Novak Djokovic v Marin Cilic
Marin Cilic beat David Goffin and confirmed his place in the ATP World Tour Finals which means 2016 is going to end in very strong fashion for the former US Open Champion. Playing in London will be followed by the Davis Cup Final and Marin Cilic might be in a position to add a couple of big trophies to that US Open he won in 2014.
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Cilic can’t just be happy to get to London, but surely wants to head to that tournament by winning his second Masters event of the season having done that in Cincinnati in the summer. However, that means snapping a 14 match losing run to Novak Djokovic who looks highly motivated to retain his World Number 1 spot for another week.
Motivation is one thing, but Djokovic’s execution has mainly been very good although there are still signs he is not completely happy with his serve. He dropped the first set to Grigor Dimitrov who also had chances in the second set, but the Bulgarian slipped away in a manner that the in-form Cilic is less likely to do.
However, it is the second long week in a row for the Basel Champion which is a concern, although Cilic won’t have forgotten his humiliation at the hands of Djokovic in the 2015 US Open as the defending Champion. Unfortunately, that was the way matches between these players have gone more often than not and I am going to back Djokovic to find a way to a 6-3, 6-4 win if Cilic is serving as erratically as he did against David Goffin on Thursday.
Tennis Handicap Betting Pick: Novak Djokovic – 4.5 Games at 2.10 with Pinnacle
Andy Murray v Tomas Berdych
The head to head between Andy Murray and Tomas Berdych is ‘only’ 9-6 in favour of Murray, but the last five matches have been dominated by the World Number 2 since Dani Vallverdu decided to offer Berdych some advice. The relationship between Berdych and Vallverdu has concluded, but Murray’s dominance of recent matches continues and I can only see one winner in this Quarter Final.
It isn’t easy to dismiss the chances of a regular name in the top ten of the World Rankings, but Berdych has not been in the greatest form of late and he has lost the last 12 sets played against Murray. Add in the fact that he hasn’t won more than three games in any of the last 7 sets and you begin to worry about his chances in this one.
I do think he may have a couple of big chances in this one to break serve and remain competitive as Murray has not been firing at his best this week. He has played a lot of tennis of late and that has to wear down on a player from a mental and physical perspective, but Berdych has also not been as convincing behind serve as he usually is.
A player like Murray is going to get plenty of the big first serves not only back in play, but back in play in awkward positions which begins the rally from scratch and I would expect him to win plenty of those. Murray had an easy day in the office on Thursday which should have allowed him to keep some of the energy required in store for this one and I think he is going to come through with a relatively straight-forward 6-3, 6-4 win.
Tennis Handicap Betting Pick: Andy Murray – 4.5 Games at 1.66 with Bet365
Prices correct at time of writing.