Tuesday October 30, 2018
Nadal. Djokovic. Federer. Del Potro. Zverev. Anderson. These six men are all confirmed to be competing in the 2018 ATP World Tour Finals in London. Kevin Anderson has just qualified for the first time, while Juan Martin Del Potro, coming off an amazing year, has qualified for the first time in five years. The final two berths are still up for grabs, with Cilic, Thiem, Nishikori, and Isner all trying to claim one of them for themselves.
Meanwhile, the doubles event will take place during the same week. All eight teams have already been confirmed for this part of the spectacle. Britain’s Jamie Murray will be playing with Bruno Soares and flying the flag for the UK (and for the Murray family, since Andy is still coming back from hip surgery earlier in the year).
With the eight top players vying for the Nitto ATP Finals trophy, we have another potential battle on our hands too. Rafael Nadal is currently world number one on 7,480 points. Novak Djokovic, seemingly out in the wilderness until his win at Wimbledon earlier this year (just ahead of another US Open title), is in world number two spot with 7,445 points to date – just 35 points behind his rival. Federer is in third position but cannot reach the number one spot as he is sitting on 5,660 points.
Novak must finish a round in a better position than Rafa if he is to finish the year in number one position. He is known for playing his way into great form in London. He’s won this title five times, whereas Rafa, unbelievably, has never won. The best he has managed is a runner-up position in 2010 and 2013, once to Federer and the other time to, you guessed it, Djokovic. So, could this be his year?
We wouldn’t bet against Djokovic to cap his comeback year and defy all the doubters by winning this title yet again and finishing as world number one as well. It would seem almost appropriate given the way he has played his way through the year. But perhaps a guy called Roger might have something to say about that. It all looks set to be a fascinating week ahead.