World No.1 Novak Djokovic will begin his hunt for a record sixth title at the ATP World Tour Finals. Having won four titles this season, Djokovic secured the year-end No.1 ranking for the sixth time in his career, equaling Pete Sampras’ record. The Serbian last triumphed at the ATP Nitto Finals in 2015 and has subsequently finished the runner-up twice in 2016 and 2018.
During a recent interview, former British No.1 Tim Henman backed Djokovic to win the season-ending championships. Henman contended that Djokovic’s stellar record at indoor tournaments sets him apart from everyone. Having won 13 indoor tournaments so far in his career, Djokovic also boasts an impressive 39-3 win-loss ratio this year.
“He’s the No. 1 player in the world again and he’s won this tournament on I think five different occasions. ‘He’s got such a good record indoors and for all these players it’s almost the last push as it were. I think if I had to be backing anyone it’d be Djokovic,” said Henman.
However, the 17-time Grand Slam champion was thrashed by Lorenzo Sonego in the quarterfinals of the Vienna Open. Considering Djokovic withdrew from Rolex Paris Masters, he would have received enough time to recharge his batteries.
“Having said that, in Vienna, he did look a bit flat when he lost [to lucky loser Lorenzo Sonego] so I’m sure he’ll want to bounce back and finish strongly at the O2,” remarked Henman.
On the other hand, Rafael Nadal has never claimed the ATP Nitto Finals and has finished as the runner-up twice in 2010 and 2013. Mostly, his injury-prone body wears down by the end of the season, which is the reason Nadal has missed the tournament four times in the last decade.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion has only won two indoor titles during his illustrious career, the 2005 Madrid Masters and 2013 Brasil Open.
However, this year, the ATP Nitto Finals is not just bereft of the electrifying atmosphere generated by the crowds, but will also miss Roger Federer. The Swiss Maestro is recovering from a right knee injury which forced to him pull out from the entire season.