Can Filip Krajinovic follow up his decisive victory against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga with another one against Andrey Rublev?
<p><span style="color:rgb(0, 0, 0);font-size:15px"><strong>The Davis Cup Finals</strong> go on at the La Caja Mágica, and Day 4 saw all the group stage ties & rubbers conclude, as well as one of the quarterfinals between Australia and Canada. Once again, we saw drama as Great Britain were involved. A brilliant Kyle Edmund dismissed the challenge of Mikhail Kukushkin in straight sets, but Daniel Evans losing to Alexander Bublik from a set up made the doubles rubber decisive once again. Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski made no mistakes however, and sent the Brits through to a quarterfinal. Advancing alongside Great Britain as group winners on the day were Serbia and Germany, whilst Argentina and Russia were the best runner-ups and also go through.</span></p><p><br />Today sees the rest of the quarterfinals get underway, and we have a couple of classic encounters throughout the history of sports. Germany taking on Great Britain is usually a feisty encounter that both fan bases place significant importance on. However, there won´t be any penalty shootouts involved in this one. Home nation Spain take on Argentina in their tie, and the Spanish team has been hit with tragedy as Roberto Bautista Agut has had to leave the tournament. After tragically losing his mother last year, the Spaniards father is now very ill. Replacing Agut will be Carreno Busta. Lastly we have Serbia taking on Russia, in what should also be a cracking contest.<br /><br />As for matchups, we have a repeat of the 2018 Paris Masters final where Novak Djokovic takes on Karen Khachanov. Karen´s extreme western grip and large backswing on the forehand was the way to victory in those slow, high bouncing conditions and it´ll be interesting to see if it will be here too in faster, lower bouncing conditions. If he can, the +4.5 games on offer appeal. An often seen matchup will continue as Diego Schwartzman takes on Rafael Nadal. "Peque" has often brought the fight but proved too lightweight in the end. With a spread set at 5.5 I have no desire to get involved on either side. I´ll instead focus on the rubber between Andrey Rublev and Filip Krajinovic, which should be a cracking encounter.</p><p><a href="http://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=168&a=4417b7df-a48f-47f3-9b45-f79858bc083a&f=3" target="_blank"><img alt src="https://images-production-euw2-753931602578.s3.amazonaws.com/5d582dcf927b95968483da5f/original-10-bet-new-customer-welcome-bonus" style="width:100%" /></a></p><div><h2><strong>Filip Krajinovic vs. Andrey Rublev</strong></h2><strong>Friday, November 22, Madrid</strong><p> </p><p><br /><strong>Holding his nerve</strong><br /><br />With the French Davis Cup team possessing the best doubles pairing on the planet right now in Nicolas Mahut/Pierre-Hugues Herbert, the doubles rubber victory felt almost a given. Knowing that Novak Djokovic would have a large edge against Benoit Paire, this rubber would prove to be the decisive one. Filip Krajinovic would have to beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga as a 2.75 underdog for Serbia to win the group and advance to the quarterfinals. The 27-year old Serb whose career at many stages have been beset by injuries have certainly found his best stuff recently, and would continue to exhibit that great form here. Shrewdly moving the powerful Tsonga from side to side, not shying away from battling the vicious forehand in order to exploit the weaker backhand wing paid dividends. Krajinovic´s backhand in particular was lethal, many times going back into the forehand corner of the French veteran with pace, wrongfooting him with clean winners. A tidy 71% of first serves were landed, winning 86% of points behind them, and totaled 21 winners to 19 unforced errors - 9 of the winners from that backhand wing. Going unbroken throughout the match, the world no. 40 generated 10 break points in return, and took the one that mattered in a 7-5, 7-6 victory.<br /><br /><strong>The tennis of his life</strong><br /><br />Andrey Rublev has had a stellar year, one which has seen the young Russian climb back up the rankings after injury problems halted his growth after a breakout year in 2017. After several disappointing showings over the spring, the 22-year old would really come to life in the latter half of the season. There, Rublev made the final in Hamburg, the quarterfinal of Cincinnati, Winston-Salem and the Last 16 of the US Open, defeating the likes of Stefanos Tsitsipas and Nick Kyrgios enroute. Backing up his maiden career title with winning Moscow (where the world no. 23 was previously winless) saw the 22-year old end the season well, and has continued to perform on a positive note here. With two wins from two thus far, the win against Roberto Bautista Agut was impressive. Staying aggressive and absolutely crushing the ball at any given moment allowed the Russian to stay on top of proceedings. Despite losing the first set 3-6, that wouldn´t change, and Rublev struck back to win the second set 6-3, and boss the final set tiebreak by 7-0! Ending the day with a whopping 16 aces, 22 forehand and 8 backhand winners to only 23 unforced errors was most impressive.<br /><br /><strong>Too big a favourite</strong><br /><br />Both Krajinovic and Rublev were incredibly dominant behind their serves in their last rubbers, with the Serb not being broken, and the Russian just on the one occasion. In these quick conditions, it´s yet again the serve that should dictate proceedings. The battle between the Rublev forehand and Krajinovic´s ability to neutralize it will come to the forefront. It´s actually a similar challenge to the one the 27-year old just faced in Tsonga, although his 22-year old opponent has better movement and backhand than the Frenchman. While the Russian has played really well thus far, so has the Serb, and making Andrey a 1.37 favourite seems a bit excessive. In the pair´s lone H2H matchup back in 2017, it was indeed Krajinovic who prevailed as a 2.71 underdog, winning in Moscow by a 7-5, 7-6 scoreline.<br /><br />While Rublev was more raw then, he was still ranked 35th in the world and highly capable. Both players have improved since then, but there is no reason for the Russian to be such a heavy favourite here. Looking at the stats, the world no. 23 does hold a 3.8% hold/break edge over the last 12 months on hard court along with a 44 point hard court ELO edge. However, as mentioned on many occasions before, Krajinovic routinely outplays his stats on indoor hard courts, and seems to rise even more with the opportunity to represent his nation. All things considered, the 3.10 on the moneyline and the +3.5 games at 1.80 both appeal, and will be my investments in this match up.<br /><br /><a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&a=4fd3c129-b898-4816-9a61-9f7e8f34295a&f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Tennis Betting Odds"><strong><em>Best bet</em></strong>: <strong><em>Krajinovic +3.5 games at 1.80 (4/5) with [Unibet] </em></strong></a><em><a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&a=4fd3c129-b898-4816-9a61-9f7e8f34295a&f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Tennis Betting Odds">2u<br /><strong>Best bet</strong></a></em><a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&a=4fd3c129-b898-4816-9a61-9f7e8f34295a&f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Tennis Betting Odds">: <strong><em>Krajinovic to win at 3.10 (21/10) with [Unibet] </em></strong><em>1u</em></a></p></div>