The ATP Finals – What Does the Season Finale Have In Store for Tennis Lovers?
The 2019 edition of the ATP Tour draws to a close this month, but tennis fans will be able to enjoy one last event before it does. The thrilling ATP Finals will take place at London’s O2 Arena from Sunday 10 November until Sunday 17 November, and there’s a Brit amongst the stars who’ll be taking part. So which trophies are up for grabs and who’s in the running to win them?
The ATP Singles Finals – Who Is Taking to The Courts?
Eight of the world’s top-ranking male players (according to criteria set down by the Association of Tennis Professionals [ATP]) will battle it out on the O2 Arena’s indoor courts in order to win prize money and a stunning eight-sided trophy made from sterling silver. These players have been divided into two groups and will initially play every other player in their group. The top two players from each group will then progress to the knockout stage of the contest, which consists of the semi-finals and the final.
The draw for this year’s competition took place earlier this week. Rafael Nadal, the current world number one, was drawn in the Andre Agassi group. He is scheduled to play Alexander Zverev, the reigning ATP Finals champion, in his opening match. Nadal, who won his twelfth French Open title and his fourth US Open title this year, was forced to withdraw from the Paris Masters this month after sustaining an abdominal strain. While he’s hoping to be able to play at the O2 Arena, his doctor has confirmed that they won’t know if he is fit enough until the weekend. If he isn’t able to compete, Roberto Bautista Agut will be given the opportunity to battle for the coveted tennis trophy instead. The other two players drawn in the Andre Agassi group are Daniil Medvedev, who reached the final of the US Open in 2019, and Stefanos Tsitsipas, who made it as far as the semi-finals in the Australian Open this year.
Novak Djokovic, who won the 2019 Australian Open and Wimbledon championships, will play in the Bjorn Borg group, alongside Roger Federer. Federer currently tops the ATP Finals winners’ table with six titles to his name, but Djokovic can draw level if he wins the 2019 tournament. The group also includes Dominic Thiem, this year’s French Open runner-up, and Matteo Berrettini, who reached the semi-finals of the 2019 US Open.
Could A Brit Be a Trophy Winner This Year?
British hopes of glory lie with Joe Salisbury, who’ll be taking part with his American doubles partner, Rajeev Ram. They’ve been drawn in the Jonas Bjorkman group, together with the following players: Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo; Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus; and Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek. Salisbury and Ram won the men’s doubles events at the Vienna Open and the Dubai Open earlier this year, and reached the quarter-finals of the French Open championship.
Last year’s title winners, Mike Bryan and Jack Sock, aren’t competing this year. However, Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut, the 2019 runners-up, will feature in the Max Mirnyi group. This group will also include: Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah; Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies; and Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau.