Nitto ATP Finals Preview & Prediction: Novak Djokovic vs Kevin Anderson (Semifinal #2)

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Novak Djokovic was the first man to qualify for the semifinals of the 2018 Nitto ATP Finals where he will play his good friend Kevin Anderson for a spot in the final. The big serving South African had been impressive in his opening two matches, which included a 6-0 6-1 thrashing of Japan’s Kei Nishikori. That result had put Anderson firmly in control of Group Lleyton Hewitt until his defeat to Federer in straight sets.

The 2018 Wimbledon finalist was quick to acknowledge the chastening defeat to the Swiss, in which he was broken to love in two successive service games, something he said rarely happened to him. He will need to bounce back quickly as he prepares to face World No.1 Novak Djokovic. The Serb has been near-perfect this year against the big servers. While Anderson did beat Djokovic in the Laver Cup this year, he has failed to master a tour-level win over Djokovic in a decade. He came so close to beat him at Wimbledon in 2015 when he led by two sets before succumbing to a five-set defeat in match spanning over two days.

Djokovic is playing some incredible tennis at the moment, and he will be extra motivated to tie Roger Federer’s six titles at this event. Since the ATP Finals moved to London, no player has matched Djokovic’s four titles at the O2 and he seems to enjoy playing on this surface which suits his baseline game very well. He also looked unbeatable in his first two matches in London, which clinched the division for him. (It’s foolish to draw conclusions from his final round robin match against Marin Cilic, as the group standings were already determined before that match began.)
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Prediction: It was always going to be, “whoever beats Djokovic wins the title.” However, I cannot see anybody stopping him at the moment. Anderson will need to have one of his best serving displays of the season, but even that may not worry the Serb. Djokovic should win this.

Pick: Djokovic in 2

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