Day Five of the 2023 ATP Finals will take place on Thursday, November 16, at the Pala Alpitour in Turin, Italy. Here is our preview of the action, as the Green Group concludes with Novak Djokovic vs Hubert Hurkacz and Jannik Sinner vs Holger Rune fighting for their places in the semi-finals.
First up, World No. 1 Djokovic will face first alternate Hurkacz on Day Five of the 2023 Nitto ATP Finals, the latter of whom is replacing Stefanos Tsitsipas after he was forced to withdraw from the tournament. The Greek player retired from his second Group Stage clash against Rune just three games in, citing a back injury. Following this, Djokovic's 19-match winning streak came to an end as he lost a three-set clash with home player Sinner.
However, the 36-year-old still has a good chance of qualifying for the semi-finals at the event. The simplest way would be if he were to defeat Hurkacz and Sinner were to beat Rune, putting Djokovic second in the group. It will be slightly more complicated if Rune defeats Sinner, as Djokovic would have to beat Hurkacz in straight sets to ensure qualification. However, if he loses to the Polish player, he will be at risk of being eliminated.
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It would be unfortunate for Djokovic to lose against Hurkacz for the first time in Turin, as he currently leads their head-to-head 6-0. The Serbian player defeated the 26-year-old twice this year, moving past him in straight sets at the Dubai Tennis Championships and in a closely contested four sets at Wimbledon.
However, Hurkacz has had a good run of form recently, winning his first Masters title since 2021 in Shanghai last month. Moreover, he could be better rested than Djokovic coming in as an alternate in the final match of the Group Stage. Nevertheless, the World No. 1 will perhaps have built up more momentum from his matches in Turin and will be determined not to be defeated again immediately, meaning he is likely to take the win.
Prediction: Novak Djokovic to win in straight sets.
Sinner to take on Rune in crucial clash
Later in the day, fourth seed Sinner will face eighth seed Rune in a decisive match. The Italian player's surprise victory over Djokovic in the second Group Stage match of the tournament means that he is now in the best position to qualify for the semi-finals. He will need to defeat Rune in order to secure his spot, although a defeat to the Dane could still see him qualify as the decision will then be based on the percentage of games/sets won between Sinner, Rune, and Djokovic.
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However, Rune still has a chance of making it through, although it will be reliant on him defeating Sinner. The 20-year-old currently leads their head-to-head 2-0, having most recently defeated the Italian at the Monte-Carlo Masters earlier this year. Moreover, he will be better rested due to the fact that he only played three games in his second match against Tsitsipas.
Both players are strong servers and have looked to be on very good form in Turin, as Rune also took his match against Djokovic to three sets despite not taking the win. However, Sinner recently defeated both Medvedev and Djokovic for the first time, meaning he could also push past Rune, especially with the help of the home crowd.
Prediction: Jannik Sinner to win in three sets.
Schedule for Day Five 2023 ATP Finals
|Thursday, November 16, 2023
|Centre Court Starts At 12:00 Noon
|Ivan Dodig & Austin Krajicek
|Santiago Gonzalez & Edouard Roger-Vasselin
|Not Before 2:30 Pm
|Not Before 6:30 Pm
|Marcel Granollers & Horacio Zeballos
|Maximo Gonzalez & Andres Molteni
|Not Before 9:00 Pm