LONDON (Information) – If Novak Djokovic is to say the year-end quantity rating for a record-equaling sixth time he must do it the arduous method on the ATP Finals subsequent week in London.
FILE PHOTO – Tennis – ATP 1000 – Paris Masters – AccorHotels Area, Paris, France – November three, 2019 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in motion through the closing towards Canada’s Denis Shapovalov Information/Christian Hartmann
The Serb was knocked off high spot by Rafael Nadal on Monday regardless of successful the Paris Masters final week and can want a robust end alongside the River Thames to grab it again.
Solely Pete Sampras has completed a 12 months on high six instances and Djokovic’s hopes of emulating the American usually are not in his personal palms with Nadal main by 640 factors heading to the climax.
Nadal, 33, is bidding to grow to be the ATP’s oldest year-end quantity however with 200 factors awarded for round-robin wins, 400 for a semi-final win and 500 for successful the ultimate the door remains to be ajar for Djokovic to disclaim him.
Spaniard Nadal has typically struggled bodily in London and pulled out of his Paris Masters semi-final towards Denis Shapovalov final week citing an stomach challenge when victory would have put him just about out of attain.
He intends to play in London having been drawn in a round-robin group alongside 2018 ATP Finals champion Alexander Zverev and debutants Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas.
If Nadal fails to win a round-robin match, Djokovic would nonetheless must win two group matches and attain the ultimate to dislodge him. Djokovic may even end the 12 months as primary by successful the title, offering Nadal doesn’t attain the semis.
Djokovic faces a troublesome group although, with six-time champion Roger Federer, French Open runner-up Dominic Thiem and Italian Matteo Berrettini, the third newcomer on this 12 months’s occasion, who he’ll play in Sunday’s opening singles.
“It’s a particularly troublesome process contemplating who my opponents are going to be,” Australian Open and Wimbledon champion Djokovic stated.
“As a consequence, if I handle to get the year-end primary, that may be improbable. It’s a motivation and a aim day-after-day.”
Federer, ranked third, will probably be a very harmful impediment for Djokovic even when he has not added to his ATP Finals title haul since successful in 2011.
The Swiss, who has a document 57 match wins on the occasion, bowed out to Zverev within the semi-finals final 12 months however continues to defy the passing years on the age of 38.
Final month he claimed the Swiss indoor title with out dropping a set. It was his fourth title in 2019, throughout which he misplaced an epic Wimbledon closing to Djokovic having held match factors.
The penultimate ATP Finals in London, earlier than it strikes to Turin, has a recent look this 12 months.
Russian counter-puncher Medvedev has loved an unimaginable breakthrough 12 months and of the three debutants he appears to be like the almost certainly to problem for the title.
He leads the charts when it comes to match wins (59) and finals reached (9) and towards Nadal in a sensational U.S. Open closing proved he has the persona to go toe-to-toe with the giants.
For the fourth successive 12 months there are eight completely different nations represented within the singles whereas half of the singles discipline are aged 23 or below. The brand new wave is arriving, however Djokovic nonetheless has unfinished enterprise.
Colombian duo Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah will lead the doubles occasion having already clinched the year-end primary rating and will probably be in search of a London double after successful this 12 months’s Wimbledon crown.
Reporting by Martyn Herman, enhancing by Pritha Sarkar