Novak Djokovic vs. Daniil Medvedev: Odds and Best Bet for the Paris Masters Final (Nov. 7)
Credit: Aurelien Meunier, Getty. Novak Djokovic celebrates after beating Hubert Hurkacz at the Rolex Paris Masters.
Daniil Medvedev vs. Novak Djokovic
|Time||Sunday, 9 a.m. ET|
|Odds via Caesars Sportsbook.|
Final Sunday is upon us at the final Masters tournament of the year, and it will pit the two highest ranked players in the world against each other.
In a rematch of the fateful US Open final that saw Daniil Medvedev defeat Novak Djokovic in his quest for the calendar grand slam, the duo will meet in Paris.
It took a major effort from Djokovic to reach this stage in the event, as the world number one needed a third set tiebreak to get by Hubert Hurkacz.
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) November 6, 2021
The win secured Djokovic’s status as the year-end number one. It’s the seventh time he’s achieved the feat and that number is a new record.
Medvedev put on a stunning performance in his semifinal matchup with Alexander Zverev. The Russian got by one of the most in-form players on tour with ease, breaking Zverev as many times (3) as he had been in his previous five matches combined.
Interestingly, the duo practiced together recently, even playing a set on an indoor hard court.
Daniil Medvedev on his recent practice session with Novak Djokovic:
"I had anticipated this as a good training session & it was wonderful. We played for 2 hours, 1 set, then we talked for 15, 20 minutes. I love talking with him. I think I can say that he's a friend. I hope." pic.twitter.com/ifVTb964n1
— Musab (@Musab_Abid) October 31, 2021
As the odds reflect, this is an incredibly tight match on paper, so who has the edge in a battle of the two best players on tour?
How Djokovic Wins
The man that will almost certainly finish with the most grand slam titles in men’s tennis history has that crown for a reason. For the past ten years, he’s been the most dominant force in the sport, and he showcased that once again in 2021.
With three grand slam titles and a final at the US Open, Djokovic has elevated his game every time a major has rolled around. However, he’s only played two Masters events this year in an effort to get ready for the French Open. Both were in the run-up to the clay slam and were played on the surface.
Though he didn’t win in Monte Carlo or Rome, he played at a high level and lost in the final to Rafa Nadal in the latter. He’s only lost three matches on hard courts this year, and two of them came in the Olympics.
Maybe you can still argue about who is the GOAT, but you can’t argue that Djokovic is the most dominant hard court player that tennis has ever seen. His mobility and skillset on the surface is unlike any other player, and he’ll have to showcase that on Sunday to get by Medvedev.
The biggest reason that Djokovic wasn’t able to get by Medvedev in New York was due to nerves. There’s no other way around it. For one of the only times in his grand slam career, Djokovic was tight and couldn’t maintain his world class level.
Excluding that matchup, Djokovic has been able to break down Medvedev in the past, holding a 5-4 H2H record. The times that he’s won, he’s been able to take the initiative in points and force Medvedev to play offense. A counter-striker at heart, Medvedev prefers to be in that spot, but it’s impossible to play that way against a firing Djokovic.
If Djokovic is able to find his rhythm earlier, it’s going to place a lot of pressure on Medvedev to serve well and return well. The latter is a department where Djokovic has a major advantage, and if Medvedev drops his first serve percentage, Djokovic will have a chance to attack.
Thus far in the tournament, Medvedev has kept his first serve percentage above 70, but if he lets it fall below that mark, watch out.
How Medvedev Wins
The biggest step to getting by Djokovic is generating free points, and Medvedev has been able to do that in his wins against him.
At the US Open, Medvedev hit 16 aces and won 81 percent of the points behind his first serve. In last year’s ATP Finals, Medvedev hit nine aces and won 80 percent of the points behind his first serve. In Cincinnati the year prior, Medvedev hit 16 aces and won 78 percent of the points behind his first serve.
You get the deal.
Highlights from the men's singles final 👇 pic.twitter.com/hfP58Ilnio
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 12, 2021
After the serve, Medvedev is going to need to show some incredible patience. You can’t beat Djokovic by rushing the net or trying to take the easy way out in points, and Medvedev knows that. He’s played more tennis since the US Open since Djokovic, and should theoretically be in a better position to play longer rallies.
Lastly, Medvedev is going to have to draw upon something he did at the US Open, and that’s giving Djokovic constant variety to deal with. Giving a player like him the same ball over and over again is a big mistake, and changing the tempo and rhythm of points will be vital.
That’s easier said than done.
Betting Analysis and Pick
The last time that Djokovic was priced at -110 or worse on a hard court was at the Australian Open against Medvedev. Djokovic went on to win the match in straight sets and put on a world class performance.
In Paris, the stakes aren’t as high, but having the chance to get on a healthy Djokovic on a hard court is a proposition that you can’t pass up.
Medvedev performed at his ceiling in the semifinal, and you can expect a slight regression in the final. If his serving numbers fall at any point, it will offer Djokovic the chance to continually put pressure on Medvedev.
Back the greatest hard court player of all time to extend his title count in Paris on Sunday.
Pick: Djokovic +105