November 12, 2021
(Reuters) – The ATP Finals begin on Sunday in an unfamiliar environment, with notable regulars absent and two debuts, but Novak Djokovic is once again prestigious as the undisputed ruler of the men’s game. increase.
After a year when the Serbs struggled to claim a rare calendar Grand Slam, he is already guaranteed to finish the year as the seventh number one on record.
He won his sixth title in Paris this month, warmed up for New Year’s Eve in Turin, and set a new record for 37 Masters titles in the process.
To motivate you, if you want, you can emulate Roger Federer’s six ATP Finals titles if he wins at Paraalpitur next week.
His bid for Federer’s long-distance race last year stalled in the semi-finals of Austria’s Dominic Thiem. Dominic Thiem lost to Daniil Medvedev in the showpiece final at the end of his 12-year stay at the O2 Arena in London.
Surprisingly, Djokovic, who hasn’t won the title since 2015, will begin his quest to regain the title in the opening round of the Green Group against Norwegian debut Casper Ruud on Monday.
His group also includes Stefanos Tsitsipas, the fourth-largest Greek player who won the French Open this year, and Andrey Rublev, Russia.
Medvedev, who broke Djokovic’s Grand Slam dream in the US Open final, began a singles action against Poland’s debut Hubert Hurkacz on Sunday, with Germany’s Alexander Zverev and Wimbledon’s runner-up Matteo Berrettini. Tested by Tini in the Red Group.
If Djokovic and Medvedev win their respective groups, Serbia could lead 2-1 after a sensational duel in the French capital last week and face off in the final (fourth in 2021). ..
Djokovic’s only tournament since Flushing Meadows’ Heartbreak took place in Paris, and 34-year-old Djokovic says he arrived in Turin physically fresher than usual.
“I’ve never played as much as I’ve ever played in terms of the number of tournaments, but there were a lot of exhausting events, especially emotionally and mentally, in Grand Slam. It’s because of my potential record. So I took a break, “Djokovic told reporters on Friday.
Refueled Djokovic can be bad news for rivals.
“It’s very fierce to play the top eight at the highest level in every match,” Djokovic said. “With a semi-full tank, you may not be able to play at its best here. This is something you need to do in every match.”
Federer will be missing this year as he continues to recover from the injury, as does Rafael Nadal, who is preparing for next season following a leg injury.
Top-ranked Croats Nicola Mektic and Mate Pavich will be favorites to win the doubles title in Turin.
(Report by Martyn Herman, edited by Pritha Sarkar)
Tennis-Djokovic wins as Turin enters a new era for the ATP Finals
Source link Tennis-Djokovic wins as Turin enters a new era for the ATP Finals