Nitto ATP Finals 2019: Meet the eight men set to battle for the season-ending ATP Finals title in London

Leye Aduloju in ATP 3 Nov 2019
  • Meet the eight men set to battle for the season-ending ATP Finals title in London
  • The Nitto ATP Finals is live from London from 10-17 November
Roger Federer (PA Sport)

With the 2019 ATP regular season now done and dusted, attention shifts firmly to the Nitto ATP Finals, with the top eight players in the Race to London set to battle for the title at the prestigious year-end event.

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The Nitto ATP Finals recognizes players for their efforts in a calendar year, as the participants can proudly lay claim to being among the eight best players over the course of the last 12 months.

The 2019 Finals will feature some familiar names, including multiple champions, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, while newcomers, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Daniil Medvedev and Matteo Berrettini will attempt to shake up the established order.

Meet the eight players who will be competing at London’s O2 Arena from 10-17 November.

Rafael Nadal

Rank: 1
Age: 33
Representing: Spain

2019 Record
Win-Loss: 51-6
Titles: French Open, US Open, Rome, Montreal
Other best results: Runner-up at the Australian Open

Nitto ATP Finals Record
Played: 8 (2006-2007; 2009-2011; 2013, 2015, 2017)
Best Result: Runner-Up (2010, 2013)
Win-Loss: 16-13

Head-to-head vs the Field

Rafael Nadal's participation at the Nitto ATP Finals remain unclear following his withdrawal from his Paris Masters semi-final against Denis Shapovalov, but if he plays, the great Spaniard will attempt to win the year-end title for the first time.

Nadal was the first to book his spot in the 2019 tournament, qualifying for a record 15th consecutive season following a quarter final victory over Sam Querrey at Wimbledon, but he has not always participated in the previous 14 due to his injury problems.

Nadal has missed the tournament in two of the last three years, and the only season he featured during that stretch (2017), he played just one match, pulling out after a three-set loss to David Goffin. Hence, the left-hander has not won a match at the Finals since his semi-final run in 2015.

The 33-year-old might have had his injury troubles this year, but when he has played, he has been really good, reaching the semi-finals or better in 11 of his 12 tournaments. He added two Grand Slam titles to his collection, winning a 12th Roland Garros crown and a 4th US Open title to take his Grand Slam tally to 19, just one behind great rival, Roger Federer's all-time record of 20, while he's also won Masters 1000 crowns in Rome and Montreal.

Nadal will leapfrog world No. 1, Djokovic on the rankings on Monday, and is in pole position to secure the year-end No. 1 ranking, but he will most likely lose top spot to Djokovic if he doesn't feature in London.

The Spaniard has a winning record against everyone else in the field except Djokovic, who currently edges their rivalry 28-26. The good thing for the Spaniard is that he cannot play Djokovic until the London final. The French and US Open champion has never lost to Alexander Zverev, Daniil Medvedev and Matteo Berrettini.

Novak Djokovic

Rank: 1
Age: 32
Representing: Serbia

2019 Record
Win-Loss: 52-9
Titles: Australian Open, Wimbledon, Paris Masters, Madrid Masters, Tokyo
Other best results: Runner-up in Rome

Nitto ATP Finals Record
Played: 11 (2007-2016; 2018)
Best Result: Champion (2008; 2012-2015)
Win-Loss: 35-12

Head-to-head vs the Field

World No. 1, Novak Djokovic will attempt to win the Nitto ATP Finals for a record-equaling sixth time, as he looks to close out another brilliant season with the year-end title.

It hasn't been the utter dominance of 2011 or 2015, but Djokovic has still put together another magnificent year, winning Grand Slam titles at the Australian Open and Wimbledon. He came within two wins of holding all four majors simultaneously, but his bid for a second "Nole Slam" fell just short as he lost to Dominic Thiem at the semi-finals of the French Open. 

The great Serbian has again entertained with numerous highlights this season, but his most memorable moment was arguably that epic Wimbledon final against Roger Federer, where he saved two match points before taking down the mighty Swiss in a final-set match tie break. Away from the majors, Djokovic has also won Masters titles in Madrid and Paris, as well as an ATP 500 meet in Tokyo, while he was a beaten finalist in Rome. 

The Nitto ATP Finals holds plenty of significance for Djokovic's season, as he's not only looking to equal Roger Federer's record number of titles, but he is also attempting to usurp Rafael Nadal in the race for the year-end No. 1 ranking. Nadal will overtake Djokovic as world No. 1 on Monday, 4 November, but with 1500 points available to an undefeated champion at the Nitto ATP Finals, there's everything to play for in London.

The Serbian will make his 12th appearance at the Nitto ATP Finals, and will look to win the title for the first time since 2015. His first went all the way in 2008, when the tournament was staged in Shanghai, before going on to claim four successive triumphs from 2012-2015. His reign was ended by Andy Murray in the 2016 final, while he missed the 2017 edition with an elbow injury. He was beaten by Alexander Zverev in last year's title match.

