Nitto ATP Finals: Ranking the eight contenders

(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images) /

We are on the doorstep of the preeminent tournament outside of the Grand Slams. The ATP Finals are one of the most prestigious events a player can win as you have to be one of the best of the best to get there.

Last year, Novak Djokovic won his sixth ATP Finals. That is tied for the most ever along with Roger Federer. And in 2023, as long as Djokovic wins one match, he will solidify his year-end No. 1 ranking.

I’m going to rank the eight 2023 ATP Finals contenders to see who has the best chance to bring the big trophy home. Will it be a favorite like Carlos Alcaraz or Novak Djokovic? Or will a sleeper pull through?

ATP Finals Elite Tier Contenders

1. Novak Djokovic – The World No. 1 is coming off the 40th Masters 1000 title of his career in Paris and he should be seen as the favorite in this field. Indoor events bring a different element to proceedings but Novak Djokovic is at the top of any contenders list a this point. A win here and he would be roaring in the 2024 Australian Open.

2. Jannik Sinner – The heavy-hitting Italian withdrew from the aforementioned Paris Masters due to a schedule conflict and he wants to be well-rested for this event.

He should be good to go and the indoor conditions will suit his flat-hitting groundstrokes. However, it’s the continued evolution of his all-around game that puts him so high on the list.

3. Carlos Alcaraz – Don’t be fooled, while Alcaraz might have been upset early in Bercy, he is still the second-best player on the planet. There should be no surprise if he charges his way to this title.

4. Daniil Medvedev – It feels like Medvedev has just been gliding through the last few months. He went deep at the US Open and had a solid Asian swing but there seems to be something missing from his game. He will be looking to right the ship and bring home the second biggest title of his career.

He has the game that can frustrate a lot of the contenders in this tournament but he does not seem to be in his final gear at the moment. It might take a nice draw to see him in the Final. However, if he gets there, he might be a good bet to take the crown.

The Darkhorse Contenders

5. Alexander Zverev – This might seem like a high ranking for someone who has not won a high-level tournament in a very long time.

Don’t be fooled as Zverev has the game to beat anyone in this field in these conditions. His big serve in combination with his reliable backhand and underrated defense could see him secure a couple of signature wins. He also won this very event in 2021 so those good memories should be at the front of his mind.

6. Stefanos Tsitsipas – The 2019 ATP Finals champion, Tsitsipas has had a very mixed year in 2023. Of the 8 contenders, he plays more than most. It’s that quantity that propelled him to qualify for this event.

He has a beautiful shot-making game that could trouble any player when he is redlining, but that happens far too irregularly to rely upon. Could he get hot and make a deep run? It’s certainly possible. But that feels just as likely as him not winning a match in the group stage.

7. Andrey Rublev – Like Tsitsipas, Rublev loves playing and playing often. However, the biggest stick against him is his inability to go past the big names in marquee events.

He’s made a living racking up wins over inferior opponents, so a tournament that requires you to play only the best from the beginning does not bode well for the one-dimensional Rublev.

8. Holger Rune – I really enjoy Rune’s game. He’s a fighter on the court and has an array of tools at his disposal. This only leads to frustration when you see him not utilizing his full arsenal in defeats.

Of the eight contenders, he might have the most up-and-down game of them all. His wide range of possible outcomes in Turin means it is hard to trust him to be a true threat to win this. However, he has shown us before (See Paris 2022) that he can string together big wins. I need to see it again to believe it.

Next. Bjorn Borg has strong views on Nadal and Djokovic. dark