Quest for year-end supremacy begins at the 2019 ATP World Tour Finals
The Big Three – Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic – will resume hostilities as the top seeds, for the 12th time, in the year-ending ATP World Tour Finals. Sportsbet.io previews the credentials of the latest ATP candidates who embark on their ‘quest for supremacy’ beginning Sunday.
GROUP A – ANDRE AGASSI
(Rafael Nadal, Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev)
Newly crowned World No. 1 Rafael Nadal is making his 18th appearance at the year-ending ATP event and arrives with a 51-6 match record in 2019. The 33-year-old sits atop the ATP rankings for the 198th week in his illustrious career and kicks off his challenge for a maiden ATP Finals title against defending champion Alexander Zverev.
Zverev, who makes his third appearance at the O2 Arena, has registered 40-plus wins on tour for the fourth consecutive season and is aiming to defend his title this year. The 22-year-old, the only player to defeat Federer and Djokovic in the same ATP Finals event, is poised to spell trouble for the other members of group A, starting with Nadal on Monday.
Debutants Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas have been the brightest prospects this season, and onlookers will demand the youngsters explore their creative skillsets and giant-killing abilities. Of the two, World No. 5 Medvedev has a 12-2 indoors record and will be the player to watch at the year-ending event.
Predicted finalist from Group Andre Agassi - Rafael Nadal
GROUP B – BJORN BORG
(Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Dominic Thiem, Matteo Berrettini)
Novak Djokovic, a five-time ATP Finals winner, is the odds-on favourite to win the 2019 edition of the year-ending event. The Serbian superstar is the only player to hold all four Grand Slams on three different surfaces at once, as well as the first to complete a career Golden Masters, and has sights on equalling Roger Federer’s tally of six year-ending crowns.
Federer is closing on 300 tour-level indoor victories next week and commands an indoor winning percentage of 81.3%. The Swiss maestro, with six ATP Finals titles to his name, has a 57-15 record at the tournament and is optimistic for a record-extending seventh crown at the O2 Arena.
Four-time qualifier Dominic Thiem has beaten the Big Three – Djokovic, Federer and Nadal – this year and is one of the dark horses in the competition. The Austrian has won 14 of his 16 deciding sets and is aiming to dazzle the O2 Arena with his signature one-handed backhand shots. Berrettini, meanwhile, aims to leave his mark in the ATP Finals despite the first-time qualifier being the least favourite among the participants, as a possible competition winner.
Predicted finalist from Group Bjorn Borg - Novak Djokovic
Words: William Paul