Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer will be heading their respective groups as top seeds in the upcoming ATP Finals, set to start from Sunday, November 11.
The Serbian, who is set to finish the season as the World No. 1 after Rafael Nadal’s withdrawal from the tournament, is leading the Guga Kuerten Group. He will be joined by the likes of Alexander Zverev, Marin Cilic, and John Isner.
Djokovic has been in a remarkable form this season and is undoubtedly one of the favorites to win the tournament. He is coming in strong after winning three back-to-back titles – Cincinnati Masters, US Open, and Shanghai Masters. He was close to winning the Paris Masters as well but astonishingly ended up losing to Karen Khachanov in the final in straight sets.
In terms of threat, Nole will have to keep a sharp eye on the young German Zverev. The 21-year-old is currently the World No. 5 and has won a total of three titles this year with a win-loss record of 54-18. Not only this, but he is also at 1-1 with Djokovic in the head-to-head tally.
As for Cilic, he has been fairly consistent throughout this season although, he was won only one title. Interestingly, he won the ATP London where he defeated none other than Djokovic in the final. However, over the course of the year, he lost to the Serb twice to go down 16-2 in the head-to-head tally.
As for Isner, he found himself in the tournament after Nadal’s exit. His win-loss stands at 34-19 – least impressive in his group. Nonetheless, Isner did win the Miami Masters earlier this year after defeating the likes of Cilic, Zverev, and Juan Martin Del Potro. While he may not be a favourite here, he has the ability to be a dark horse.
In the Lleyton Hewitt Group, Federer will go up against Kevin Anderson, Dominic Thiem, and Kei Nishikori.
In many ways, this is quite a tricky group to predict. The Swiss has won the ATP Finals a record six times but in order to repeat that feat again, he will have to work harder this time around. Federer has won four titles this year but at the same time, he has also been handed a shock defeat on a couple of instances.
The reigning Australian Open champion leads 4-1 against Anderson and 7-2 against Nishikori but trails 1-2 against Thiem. However, on the indoor hard court, he hasn’t lost to any of these players although; he will be meeting the Austrian for the first time on such a surface.
Considering the individual form of these players, Thiem won a total of three titles, the most recent of which is the St. Petersburg Open. With a win-loss of 53-18, he has been highly persistent this season.
Similarly, Anderson reached his career-high singles ranking as the World No. 5 earlier this year after winning the ATP Vienna. It is interesting to note that he won the title by defeating Nishikori in the final. He also made it to the final in Wimbledon after defeating Federer and Isner en route.
While Nishikori hasn’t won a singles title, he has been highly consistent throughout. Moreover, he leads 5-3 and 3-1 respectively over Anderson and Thiem in the head-to-head.