Sleeper picks to win the ATP Finals include Holger Rune and one other

(Photo by DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP via Getty Images) /

The ATP Finals get underway on Sunday. The year-end event features the eight players who have accused the most rankings points since the 2022 ATP Finals. And while it is not breaking tennis news to say that Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz are in the event, are there a couple of underdogs that might have a puncher’s chance of winning? Yes, and Holger Rune could be one of them.

Each player has an equal chance of making enough money to buy us all a really nice dinner. A player that sweeps through the event undefeated will earn a payday of $4,801,500. That is more than I currently have in my pocket, for sure.

We could assume Djokovic has a decent chance of going unbeaten. He will be motivated to win the event (obviously!), but as long as he wins just one match, he will cement his year-end No. 1 ranking. The only player who could overtake Djokovic should he fail to win a single match is Carlos Alcaraz, but only if Alcaraz goes undefeated at the ATP Finals and earns 1,500 rankings points.

The best bets to win the tournament besides Djokovic and Alcaraz? My guesses would be Holger Rune and Andrey Rublev. Rune is currently ranked 10 on the ATP tour and is the number 8 seed at the Finals. Rublev is ranked 5 and is the fifth seed.

Holger Rune and Andrey Rublev could surprise at the ATP Finals

Holger Rune added coach Boris Becker after the 20-year-old Dane had a fairly disastrous run in the late summer. Rune has the versatility in his game to be great, but the mental side might still be lacking. Becker isn’t so much a tactician of a coach, but instead a great motivator and has the ability to get a player more focused inside of matches. Self-belief is one of the most important qualities a player can have and Becker helps instill that.

Rune’s confidence seems to be rising right now, and much of that is due to Becker’s direction. Holger Rune took Djokovic to three sets in a tight quarterfinal match recently at the Rolex Paris Masters. An ascendance toward 2024 by winning the 2023 ATP Finals would be logical for Rune. Plus, winning the year-end tournament might mean he is able to have a special 2024.

The other player you might want to keep an eye on is Rublev. He has bombastic groundstrokes from either wing, and his serve is good enough to give most players issues. Much like Rune, Rublev’s struggles haven’t truly been physical, but more mental. He gets upset at himself – like over-the-top mad – far too much instead of just trusting his game.

Like Holger Rune, Rublev also took Djokovic to three sets at the Paris Masters and Rublev kept his composure most of the match. Off the court, Rublev is funny and quite likable, but he might just need to roll some of his real self into the beast he is as a player.

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