Djokovic has a winning record against six of the eight players in London, except debutants, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Matteo Berrettini. He recently evened his head-to-head with Tsitsipas at 2-2 in Paris, while he has never played Berrettini.

Roger Federer

Rank: 3
Age: 38
Representing: Switzerland

2019 Record
Win-Loss: 51-8
Titles: Miami, Dubai, Halle, Basel
Other best results: Runner-up at Wimbledon and Indian Wells

Nitto ATP Finals Record
Played: 16 (2002-2015; 2017-2018)
Best Result: Champion (2003-2004; 2006-2007; 2010-2011)
Win-Loss: 57-15

Head-to-head vs the Field

Roger Federer will bid for a record-extending seventh Nitto ATP Finals title when he joins the eight-man field for the prestigious year-end tournament in London. 

The legendary Swiss, who first claimed the season-ending title in 2003, has won this tournament in three different cities- twice in Houston, twice in Shanghai and twice in London- but he hasn't gone all the way since beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the 2011 final in London. He has come close a few times after that, losing finals to Novak Djokovic in 2012, 2014 and 2015.

In total, Federer has now qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals for a record 17th time, and he's played at the year-end Finals every season since 2002, with the exception of 2016, when he skipped the second half of that year to recover from a back problem.

Federer might not have won a Grand Slam title in 2019, falling agonizingly short against Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon final, but the 38-year-old has still put together a quality campaign, winning four titles to take his career mark to 103, just six behind Jimmy Connors' record title haul. He got to the milestone No. 100 in Dubai, before adding Miami, Halle and Basel to his 2019 list. He reached 10 titles at a single event for the first time, entering double digits in Halle and Basel. The Swiss has not played since Basel, pulling out of the Paris Masters as he continues to manage his body at this late stage of his career.

Federer’s combined win-loss record against the London field is not great, but that is majorly because of his deficits against Nadal and Djokovic. However, it is also interesting to note that the great Swiss is in the negative against Dominic Thiem (2-4) and Alexander Zverev (3-4), while he enjoys his best record against Daniil Medvedev (3-0).

Daniil Medvedev

Rank: 4
Age: 23
Representing: Russia

2019 Record
Win-Loss: 59-18
Titles: Cincinnati, Shanghai, Sofia, St. Petersburg
Other best results: Runner-up at the US Open, Brisbane, Barcelona, Washington and Montreal.

Nitto ATP Finals Record
First appearance

Head-to-head vs the Field

Daniil Medvedev charged into the Nitto ATP Finals for the first time following incredible run of form in the second half of the year, confirming his spot in London during his run to the US Open final.

That US Open final was one of six consecutive tour finals Medvedev contested during an unbelievable stretch which started with a runner-up finish to Nick Kyrgios in Washington. He went on to lose finals in Montreal and New York (both to Rafael Nadal), but he claimed titles in Cincinnati and Shanghai- his first Masters 1000 titles- and at his home event in St. Petersburg.

Medvedev's run of consecutive finals was eventually halted at the Paris Masters, where he suffered a shock opening round loss to Jeremy Chardy, but that's just a very tiny blot on an excellent copybook. The Russian has not just been about the second half of the year, as he also put together a very good first half, winning the Sofia title and making finals in Brisbane and Barcelona.

Medvedev doesn’t have a great record against his fellow London contenders, as he’s only 10-14 against the rest of the field, and has losing records against all but two players. The only players he’s beaten more than he’s lost to are Stefanos Tsitsipas (5-0), and Matteo Berrettini (1-0). That poor record may not count for much in London though, given his recent run of results!

Dominic Thiem

Rank: 5
Age: 26
Representing: Austria

2019 Record
Win-Loss: 46-17
Titles: Miami, Indian Wells, Beijing, Vienna, Barcelona, Kitzbuhel
Other best results: Runner-up at Roland Garros

Nitto ATP Finals Record
Played: 3 (2016-2018)
Best Result: Round-Robin
Win-Loss: 3-6

Head-to-head vs the Field

Dominic Thiem will compete at the Nitto ATP Finals for the fourth consecutive year, and will look to progress from the round-robin phase for the first time in his career.

The Austrian has captured five titles this season, including a maiden Masters 1000 titles at Indian Wells. Thiem put together another qualify season on clay, winning titles in Barcelona and Kitzbuhel, and reaching the French Open final for the second straight season, but it is his progress on hard courts that has been most impressive.

Apart from his surprise title run at Indian Wells (where he defeated Roger Federer in the final), he also claimed ATP 500 successes in Beijing- his first title in Asia- and Vienna, where he produced a sensational week of skill and heart to secure an emotional home success.

Thiem has won just one match in each of his three previous Nitto ATP Finals appearances in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Is that about to change this year?

He has a positive head-to-head against everyone else in the field except Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.

Stefanos Tsitsipas 

Rank: 6
Age: 21
Representing: Greece

2019 Record
Win-Loss: 50-24
Titles: Marseille, Estoril
Other best results: Runner-up in Madrid, Dubai and Beijing; semi-finals at the Australian Open

Nitto ATP Finals Record
First Appearance

Head-to-head vs the Field

Greek young gun, Stefanos Tsitsipas makes his Nitto ATP Finals debut this season after his rapid ascent in 2019.

Tsitsipas won the Next Gen ATP Finals last season, and is still eligible to play that tournament this year, but he has soared well above that level over the last 11 months, joining the top order of the men's game.

The 21-year-old started the season outside the world's top-90, but he has surged into the top-ten this year, and looks set to stay in that group for the foreseeable future. An absolutely sensational start to 2019 saw him reach the Australian Open in January, scoring a marquee fourth-round win over Roger Federer en route his maiden major semi-final, while he's gone on to add titles in Marseille and Estoril. Tsitsipas also had runner-up finishes in Dubai, Madrid and Beijing, compiling a 50-24 record for the season- the first time he's bridged the 50-win mark. He's also entered three digits in total career match wins, reaching the milestone 100 mark during the Paris Masters.

Tsitsipas first broke into the top-ten at the start of March (after finishing second in Dubai), while he peaked at No. 5 in August following a semi-final run in Washington. The Greek had a bad patch following that Washington performance, failing to cross the opening round in his next four tournaments, but he ended the regular season very strongly, making the final in Beijing, semi-finals in Shanghai and Basel, and the quarter finals in Paris in his last four tournaments.

Still in the infancy of his career, Tsitsipas has beaten each member of the “Big 3” at least once, boasting an impressive 2-2 record against Djokovic. However, he has negative head-to-heads against everyone else in the tournament except the players ranked below him in the Race- Alexander Zverev and Matteo Berrettini.

Alexander Zverev

Rank: 7
Age: 22
Representing: Germany

2019 Record
Win-Loss: 42-23
Titles: Geneva
Other best results: Shanghai, Acapulco

Nitto ATP Finals Record
Played: 2 (2017, 2018)
Best Result: Champion (2018)
Win-Loss: 5-3

Head-to-head vs the Field

For long periods this season, Alexander Zverev's qualification for the Nitto ATP Finals was very uncertain, but the German found some decent form towards the end of the season to secure his berth in London, and earn the chance to defend the title he won so impressively last year.

Zverev was out of the qualifying spots at start of October, but he put together an impressive Asian swing, reaching the semi-finals in Beijing and the final in Shanghai to effectively seal his spot in London. He lost early in Basel and Paris, but that run in Asia proved to be good enough to hold off the chasing pack. 

While Zverev's season has not been downright terrible, it's been well below the standards he set in the previous campaigns. The 22-year-old has won just the one title this year- in Geneva- and made two other finals in Acapulco and Shanghai. 

Competing at the year-end Finals for the third straight season- can he replicate his performances from 2018 and end a difficult season on a real high?

Zverev is 15-21 against the rest of the London field, with winning records against Federer, Medvedev and Berrettini.

Matteo Berrettini 

Rank: 8
Age: 23
Representing: Italy

2019 Record
Win-Loss: 42-21
Titles: Budapest, Stuttgart
Other best results: Runner Up in Munich, semi-finals at the US Open, Shanghai

Nitto ATP Finals Record
First appearance

Head-to-head vs the Field

Matteo Berrettini completes the eight-man field in London as the Italian takes his place at the Nitto ATP Finals after an impressive rise through the rankings in 2019.

Not many saw this coming at the start of the year, with the Berrettini ranked outside the top-50 and not commanding as much notice as some of his other Next Gen contemporaries at the time (he's now 23 and technically not a Next Gen player), but he has definitely grabbed everyone's attention this year, claiming two titles and surging into the top-ten. 

The Italian won his titles in Budapest and Stuttgart (taking his career total to three, as he had also won Gstaad last year), but his 2019 season will arguably be best remembered for that memorable run at the US Open, where he made his maiden Grand Slam semi-final. 

Berrettini also finished runner-up in Munich, while he made other semi-finals in Sofia, Halle, Shanghai- his first at Masters 1000 level- and Vienna. 

He has a losing record against everyone else in London, except Djokovic, whom he has never played. The only players he has beaten in the field are Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev (compiling a 1-2 record against each player). Admittedly, the sample space for Berrettini is very small, and he will look to improve his record against the top players over the Nitto ATP Finals week in London.

The Nitto ATP Finals is live from London from 10-17 November.

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Nitto ATP Finals 2019: Meet the eight men set to battle for the season-ending ATP Finals title in London

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