Can top-seeded Novak Djokovic avenge his Shanghai loss against the surging Stefanos Tsitsipas?
<div><h2><strong>Novak Djokovic(1) vs. Stefanos Tsitsipas(7)</strong></h2><p><strong>Friday, November 1, Paris</strong></p><p>Worringly for fans of Novak Djokovic, the world no. 2 hasn´t been his usual terminator-like self, barely missing a ball whilst covering the court like blanket soaking up all the oppositions´ pressure. Struggling with a shoulder injury that forced a withdrawal from the US Open quartefinal, the 32-year old looked in fine shape to take home the title in Tokyo. However, Novak looked slightly off in the subsequent Shanghai tournament, where he fell at the quarterfinal stage. Here in Paris, it was an incredibly shaky start for the 4-time Champion who struggled badly against Corentin Moutet. Committing shocking unforced errors, particularly off the forehand wing, Djokovic found himself 3-5 down and was forced to save two set points. The young home hope understandably tensed up when the big opportunities arrived, and after edging the first set 7-6(7), Moutet´s challenge faded in the second. Finishing the night with 23 winners to 31(!!!) unforced errors, an improvement was needed.</p><p>Though raising his game against Kyle Edmund in the second set, the first set was again shaky, with the trademark aggressive returning missing as Novak resorted to mostly pushing the ball back into play. While the Brit would surely have felt the first set was there for the taking, he didn´t take advantage, and promptly collapsed 6-1 thereafter. The world no. 2 on the other hand has been ill this week and still doesn´t look right, though he did cut down the unforced errors to 14 behind 19 winners today.</p><p>No discredit to Kyle Edmund who has come out of a slump admirably, but Djokovic will need to perform several levels above what he´s shown thus far this week to content with Stefanos Tsitsipas. The Greek is celebrating a career best year, and has scored his 50th win of the year(tied third most) and 100th ATP career win this week. Overcoming mid-season adversity where he had lost his opening match in five of six tournaments, Stefanos looks to have battled himself back to form in Beijing. Reaching the final there has been followed up by a Shanghai semifinal in which London qualification was clinched, and a semifinal in Basel where only Roger Federer would best him. Here in Paris, Tsitsipas has again looked sharp, getting his heavy hitting game firing on all cylinders. After a close first set where the 21-year old edged the breaker against Taylor Fritz, it´s been smooth sailing. Displaying dominance behind serve against in-form Alex De Minaur, the world no. 7 would smash down 11 aces to no double faults, winning 85% and 82% of first & second serve points respectively in the 6-3, 6-4 win.</p><p>Both players have been among the best performers this season, scoring 50 wins each along with several titles. Djokovic is locked into a battle for year-end world no. 1 ranking, as he currently trails Rafael Nadal by 1280 points, needing to stay within 1500 to have a shot at surpassing the Spaniard at the ATP Finals. To do that, improvement is necessary as the opposition improves, and hopes to do just that in his next match:</p><p>“It was good. I wasn’t really feeling comfortable in the first set,” said Djokovic, who has been struggling with the flu this week.</p><p>“It was a bit like yesterday (against Corentin Moutet). I hope to be better in the next match.”</p><p>Stefanos Tsitsipas is a player that seems to come alive on the biggest of occassions, and has gone 4-6 against the top 5 players this season. That includes scoring victories over all three "Big Three" members in 2019, ousting Federer at the Australian Open, Nadal at the Madrid Masters, and Djokovic as recently as in the Shanghai Masters a few weeks ago. Showing incredible mental toughness to come back from a set down to win that affair, the Greek will be full of confidence that he can bring a similar performance to this contest. Right now, with Djokovic clearly struggling and Tsitsipas having all the weapons necessary to win, the 3.75 Bet365 price on the 21-year old looks lovely.