The draws for the Nitto ATP Finals in London have been made, and Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, who are the only past champions in the draw, will fancy their chances of ending the year on a high. For Federer, it could be an astonishing 100th career singles title. Djokovic, on the other, will aim to cap off a memorable comeback year with success in London. However, they will be faced with stiff opposition.
The Nitto ATP Finals is an event that draws the curtain on the ATP Tour season. The tournament, which features only the world’s best eight qualified players, is contested in a round-robin format of two groups, with the best four players reaching the knockout semi-finals stage.
This year, Novak Djokovic leads the pack as the world No.1. The Serb, having sealed his spot as the year-end world No.1 after Rafa Nadal withdrew from the tournament, will look to claim a record-equalling sixth ATP Finals title, which will draw him level with the great Swiss, Roger Federer.
Meanwhile, Federer, who’s ranked third in the world, but seeded second for the event, chases an unprecedented seventh title. After winning the Swiss Indoors in Basel last month to claim his 99th career title, the great Swiss is now a title away from racking up a century of singles trophies in his long, peerless career.
Djokovic and Federer are joined by German sensation Alexander Zverev, Dominic Thiem, Marin Cilic, Kevin Anderson, Kei Nishikori and John Isner. And these men could very well upset the odds here.
South Africa’s Kevin Anderson and John Isner of USA are making their debuts. The latter, though, came in as a replacement for the injured Rafael Nadal. Kei Nishikori also, got in as a replacement for the injured world No.4, Juan Martin del Potro.
Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer are the only past champions in the pack, with 11 titles between them. They’ve also competed in the final thrice in the last six years. More so, last year’s final between David Goffin and Grigor Dimitrov was the first final since 2009 that a certain Djokovic or Federer didn’t feature in.
Group Guga Kuerten
 Novak Djokovic (SRB)
 Alexander Zverev (GER)
 Marin Cilic (CRO)
 John Isner (USA)
 Roger Federer (SUI)
 Kevin Anderson (RSA)
 Dominic Thiem (AUT)
 Kei Nishikori (JPN) Novak Djokovic leads Group Guga Kuerten alongside Alexander Zverev, Marin Cilic and John Isner. Djokovic, who’s competing at the event for the 11th time will fancy his chances here, given his head-to-head record against the other members of the group — 1-1 against Alexander Zverev, 16-2 against Cilic, and 8-2 against Isner underlines the dominance. The Serb is also in sizzling form, having lost just 2 of 33 matches he’s played since the start of Wimbledon in July.
In Group Llyeton Hewitt, Roger Federer, a six-time champion at the event, leads the pack, with Kevin Anderson, Dominic Thiem and Kei Nishikori chasing.
Only Thiem holds the head-to-head advantage over Federer in that group, having defeated the Swiss in two of their previous three encounters. Against Anderson, Federer leads 4-1; against Nishikori, 7-2.
Group Llyeton Hewitt matches will kick-start the event on Sunday, 11 November, with Kevin Anderson taking on Dominic Thiem before Roger Federer squares off against Kei Nishikori.
Group Guga Kuerten matches are scheduled to begin on Monday. Alexander Zverev and Marin Cilic will get proceedings underway, with Djokovic and John Isner coming in later in the day.
Should Djokovic and Federer avoid any slip ups and then escape being causalities in the semifinals, both men will meet in the final. And there wouldn’t be a better match to draw the curtain on a sweet, sweet year of glorious tennis on tour!
This event will be held at The O2 in London from 11-18 November.
Note: Guga Kueten, after whom the first group is named, won the tournament in 2000, when the event was held in Lisbon, while Lleyton Hewitt won two titles in 2001 in Sydney and 2002 in Shanghai.