Tennis Preview: World Tour Finals

The ATP Tour Finals are the season ending tournament on the tennis calendar and is considered the biggest title outside the Grand Slams.

Unlike other singles events, the ATP Finals is not a knock-out tournament. Eight players are divided into two groups of four and play three matches each against the other players in their group. The two players with the best records in each group progress to the semis, with the winners meeting in the final to determine the champion.

The two groups are named of legendary mens players – Pete Sampras and Boris Becker.

ATP World Tour Finals singles draw
Pete Sampras group Boris Becker group
Rafael Nadal [1] Roger Federer [2]
Dominic Thiem [4] Alexander Zverev [3]
Grigor Dimitrov [6] Marin Cilic [5]
David Goffin [7] Jack Sock [8]

There will be a number champion in London for the first time in six years, as reigning champion Andy Murray and last year’s runner-up Novak Djokovic are both sidelined.

Number one seed is world number one Rafa Nadal, who has confirmed he is playing – despite a knee injury which ruled him out of the Paris Masters last week.

“If I didn’t believe I could be ready for Monday I wouldn’t be here,” Nadal said.

“I had problems in Paris a week ago. I go day by day, how I’m feeling. I cannot predict what will happen, but my feeling now is I’m going to play and try my best.”

In London, practicing for the Masters ?

A post shared by Rafa Nadal (@rafaelnadal) on

Spaniard Nadal – who has never won the Tour Finals – has been grouped with Belgium’s David Goffin, Dominic Thiem of Austria and Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov.

The first group begins on Sunday, with six-time Swiss winner Roger Federer – who is also favourite – playing Jack Sock of the USA, and Germany’s Alexander Zverev against Czech Wimbledon finalist Marin Cilic.

We spoke to Unibet’s Alistair Gill ahead of the finals in London

Before last year, the last 4 renewals of the ATP Finals have been dominated by Novak Djokovic, with last year’s title going to Andy Murray. Neither of those 2 are competing this year, but at the head of the market it’s hardly a new face, the ageless Roger Federer, 6 time winner of the event, installed as 4/6 favourite. In a blast from the past, and much more recent tournaments also, Rafa Nadal is also right up there competing with his old adversary again, second favourite at 7/2. Incredibly the Spaniard has never won this, but his fitness worries wouldn’t fill me with optimism that this will be his year either.

Outside the top 2, value could be found in either Bulgarian Dimitrov in Pete Sampras group at 12/1 or American Jack Sock in Boris Becker group at 20/1. Dimitrov can’t be ignored given the fact that his group looks very winnable; Nadal struggling with injury, Thiem (20/1) struggling for form and Goffin (15/1) a man he would expect to beat. In form Sock gets a nod based on recent performances, the highlight being his Paris Masters win at the start of the month. If he can get through his group, the same criteria is valid for opponents from the other group, meaning he can’t be ignored.

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