</p><p><strong>Best Bet: Tsitsipas to win at 3.75 (11/4) with [<a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&a=bf7f64f4-cd67-4904-9b00-6ded1d41fd18&f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Top Rated Bookmaker!">Bet365</a>] 1.5u </strong></p><p><a href="http://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=164&a=f339dce1-88de-4994-ab6a-c24e019bdf3b&f=3"><img alt src="https://cmscdn.staticcache.org/assets/image/0003/1348572/WHC_27064_Updated-In-Play-Tennis-Insurance_1280x480NEW.jpg" style="width:100%" /></a></p><h2>Karolina Pliskova vs. Simona Halep</h2><p><a href="https://www.oddsmarket.com/tennis/world/wta/wta-finals-women-singles/karolina-pliskova-vs-simona-halep-3968137/?mtid=126" target="_blank" title="Game Odds"><strong>Friday, November 1, Shenzhen</strong></a></p><p>While she lost her opening match against reigning Elina Svitolina in two tight sets, Karolina Pliskova was determined to bring the fight to teenage sensation Bianca Andreescu in the second contest. However, it was the Canadian who would get off to the best start, blitzing to a 2-0 start. After that point though, disaster struck. Stretching for a serve the US Open champion started limping, with the left knee heavily compromised from that point on. After what turned out to be a meniscus injury, Pliskova would get back into the match. Peppering the Andreescu backhand which weakened with injury, the world no. 2 broke back to 2-2, and saved three break points to hold for a 3-2 lead. During the changeover, a telling exchange of words would occur:</p><p>Andreescu: "My knee twisted, I heard a crack, she validated me that's my mensicus. I can't bend my knee at all. That's all I can go. It's cracking every time I walk and it friggin' hurts."</p><p>Bruneau: "Don't push it."</p><p>Andreescu: "I don't want to stop. If it was against Simona, then ok. But she misses."</p><p>While Pliskova possesses incredible power, the caveat would be her movement and propensity to hit unforced errors. The 27-year old perhaps heeded the call from what transpired in Andreescu´s coaching exchange, as the world no. 2 started to patiently build the rallies, moving the injured Canadian from side to side. Playing much cleaner tennis, she wrapped up the set 6-3 before Andreescu called it quits, and got a first victory on the board.</p><p>Simona Halep will stand for the opposition in this matchup, and the Romanian came into the tournament under a cloud of uncertainty. Having struggled badly with form and fitness going just 6-5 since winning Wimbledon, the world no. 5 kicked off proceedings in excellent fashion here. Heeding valuable advice from returning coach Darren Cahill, Simona showed trademark grit and determination to save a match point and grind down Andreescu in three sets. The second match would not see the Romanian repeat that feat. Up against 2018 champion Elina Svitolina, Halep started poorly and in the blink of an eye found herself down 0-3 in the first set. However, the 28-year old roared back to 3-3 just as fast, and also held break point for 4-3. After that point though, it was the Ukranian who would take over the match, Halep simply unable to contend with Svitolina´s incredible court coverage:</p><p>"I felt that I cannot finish the points," a frustrated Halep said afterwards - music to her rival's ears.</p><p>This match will not be a similar challenge for the Romanian, which it will for her Czech opponent:</p><p>[...]Of course, for me tough because there's going to be a lot of rallies. I played good match against Svitolina. I think it's going to be a little bit similar to Simona[...]", Pliskova said of the matchup.</p><p>In the 12th matchup between this pair, there is a lot on the line. Win, and you´re in! The one who emerges victorious from this contest will book their spot in the semifinals, advancing along with Svitolina. In years past, it´s been Halep who´s been the most successful, commanding a dominant 7-3 H2H record. Her court coverage and security from the baseline coaxes the powerful, but more erratic Pliskova into errors, and that has proved the way to victory more often than not. Though Pliskova has won the last two H2H matchups, I expect Simona to bounce back after reuniting with Darren Cahill. Low bouncing and slow courts puts a lot of pressure on the Czech, who can be vulnerable in longer exchanges and when forced on the run. Which plays right into her Romanian opponent´s biggest strength. In a favourable matchup backed by her trusty coach, expect Halep to end Pliskova´s challenge. Paying 1.75 with Pinnacle, that will be our investment in this one.</p><p><strong>Best bet: Halep to win at 1.75 (3/4) with [<a href="http://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=155&a=6a145d2b-505f-491b-a70e-2f5f31742828&f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="A+ Rated Bookmaker!">Pinnacle</a>] 1.5u</strong></p></div>