Friday ATP Odds and Best Bets, Including Novak Djokovic vs. Taylor Fritz (Nov. 5)
Credit: John Berry, Getty. Novak Djokovic stretches for a backhand at the Rolex Paris Masters.
The Rolex Paris Masters is quickly turning into one of the best tournaments of the year, largely in part to a French crowd that has been asserting itself all week.
On Thursday, Frenchman Hugo Gaston fed off of a remarkable environment to come back from 5-0 down in the second set and win in straight sets.
This is @HugoGaston7’s world and we’re just living in it 🌎
The Frenchman rallies from *0-5* down in the second set to close out Alcaraz 6-4 7-5 and become the lowest-ranked Paris quarter-finalist since 2012!#RolexParisMasterspic.twitter.com/FX7Y3o5NiR
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) November 4, 2021
I expect the fireworks to continue in two matches tomorrow, including a battle that will feature the world number one.
Read on to see how I’ll be betting Friday’s action.
Match times are subject to change. Read here for advice on watching tennis matches.
Hubert Hurkacz (-350) vs. James Duckworth (+275)
9:00 a.m. ET
Friday’s quarterfinal is going to be one of the biggest non-slam matches in Hurkacz’s young but already accomplished career.
The Polish number one has a chance to book his ticket to the ATP Finals in Turin with a victory against the surging Duckworth. It’s not going to be easy, though, as the Aussie has been putting together one of the best weeks of his career.
Wins against Roberto Bautista Agut, Lorenzo Musetti and Alexei Popyrin have positioned the world number 55 in the quarterfinals, and his style of play could be effective in competing with Hurkacz.
Duckworth has been effective off of both wings throughout the week, showing attacking and defensive prowess against solid ball-strikers. Most impressively, Duckworth generated 12 break points against a huge Popyrin serve. The fact that he’s only converted on 10 of the 30 break points he’s created thus far gives me even more confidence that his top potential hasn’t been achieved.
In fact, Duckworth has been doing all of this without making more than 55% of his first serves in any of his matches. If that number is raised, he’ll be even more difficult to break down.
Hurkacz has been shaky at times, and it’s understandable considering the stakes attached to this tournament. He dropped a set to Dominik Koepfer and struggled to finish off Tommy Paul in the first round of the event, and I think he’ll have some difficulties once again.
Watch out for Duckworth to put serious pressure on the favorite.
Pick: 0.5u Duckworth to win a set -110 | 0.5 Duckworth +275 via FanDuel
Novak Djokovic (-575) vs. Taylor Fritz (+400)
10:20 a.m. ET
Fritz secured his status as the end-of-year American number one with an impressive win over Cameron Norrie, and he showed in the performance that his recent results are far from a coincidence.
He’s been able to hit through and break down all different types of players over the last two weeks, and the fatigue that I anticipated to hit Fritz was nowhere to be found on Thursday. His opponent on Friday is as tough as any in the history of the sport, however.
Fortunately for Fritz, he’ll be playing a version of Djokovic that is far from the untouchable grand slam Djokovic that we’re so accustomed to seeing, but the Serbian will be a seriously tough out nonetheless.
The 20-time slam champion looked a touch rusty in his second round victory over Marton Fucsovics, and it won’t help him that his third round opponent, Gael Monfils, was forced to withdraw prior to their match due to injury.
Djokovic and Fritz have met four times before on tour, and though Djokovic has been victorious in all of them, Fritz pushed him to his limits in their last two meetings, in Melbourne and Rome.
If Fritz is able to find his footing in this battle, his form could carry him to force Djokovic to find a high level himself. I expect that to be the case.
Pick: Over 20.5 games -125 Caesars Sportsbook
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