The Nitto ATP Finals is drawing to a close and so is the 2022 tennis season. The last semifinalist will be determined when Stefanos Tsitsipas faces Andrey Rublev in a nerve-racking encounter. Elsewhere, Novak Djokovic has secured his place in the semis as the group winner and faces a harmless dead rubber against Daniil Medvedev. Who do you think will come out on top?
ATP Finals Day 6 Predictions
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Andrey Rublev
Head-to-head: Tsitsipas 6-4 Rublev
Tsitsipas’s epic win over Medvedev on Wednesday has set up a decisive round-robin match against Andrey Rublev. The setting couldn’t have been any better, it is a winner-takes-all for a spot in the semifinal. Tsitsipas holds a slight edge in this matchup. He won their very first meeting at the Next Gen ATP Finals in 2018 on indoor hard courts and has beaten Rublev on two occasions this year, most notably in Astana – also on indoor hard courts.
Tsitsipas will certainly need to emulate his winning strategy from his previous round. He stepped up when he needed to and his forehand was sweeping every short ball with precision. What was even glaring was his ability to finish off points at the net. He won 36 points from a possible 45 against a tireless runner like Medvedev. Rublev fits in the mold of a workhorse and can retrieve as many balls as possible at full sprint. He also has a more consistent backhand than Tsitsipas. We have seen Greek misfire with that shot in key moments this week. And if this ends up being a nerve-wracking battle, Tsitsipas’ misses might prove costly.
Prediction: Rublev in 3
Novak Djokovic vs Daniil Medvedev
Head-to-head: Djokovic 7-4 Medvedev
Djokovic couldn’t hide his delight at the news that his visa ban was overturned and will play at next year’s Australian Open. That fuelled his motivation (not that he lacked any of it) in another breathtaking performance under the roof. He defeated Andrey Rublev 6-4 6-1 in just 68 minutes. He absorbed Rublev’s ferocious forehand like a sponge in water and did not give the Russian even a sniff of a break point. It was flawless tennis at times.
Djokovic has disguised his raw disappointment for missing out on a host of top-tier events by winning in the other tournaments he has played in so far. Four titles from just 10 tournaments including one Grand Slam crown. It is the kind of rare brilliance you would only associate with an elite band of tennis players. He isn’t done yet in this group as he looks to keep the momentum going. He faces a familiar foe in Daniil Medvedev in a dead rubber. Since he burst onto the scene in 2019, Medvedev has won four of their eight completed matches in the head-to-head. The Russian is the one player who refuses to take the bait when Djokovic tests his rally tolerance. Medvedev would almost invariably unleash the right shot to end things But this has been a subpar season for him. His belief has evaporated and his results are not a reflection of his current ranking. He won’t throw in the towel even with his elimination confirmed, but there is a sense that Djokovic is gunning for all 1500 points by going undefeated this week.
Prediction: Djokovic in 3
Main Photo from Getty.