As the common ATP Tour season attracts to a detailed, eight males will collect in London subsequent week for one remaining showstopper to end 2019.
In the penultimate 12 months earlier than the ATP Finals leaves the O2 for Turin, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Daniil Medvedev, Dominic Thiem, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev and Matteo Berrettini will compete in one in every of the most intriguing line-ups for a while.
The subject pitches outdated – in sporting phrases, at least – versus younger, with three all-time greats arising towards the group trying to dislodge them at the high of the sport.
Long-term narratives apart, there’s a lot for the subject to play for…
World No. 1 rating
Starting with the most blatant, two gamers can finish the season as world No. 1.
Djokovic dropped to world No. 2 final week regardless of profitable the Paris Masters – along with his factors from final 12 months’s ATP Finals additionally dropping off – however his win over Denis Shapovalov in the remaining has saved him firmly in the hunt to finish the 12 months as high canine.
The pair have break up the 4 Slams between them and each have gained two Masters 1000 titles this 12 months. Djokovic has 5 titles to Nadal’s 4.
But it’s Nadal – who nonetheless stays an harm doubt for this occasion – who’s at the moment in the driving seat and Djokovic wants to attain the remaining to leapfrog the Spaniard. Should Nadal attain the remaining having gained all of his group matches, he can be assured high spot.
Most year-end No. 1 finishes
6 – Sampras
5 – Federer
5 – Djokovic
5 – Connors
4 – Nadal
4 – Lendl
4 – McEnroe
It may all come down to the remaining match – as was the case when Andy Murray beat Djokovic in 2016 – if Nadal progresses as group winner with two wins and meets an unbeaten Djokovic in the remaining.
Should Djokovic, a five-time champion at the season-ending occasion, transfer again in entrance of Nadal, he would equal Sampras’ report of most year-end No.1 finishes.
However, if Nadal eclipses Djokovic, he would draw stage with the Serb and Federer in joint-second on 5 year-end No. 1 stays.
Other rating implications
While Nadal and Djokovic battle it out to finish the season as the world’s top-ranked male, three different stars may, in concept, climb to a career-high rating.
US Open finalist Medvedev, the Russian who had been just about unstoppable since Wimbledon earlier than a shock second-round defeat in Paris, may rise above Federer to world No. 3, whereas French Open runner-up Thiem may do the identical.
It is feasible, although unlikely, that each Medvedev and Thiem may rise above Federer, which might be doubtlessly important for the Australian Open at the begin of subsequent season.
Federer has determined towards taking part in in the ATP Cup at the begin of 2020, that means he gained’t add any factors earlier than the first Grand Slam of the 12 months. So ought to he slip to fifth in the rankings, he may very well be compelled to meet Nadal or Djokovic as early as the quarter-finals in Melbourne.
Any rankings climb for eighth seed Berrettini can be a profession greatest, although sixth is his ceiling at this occasion.
ATP Finals honours
Federer is the most profitable man on this competitors’s historical past and he would lengthen his lead over Djokovic to two titles ought to he go all the method. Djokovic can transfer past Sampras and Ivan Lendl to equal Federer’s haul.
Defending champion Zverev can turn into simply the 10th man to win this occasion twice or extra, becoming a member of Bjorn Borg, Lleyton Hewitt, John McEnroe, Boris Becker, Ilie Nastase, Sampras, Lendl, Djokovic and Federer as a number of champions.
Nadal is chasing a primary win right here together with remainder of subject.
Multiple ATP Finals winners
6 – Federer
5 – Djokovic
5 – Lendl
5 – Sampras
4 – Nastase
3 – Becker
3 – McEnroe
2 – Borg
2 – Hewitt
First-time Italian match winner
He could also be the participant least fancied to go all the method in London however Berrettini could make his personal historical past with a single match win.
Just the third Italian to qualify for the competitors and the first in 41 years, Berrettini can surpass his compatriots Adriano Pannatta and Corrado Barazzutti – who certified in 1975 and 1978 respectively – by notching a win towards one in every of Thiem, Federer or Djokovic.
Zverev’s distinctive feat
After taking out each Djokovic and Federer en route to the title final 12 months, Zverev can turn into the first man to beat every member of the ‘Big Three’ at this occasion on Monday when he takes on Nadal.
While he will fancy his possibilities given Nadal’s belly drawback, the 22-year-old has misplaced all 5 of their earlier conferences. This, nonetheless, is ready to be their first encounter indoors.
David Ferrer, Andy Murray, Nikolay Davydenko, Robin Soderling, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and David Goffin are the different gamers who have overwhelmed two members of the ‘Big Three’ on this event.