The final ATP event of the Tennis season begins on Sunday, with the ATP Tour Finals taking place at the O2 Arena in London. This preview profiles the eight contenders for the trophy.
Will we see another surprise winner?With the exception of Roger Federer, the top eight players on the men’s tour take to the courts over the coming week in London, competing for the prestigious ATP Tour Finals. Conditions at the O2 Arena are likely to be pretty quick, with the service hold percentage, service points won percentage, and tiebreaks per set all higher than the ATP indoor hard mean figures over the last three years - despite the frequent presence of some of the best returners in the world.
The Pinnacle outright market (prices given are with the requirement that Djokovic must start the event) has moved a little since earlier in the week, with Djokovic being backed into 2.55* from 3.00*, while there is also some positive movement for Andrey Rublev, into 7.10*. The market is less bullish on the chances of Dominic Thiem, out to 9.70*, and the real outsider, Diego Schwartzman, who has drifted to 70.00*.
Despite his illustrious career, Nadal still has much to prove indoors. Longer-term data suggests that he’s much weaker on indoor hard compared to on outdoor hard, and of course, based on his stunning career his best numbers come on clay. The Spaniard also struggled in Paris last week, dropping sets to countrymen Feliciano Lopez and Pablo Carreno-Busta, before being ousted by Zverev in straight sets in the semi-finals.
ATP Tour Finals 2020: Where is the value?Given this, Group London 2020 looks wide open and without an overwhelming favourite to qualify from it. Rublev will certainly have his supporters after a superb campaign which has seen him break into the top 10 for the first team, and his superb recent form. He also has very impressive indoor data across the last two years, running at over 108% combined service/return points won on the surface in main tour matches during this period.
Tsitsipas is another one who has received market support following the draw, moving from 14.00* to 9.00* in recent days, although the defending champion will probably need to win several tight sets and matches to replicate last year’s achievement - the likely consequence of unspectacular return data.
Finally, Thiem missed Paris last week after struggling with foot blisters in Vienna the week prior - he lost to Rublev in straight sets in his home country - and has much to prove both from that injury perspective, but also indoors with his data on this surface being uninspiring in recent years.
An extremely competitive tournament is expected, and the event should be a superb conclusion to a tricky year for professional tennis.
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