The stage is set for the year-end ATP Finals in London to begin. The show starts on Sunday in the O2 Arena with world number two Novak Djokovic taking on the Italian underdog Matteo Berrettini. Nole will undoubtedly be the biggest favourite to win this year’s competition and retake the top spot from Nadal, but other players will have their say as well. Let’s check out the groups!
Group Andre Agassi (Nadal, Medvedev, Tsitsipas, Zverev)
Rafael Nadal is world number one once again. The Spaniard has had yet another phenomenal season on clay, winning his 12th Roland Garros title. He also performed great on the North American tour and won the titles in Montreal and US Open. However, Nadal’s appearance at the ATP Finals is questionable due to his latest injury, and even if he participates, he will surely not be at 100%.
Daniil Medvedev has proven to be the best young player on the ATP tour, and although his six straight finals run was cut at the Paris Masters, the Russian is expected to be in flying form come Monday when he is scheduled to play Tsitsipas. Medvedev is favourite to win Group Agassi alongside Nadal.
The 2018 NextGen Finals winner Stefanos Tsitsipas looks to be the first player to win NextGen and ATP Finals in back-to-back years, but the road to his success will be hard. The Greek is yet to prove himself on the biggest stage, as he underperformed on the last two majors and played only one Masters final this year.
Sascha Zverev had his worst year since 2016, only winning one ATP title and losing two finals. He is currently seventh in the world, and although he had a solid last couple of months, the German is considered an underdog in this group.
Group Bjorn Borg (Djokovic, Federer, Thiem, Berrettini)
Novak Djokovic spent most of the year at the top of the ATP rankings, but failing to defend all of his points from last season’s finish, Nadal took over the world number one spot. However, Novak can still finish the year as number one, and considering his performance and title at the Paris Masters, he is likely to do so.
Federer has had a quiet end of the year. He did win the 10th title in his hometown of Basel, but withdrew from the Paris Masters. Nevertheless, good performances in Miami, Dubai, and the grass-court season kept him at the third spot in the rankings. Although he will be the underdog against Djokovic, Federer should progress to the semifinals.
Dominic Thiem has won five ATP titles this year, more than any other player. His improvement on hard-court is evident, as three of those five titles came on this surface. Thiem won his first Masters title in Indian Wales this year, and he also had a strong finish to the season with titles in Beijing and Vienna.
Matteo Berrettini stunned the tennis world with his semifinal appearance at the US Open. He also reached the semis at the Shanghai Masters, and those two feats alone propelled him to the top 10, and, eventually, to the number 8 spot in the rankings. He has proven himself worthy of being in the ATP Finals, and he could very well become the dark horse of this tournament.