Best Sports on TV and Stream this Weekend (November 17-20, 2023)
After some shocking results and fantastic games last week (did anyone else see Chelsea vs. Manchester City in the Premier League?), we are back again this weekend with a feast of sport. From the final tennis tournament of 2023 to a huge quarterfinal game for the USA men’s soccer team, it’s going to be a hell of a spectacle.
So without further ado, let’s take a look at what we have in store for us.
ATP Tour: Nitto ATP Finals (November 12th-19th)
The ATP Finals are finally here, and Turin is the stage for the season’s grand finale for the best 8 players in the men’s game. And it has already delivered thrilling tennis action in the group stages.
In a remarkable upset, 22-year-old Jannik Sinner claimed his first victory against world number one Novak Djokovic. Sinner, playing in front of his home crowd, ended Djokovic's 19-match unbeaten run with a 7-5, 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-2) win. This victory was particularly significant as Djokovic hadn't been defeated since the Wimbledon men's final in July. Despite this loss, Djokovic still has a chance to qualify for the semi-finals.
In another significant development, Stefanos Tsitsipas had to withdraw from the tournament due to injury. His exit came during a match against Denmark's Holger Rune, which Tsitsipas had to retire from, citing a back problem. This withdrawal was a disappointment for the Greek, who expressed his frustration at not being able to complete the tournament.
Meanwhile, Carlos Alcaraz, the Wimbledon champion, faced defeat in his ATP Finals debut against Alexander Zverev. Alcaraz, who has been struggling with consistency, lost 6-7 (3-7), 6-3, 6-4 to Zverev, the 2018 and 2021 event winner. This match marked the first time Alcaraz has lost three consecutive matches since March 2021.
Daniil Medvedev also made a strong start, beating fellow Russian Andrey Rublev 6-4, 6-2, signaling his intent to improve upon his performance from last year's tournament.
The semifinal lineup is still to be decided, with the shocks of the group stage leaving everything up for grabs. This Sunday’s final should also be a real treat to watch.
NBA: Mavericks @ Bucks (November 18th)
As the NBA season rolls on, we have some interesting insights from the first few games, especially regarding the Milwaukee Bucks and Dallas Mavericks, who meet this Saturday.
The Bucks were tipped at the beginning of the season to be one of the standout teams in the league this year after their trade for superstar point guard Damian Lillard to go with their generational power forward Giannis Antetokounmpo. However, their record stands at 6-4, and they have suffered some tough losses recently.
Their star duo have not shared the court enough for their liking, but they did come back in their recent win over the Chicago Bulls, with Antetokounmpo scoring 35 points in a devastating performance.
The Dallas Mavericks, on the other hand, were also tipped as contenders before the season started, with their pairing of Luka Dončić and Kyrie Irving potentially rivaling the Bucks’ deadly duo. However, their season has gone better so far, with the side sitting in 3rd place in the Western Conference and with a 8-3 record.
Their play has not been quite as Dončić-centric as in previous seasons, and the team looks a lot better for it, winning games with relative ease in these first few weeks. They will have their work cut out for them against the Bucks, but these are two teams that really want to make a statement to the rest of the league that they mean business.
UFC Fight Night: Allen vs. Craig (November 18th)
This Saturday's UFC Fight Night at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas promises an exciting lineup, headlined by a middleweight clash between Brendan Allen and Paul Craig. Allen, on a five-fight winning streak, looks to continue his ascent in the division. Craig, making his sophomore appearance at middleweight, aims to build on his impressive divisional debut.
The co-main event features welterweights Michael Morales and Jake Matthews. Morales, undefeated with a 15-0 record, faces Matthews, a UFC veteran with a decade of experience and a record of 18 appearances in the Octagon. It should be a fascinating matchup, with Morales looking to advance further up the rankings for a potential title shot in the future.
The main card also includes Chase Hooper vs. Jordan Leavitt in a lightweight bout, Payton Talbott vs. Nick Aguirre in the bantamweight division, Luana Pinheiro vs. Amanda Ribas in a strawweight clash, and Jonny Parsons vs. Uros Medic in a welterweight battle.
The preliminary card is equally compelling, with Jonathan Pearce vs. Joanderson Brito in the featherweight division and Chad Anheliger vs. Jose Johnson in a bantamweight matchup among many others.
This event marks the final UFC APEX event of 2023, setting the stage for an action-packed evening with a blend of promising newcomers and seasoned veterans.
CONCACAF Nations League Quarterfinal (2 legs): USA vs. Trinidad and Tobago (November 16th and 20th)
The upcoming CONCACAF Nations League quarterfinals present an exciting clash between the USA and Trinidad and Tobago. The first leg of this 2-leg series is set for November 16 at Q2 Stadium in Austin, Texas, with the return leg in Port of Spain on November 20. This series is not just about progressing to the Nations League semifinals but also securing a spot in the 2024 Copa América.
The USMNT, despite missing key players like Christian Pulisic, Timothy Weah, and Tyler Adams due to injuries, remains a formidable force. The team is expected to field a strong lineup, with Matt Turner in goal, a back four including Sergiño Dest and Antonee Robinson, and a midfield led by Weston McKennie and Yunus Musah. Folarin Balogun is anticipated to lead the attack, supported by Giovanni Reyna and Brenden Aaronson.
Trinidad and Tobago, ranked 99th in the latest FIFA World Rankings, enter as underdogs but carry a historic upset in their memory – the 2-1 victory in October 2017 that denied the USA a spot in the 2018 World Cup. The Soca Warriors' squad features several players from the US lower leagues and their domestic league, led by head coach Angus Eve.
The USMNT has a dominant historical record against Trinidad and Tobago, with 21 wins in 28 meetings. However, the Soca Warriors' recent form in the Nations League, winning three of their last four matches, suggests they could present a challenge. The USA, on the other hand, aims to leverage this opportunity to prepare for co-hosting the 2026 World Cup and to face top-end opponents in next summer's Copa América.
Author: Dan Anderson