Djokovic eyes record as Nadal seeks first ATP Finals crown

Novak Djokovic in action at the ATP event in Vienna.

Novak Djokovic in motion on the ATP occasion in Vienna.

Thomas Kronsteiner/Getty Footage

Novak Djokovic is bidding to win the ATP Finals for a record-equalling sixth time as Rafael Nadal chases a really extraordinarily environment friendly title lacking from his glittering resume at London’s O2 Area.

Most likely the best eight inside the market avid players all by means of the males’s rankings — with Roger Federer absent — will compete on the end-of-season event, which begins on Sunday behind closed doorways irrespective of a coronavirus lockdown in England.

The 2 round-robin teams have been named Tokyo 1970 and London 2020 on the 50th anniversary of the primary staging of the occasion.

World fundamental Djokovic is in Group Tokyo alongside Daniil Medvedev, 2018 winner Alexander Zverev and Argentine debutant Diego Schwartzman.

Second-seed Nadal will compete all through the route of defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas, Dominic Thiem, and Andrey Rublev, who’s displaying for the primary time, in Group London.

The 4 best-placed avid players from the round-robin stage will progress to the semi-finals of the occasion, taking place in London for the ultimate phrase phrase 12 months sooner than a swap to Turin.

Six-time champion Federer, recovering from knee surgical course of, is principally maybe primarily basically probably the most notable absentee after a world tennis season truncated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

5-time champion Djokovic, who not too method as soon as extra equalled Pete Sampras’s report of six year-end fundamental finishes, has misplaced merely three matches this season, with a kind of his default on the US Open.

The Serbian, who has not acquired the London occasion since 2015, talked about he was looking for to finish his season on a excessive on the elite eight-man occasion.

“Coming into the event and figuring out that I’ve clinched the year-end fundamental releases fairly a couple of the stress, positively,” he talked about.

“Nonetheless on the same time it may not change what I hope to know on this event and why I am proper right correct proper right here.

“I really must win each single match that I get to play and attempt to get my arms on the trophy and I might love this trophy as heaps as anyone.”

Nadal, who pulverised Djokovic all by means of the French Open closing final month to drag diploma with Federer on 20 Grand Slams, has licensed for the ATP Finals for a report 16 consecutive years

The Spanish world quantity two is successfully conscious about his shortcomings on indoor arduous courts — solely one among his 86 trophies has come on the underside.

“I think about I can play a bit bit elevated the ultimate phrase couple of years indoors than what I did at first of my occupation really nonetheless that is the numbers and I am unable to say one downside utterly absolutely absolutely utterly totally different,” talked relating to the 34-year-old two-time finalist.

“I hope to fluctuate that this week.”

Irrespective of his lack of indoor success, the shortened season may rely in Nadal’s favour — he has been pressured to withdraw from the ATP Finals six occasions beforehand.

Closing 12 months’s winner Tsitsipas, who beat Thiem all by means of the closing, comes into the event after early exits in Vienna and Paris.

“Very joyful to be as rapidly as additional, that is for optimistic,” talked relating to the Greek world quantity six. “Yearly I get to expertise being as rapidly as additional proper right correct proper right here is thrilling.

“It’s kind of a gathering spot for people who had an beautiful 12 months to be as rapidly as additional proper right correct proper right here, have gratifying their arduous work, their dedication to the game. I am very privileged to be a part of it.”

Austria’s Thiem broke his Grand Slam duck on the US Open in September, beating Zverev all by means of the closing, and the world quantity three talked about he now felt as cozy on arduous courts as he does on clay.

Zverev, who has acquired two titles this season, has been dogged in latest weeks by dwelling assault allegations made by a former girlfriend nonetheless he insists they’re unfaithful.

“Whereas I very heaps remorse that these accusations are made, I’ve to stay to my preliminary downside of them being merely unfaithful and proceed to disclaim them,” talked relating to the German.

Medvedev, who misplaced all three matches on his debut in London final 12 months, comes into the event as one amongst many type horses after worthwhile final week’s Paris Masters.

Rublev, who has had a breakthrough season, worthwhile 5 titles, and world quantity 9 Schwartzman full the sphere.

The ATP Finals furthermore choices the only eight doubles groups. Most likely the best seeds are US Open champions and French Open finalists Mate Pavic and Bruno Soares.

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