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Monday, 10 December, 2018

Gritty Goffin has the game to test Nadal's fitness

Dimitrov should take down Thiem

Rafael Nadal has injury questions to answer
1 of 1

Day two
BBC2 & Sky Sports Arena, 2pm

G Dimitrov v D Thiem
Grigor Dimitrov is one of few players to have arrived in London in something resembling top form and the Bulgarian could score an easy victory over Dominic Thiem in the first Sampras Group match of the ATP World Tour Finals.

Dimitrov is finishing the season well. Since disappointing at the US Open, the 26-year-old had a 7-2 record on the Asian Swing, losing twice to Tour Finals rival Rafael Nadal, and reached the final of the Stockholm Open.

The Cincinnati champion lost against John Isner in the second round in Paris in a match that was at his mercy, but he should have the edge over Thiem if he can handle the pressure in the year-end event.

The Austrian looks physically exhausted, due in no small part to a globetrotting schedule that has taken its toll on the 24-year-old. Thiem has won just twice since letting a two-set lead slip against Juan Martin del Potro in the US Open and all of his defeats have come against lesser players than Dimitrov.

With the Bulgarian seemingly far fresher in comparison, he should be taken to defy a negative head-to-head record with a dominant victory.

Recommendation
G Dimitrov -2.5 games
3pts 5-6 BoyleSports


Read more
ATP World Tour Finals tournament preview


R Nadal v D Goffin
Rafael Nadal has never won the World Tour Finals and, with so many high-profile absentees this year, the Spaniard may never have a better opportunity. 

But the knee problems that have troubled the world number one so frequently in his career have returned and there were doubts over whether Nadal would take to the court at the O2 this week after he withdrew in Paris.

His opponent David Goffin has been one of the form players of the autumn, winning in Shenzhen and Tokyo and going deep in the draw in Basel to book his place in the end-of-year showpiece.

The Belgian has also admitted to feeling heavily fatigued in recent weeks but an early exit in Paris has at least afforded him some much-needed time off and if Nadal is struggling he could keep this competitive.

Nadal leads the head-to-head battle 2-0 but both of those victories came on clay and on a hard court Goffin might be able to force a deciding set.

Recommendation
Over 2.5 sets
1pt 2-1 bet365


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Thiem looks physically exhausted, due in no small part to a globetrotting schedule that has taken its toll on the 24-year-old
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