seemed irrelevant in predicting their performance indoors. Tsitsipas admitted in the post-match press conference that Sinner’s clean baseline play made it difficult for him to find his rhythm. Despite not playing a terrible match, Tsitsipas failed to create any break points, which further diminishes his chances of qualifying if he suffers another loss.
Holger Rune, under the guidance of Boris Becker, has shown remarkable improvement. He is a completely different player from the one who endured a series of losses earlier this season. Rune displayed excellent form against Novak Djokovic on Sunday, although the Serbian eventually raised his level and secured the win. Nevertheless, this matchup presents a winnable opportunity for Rune, who has defeated Tsitsipas twice in their previous encounters and appears to have turned a corner with Becker in his corner.
Prediction: Rune in 3
Novak Djokovic vs Jannik Sinner
Head-to-head: Djokovic 3-0 Sinner
Novak Djokovic’s incredible defensive skills have proven to be a formidable challenge for any opponent. With an 18th successive win on tour, Djokovic has not lost a match since Wimbledon. Now that he has secured the year-end No. 1 ranking, he admitted to feeling a sense of relief. However, Jannik Sinner has shown that he is up to the task.
Sinner boasts an impressive 14-1 record on indoor hard courts, making him the ATP’s winningest player in this category. Statisticians have observed subtle improvements in Sinner’s serve, making him virtually unbreakable. In his match against Tsitsipas, he lost only 10 points in 10 games behind his serve and did not face a single break point. What was once considered the weakest part of his game has now become a significant asset. The question remains whether Djokovic, now that he has achieved his main goal, will lose focus. Sinner appears unfazed by the pressure of playing on home soil, and with Rune’s recent victory over Djokovic, an upset could be on the cards, throwing the group wide open.
Prediction: Sinner in 3
Main Photo Credit: Mike Frey – USA TODAY Sports