With the round-robin finished and the semifinals set, we are hurtling towards the business end of the ATP Finals in Turin. As always, we here at LWOT will preview and predict every match. But who will reach Sunday’s final?
ATP Finals Semifinals Predictions
Novak Djokovic vs Taylor Fritz
Head-to-head: Djokovic 5-0 Fritz
This rivalry has been more competitive than the head-to-head record would suggest. That said, there is no doubt about who is the better tennis player. Novak Djokovic has won 21 Grand Slam titles and five ATP Finals. Taylor Fritz, who qualified for the season-ending championships only after world #1 Carlos Alcaraz withdrew with an abdominal injury, has enjoyed a breakthrough season, but he remains unaccustomed to breathing the same rarefied air as Djokovic.
The Californian won the biggest title of his career earlier this year, lifting the title in Indian Wells. Djokovic has won that event five times. Still, there are some reasons for Fritz to feel confident. He enjoyed a day of rest on Friday while Djokovic gritted his way through a three-set battle against Daniil Medvedev. The American, with a big serve and powerful flat groundstrokes, has a game well-suited to the conditions in Turin.
He also took Djokovic to five sets at Melbourne Park in 2021. That said, Djokovic won their other four matches in straight sets and in the last decade, no player (save Roger Federer) has been able to live with Djokovic at his best indoors. Fritz has established himself as a very fine player, but if Djokovic plays anything like his best tennis he should have far too much for the American.
Prediction: Djokovic in 2
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Casper Ruud vs Andrey Rublev
Head-to-head: Rublev 4-1 Ruud
After a stunning run to the US Open finals, Ruud had a rather disappointing run-in before the ATP Finals. At tour events, the Norwegian went 2-4 including losses to Jaume Munar and Stan Wawrinka. The 23-year-old’s level at the Finals has been more akin to his consistent performances in New York rather than anything he had shown in the autumn.
Ruud started with a very solid straight-set win over Felix Auger-Aliassime, one of the most in-form players coming into Turin. The world #4 then outlasted Taylor Fritz in a third-set tiebreak battle before losing the last match to Rafael Nadal, having already secured the semifinals.
Rublev’s form coming into Turin was rather mixed. The Russian put together nice runs to the semifinals in Astana and Gijon, where he left with the winner’s trophy. Rublev then did not deliver in Vienna or Paris, though his losses were to quality opposition in Grigor Dimitrov and Holger Rune. In Turin, he won an all-Russian match against Daniil Medvedev, defeating his countryman 9-7 in the third-set tiebreak after a two-and-a-half-hour battle.
Rublev then won just five games against Novak Djokovic, setting up a direct play-off for the semifinals against Stefanos Tsitsipas. The 25-year-old succeeded, securing a first semifinal berth in his third ATP Finals appearance with a 6-2 in the third win over the Greek.
Rublev dominated Ruud early on in their head-to-head, dropping just one set in their first four meetings. Ruud has improved this season though and won their most recent meeting at last year’s ATP Finals in a third-set tiebreak. With the extra day of rest also in his favour, I see the Norwegian as a slight favorite here.
Prediction: Ruud in 3
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