ATP Finals 2020 Draw: Rafael Nadal to Pass the Dominic Thiem Test for Semifinal Qualification

Published 11/12/2020, 12:05 PM EST
Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Paris Masters – AccorHotels Arena, Paris, France – November 7, 2020 Spain’s Rafael Nadal during his semi final match against Germany’s Alexander Zverev REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

The troublesome 2020 season is finally coming to an end. The ATP Finals 2020 as always will be the season finale and will see the top eight players fight out in the special and unique tournament. The groups have been drawn with the action set to begin on the 15th of November at the O2 Arena in London.


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A general view of O2 Arena. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

The two groups are given below:


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Group Tokyo 1970

  1. Novak Djokovic
  2. Daniil Medvedev
  3. Alexander Zverev
  4. Diego Schwartzman

Group London 2020

  1. Rafael Nadal
  2. Dominic Thiem
  3. Stefanos Tsitsipas
  4. Andrey Rublev

Seeing both groups it is tough to point out a winner. With the ATP Finals being unpredictable, all fixtures will need attention. Some exciting clashes are Nadal vs Thiem, Djokovic vs Zverev, Tsitsipas vs Theim, etc. It is hard not to expect a new champion.

No player has defended the ATP Finals title since 2015

Stefanos Tsitsipas is the defending champion. The Greek player had stunned everyone last year by winning the title. But there are doubts over his chances of defending the title. Since reaching the semifinals of the French Open last month, injuries have clung on to him. And it is doubtful whether he will play with full fitness.

Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem with their respective trophies at Australian Open. (Photo by Andy Cheung/Getty Images)

Speaking of former champions we have Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev. Djokovic had another consistent and brilliant season which started with the Australian Open triumph. Further, he won a few Masters 1000 events as well. Zverev has turned his season around after tennis resumed. He reached the US Open final and won two titles in his home Germany.

Moreover, it is always surprising to learn that Rafa Nadal is yet to win the ATP Finals. A year which has already seen him lift a record-equaling 20th Grand Slam, Nadal will be hoping to finally add ATP Finals to his trophy cabinet.

Rafael Nadal poses with the French Open trophy. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

Dominic Thiem and Daniil Medvedev have had a good hard court season. The Austrian won his first Grand Slam at US Open 2020. Whereas Medvedev comes into the tournament winning the Paris Masters.

We have two debutants in this year’s edition. Diego Schwartzman and Andrey Rublev will be making their first appearance in the ATP Finals. Rublev has announced himself this year, winning a record five titles. No wonder he is being touted as a potential champion here. For Schwartzman, it has been a year of personal records. Although no titles, he reached his first Grand Slam semifinal and first Masters 1000 Finals. His unpredictability will set the stage.

Andrey Rublev celebrates with the Vienna Open trophy. Credits: REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

What is the format of the ATP Finals?

The format of the ATP Finals is a different one. Unlike the normal knockout tournament, here the eight players are drawn into two groups of four each. Each player will play three round-robin matches. The respective group standings are determined by the number of matches won. The top two players in each group advance to the semifinal.


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From the semifinal stage, it is a knockout tournament. Winners of the semifinal play the finals to determine the champion of the ATP Finals.

Rankings points and Prize money

Even the ranking points and prize money are different in the ATP Finals. Ranking points are given on the basis of matches won. And an undefeated champion will take home a handsome 1500 points. Last year’s champion Tsitsipas earned 1300 points as he had lost one of his group matches.


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Although the prize money has gone down from $9 million to 5.7 million this year. The undefeated champion will still earn a mammoth $1,564,000.


Bhavishya Mittal

1226 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.