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Nitto ATP Finals 2020: Novak Djokovic vs Daniil Medvedev preview, head-to-head & prediction

Novak Djokovic (left) and Daniil Medvedev
Novak Djokovic (left) and Daniil Medvedev
Rupin Kale
FEATURED WRITER
Modified 17 Nov 2020, 15:09 IST
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Match details

Fixture: Novak Djokovic vs Daniil Medvedev

Date: 18 November 2020

TournamentNitto ATP Finals 2020

Round: Round-robin stage

Venue: London, United Kingdom

Category: ATP Finals

Surface: Indoor hardcourt

Prize money: $5,700,000

Match timing: Not before 8 pm GMT, 1.30 AM IST (November 19)

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Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel | India - Sony / Sony Liv


Novak Djokovic vs Daniil Medvedev preview

Novak Djokovic, the top seed at the ATP Finals, kicked off his campaign with a commanding win over Diego Schwartzman. The World No. 1 took out the Argentine in straight sets, winning 6-3, 6-2.

While Djokovic conceded his serve once in the match, he broke Schwartzman four times. The Serb also produced seven aces in the encounter.

Djokovic has a terrific win-loss record of 40-3 this year, but the three losses might be playing more on his head than the 40 wins.

His first defeat of the year came in the form of a default at the US Open, where he accidently hit a linesperson. He was then pummeled by Rafael Nadal in the Roland Garros final, losing 6-0, 6-2, 7-5. His most shocking defeat of the year came against Lorenzo Sonego at the Vienna Open, where he looked a pale shadow of himself and lost 6-2, 6-1.

Needless to say, this tournament will be a test of the top seed's mentality. He is looking to win his sixth ATP Finals title and tie Roger Federer's record, but it remains to be seen whether he can rediscover his touch from the early part of the year and beat the stiff competition at London.

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Daniil Medvedev meanwhile had an excellent start to his ATP Finals campaign too, defeating Alexander Zverev 6-3, 6-4. This is already the best result for Medvedev at the tournament, given that he lost all three matches in his only other appearance (2019).

The Russian comes into London on the back of a huge win at the Paris Masters. That was his first trophy of the year, and his third Masters title overall.

Medvedev has a win-loss ratio of 24-10 in 2020, but he would be hoping to improve on that by the end of this tournament.


Novak Djokovic vs Daniil Medvedev head-to-head

Djokovic and Medvedev have met six times on the tour so far, with the Serb leading the head-to-head 4-2. Their latest encounter came in the semifinal of this year's ATP Cup, which the Serb won 6-1, 5-7, 6-4.

Medvedev had consecutive wins over Djokovic in the two matches before that - at Cincinnati and Monte Carlo last year. However, the 17-time Grand Slam champion has a 3-1 edge on hardcourts.


Novak Djokovic vs Daniil Medvedev prediction

Can Daniil Medvedev make it two in two at the ATP Finals with a win against Novak Djokovic?
Can Daniil Medvedev make it two in two at the ATP Finals with a win against Novak Djokovic?
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Novak Djokovic's baseline play looked solid in his first match against Diego Schwartzman, despite the fact that he conceded an early break. The Serb won five games in a row to clinch the first set, and didn't look back after that.

However, he recorded only a first serve percentage of just 64%, and that is one area Djokovic will need to improve against someone as solid as Daniil Medvedev. The Russian likes to dominate from the baseline, and Djokovic himself once described the 24-year-old as a "very complete player".

For Djokovic, the key against Medvedev would be getting enough returns back in play, and hitting with consistent depth and precision off the ground. If he manages to both of those thi, he should be able to come through this match unscathed.

Prediction: Novak Djokovic to win in three sets.

Published 17 Nov 2020, 13:41 IST
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