Roger Federer vs David Goffin ATP Picks Against the Spread - 6/23/2019
Roger Federer vs David Goffin
6 am EST, 22nd June 2019
ATP Halle, Germany
Federer's road to the finals was definitely tougher than expected, but he eventually got there. Starting from the first round, he had to play on a very high level to beat his opponents. In the beginning, he faced someone that strangely always gives him a lot of problems. This time as well, John Millman was challenging Federer until the tie-break of the first set, in which he finally broke Aussie's resistance. After that, he spent 2 hours and 18 minutes on court against Tsonga, who should never be underestimated on the grass and he proved that once again. Roberto Bautista Agut in quarters was another tough test which needed a third set to decide the winner. After getting through one of the tougher first 3 rounds a #1 seed can get at a 500 series tournament, I believe he really needed this easy win over Herbert in the semifinals that will give his 37-year old body some more time to rest before tomorrow's finals. There was pretty much nothing that Frenchman could do in this match to hurt Federer. Despite being a very solid returner with a lot of experience from doubles, he won merely 12% of all returning points and had 0 break opportunities in the match.
Goffin's road to the finals wasn't any easier. But boy did he need it, after 14-14 record this season and no finals since 2017. After a beatdown vs Pella in round 1, he bumped into an unexpected obstacle in the form of Radu Albot, who proved to be a very tricky opponent on the grass. Goffin had to fight from set behind in that match and thanks to his relentlessness, he managed to overcome a mediocre play in the first half of the match and get into the quarterfinals. Vs Zverev, he once again won after being set down, but this time, it was mostly thanks to Sascha's level of play significantly dropping after winning that first set. Semi-final performance vs Berrettini could be one of his best in the last couple of years actually. His defense was impregnable for the heavy hitting Italian, which drove him crazy.
David timed his form in this tournament to perfection and should be a very tough opponent for Roger in the finals. He had 8 attempts at the upset so far in his career and managed to accomplish it only once. It happened in the semifinals of the ATP finals two years ago, when he eliminated Federer in three sets. Key for him in this match will be to play defense as well as he did vs Berrettini. He has to prolong the rallies and get Roger into a dog fight. Fatigue might be an issue for the legendary Swiss, after a couple of really tough matches this week and many hours spent on the court. We could see that being a factor for him this season already. For example when he withdrew from the QF match with Stefanos Tsitsipas in Rome, after a grueling battle vs Coric in the round prior.
Betting odds & prediction
Federer opened as a massive 5 to 1 favorite. I think those odds are not respecting enough what Goffin accomplished this week and especially how he played against Berrettini. If he succeeds to keep the level of tennis from that match, he'll be no joke in the finals. And as I already wrote, years, stamina and recovery time are a factor for Roger. He is not the youngest guy on the tour anymore and legs are not as fresh in the later stages of the tournament. Goffin moving the way he moved in previous days and defending on a high level gives him a lot of chance to push this match the distance.
Josh's Pick: over 20.5 games (-111)
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