ATP

Breaking down the 2020 ATP Finals groups and Day 1 singles play

The Nitto ATP Finals’ group stage are just days away. Here is a full breakdown of the two groups and who has the best shot of taking the title.

The 2020 ATP Finals are just three days away and the tournament has finally released the round-robin groups for the event. As a reference, the most recent ATP rankings are below, with the qualified players in bold.

  1. Novak Djokovic
  2. Rafael Nadal
  3. Dominic Thiem
  4. Daniil Medvedev 
  5. Roger Federer (did not qualify due to injury)
  6. Stefanos Tsitsipas
  7. Alexander Zverev 
  8. Andrey Rublev
  9. Diego Schwartzman 
  10. Matteo Berrettini (finished 380 points behind Schwartzman to miss out)

https://twitter.com/atptour/status/1326933666044391424

Overall, it’s a fair draw for each of the group’s top players (Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal). Djokovic’s draw (Group Tokyo 1970) could ultimately be much tougher if both Daniil Medvedev and Diego Schwartzman can continue their post-US Open success. For Medvedev, consecutive defeats of Alex de Minaur, Schwartzman, Milos Raonic, and Alexander Zverev on his way to a title at the Rolex Paris Masters will surely go a long way to re-instilling his confidence heading into London.

For Schwartzman, he’s had a good amount of success since the beginning of the clay season in September but hasn’t been able to take down any of the seven players with him in London. He’s lost to both Medvedev and Zverev in uncompetitive fashion on hard courts (2-6, 1-6 against Zverev and 3-6, 1-6 against Medvedev). While his Italian Open victory over Nadal and five-set epic over Thiem at the French Open were astounding, he’s definitely seemed to have fallen back to Earth a little bit heading into the year’s final event.

The final member of Djokovic’s group is one of the hottest players currently on tour. Zverev is an outstanding 21-3 since the start of the US Open and 2-2 against players in the ATP Finals (wins over Schwartzman and Nadal, losses against Thiem and Medvedev). Of course, Djokovic himself has had an up-and-down season post-restart in comparison to before the shutdown. If he’s on his game, there’s no stopping him. However, with some struggles in best-of-three matches since August, the door might be open for the ‘NowGen’ to once again move onto the semifinals.

In Nadal’s group (Group London 2020), there hasn’t been as much action week-to-week in comparison to those mentioned above. Both Dominic Thiem and Stefanos Tsitsipas have suffered early losses in the events they’ve entered post-Roland Garros. Tsitsipas had a one set advantage over Grigor Dimitrov in Vienna’s Round of 16 but ultimately fell. Following that, he lost to hotshot Ugo Humbert in a three-setter that featured three tightly-contested tiebreaks.

Thiem’s run to the US Open title and French Open quarterfinals didn’t carry over after leaving Paris. He advanced to the quarterfinals at his home tournament in Vienna before losing to the last member of the London 2020 Group, Andrey Rublev. Rublev has been incredible this year. He’s won a tour-best five titles this year. Since the start of the US Open, the World No. 8 has compiled a 25-4 record which includes titles in Hamburg, St. Petersburg, and Vienna (all ATP 500-level events). He’s a huge threat to the others in the group if he’s able to continue on his high horse.

Some interesting stats to note, here are the records for each player’s record against the other seven competitors in 2020 (with their post-restart record in parentheses):

Tokyo 1970 Group

  1. Novak Djokovic: 7-1 (2-1)
  2. Daniil Medvedev: 4-2 (3-1)
  3. Alexander Zverev: 3-4 (2-2)
  4. Diego Schwartzman: 2-7 (2-4)

London 2020 Group

  1. Rafael Nadal: 2-4 (2-2)
  2. Dominic Thiem: 5-3 (2-2)
  3. Stefanos Tsitsipas: 2-3 (1-2)
  4. Andrey Rublev: 2-3 (2-2)

Day 1 of the ATP Finals begins Sunday, November 15th. Dominic Thiem will face off against Stefanos Tsitsipas at 2 PM London Time. They’ll be followed by Rafael Nadal and Andrey Rublev, who’ll take the night session at 8 PM.