The Climax of the Men’s Tennis Season

“I would have never thought I could qualify a couple of months ago. I am just so happy to be among the Top 8 in London. It is a great satisfaction and the reward for the superb work that my team, my family and of course myself have put in place this whole year. Now we prepare for the final show! I will be ready.  Matteo Berrettini

Finishing off in London

By Roger Childs

Outside the four grand slams this is the most important tournament of the year. Only the top eight ranked men’s players take part in the Barclays Indoor ATP Finals. Just last week Italian Matteo Berretini nailed the eighth spot. He joins Daniil Medvedev of Russia and Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas as first timers in this prestigious event. Berrettini is the first Italian to qualify since 1975.

Indoors in London

This year’s group come from eight different European countries, so there is no American, Australian, Brit or Canadian.

Four participants from last year didn’t make the cut, but some things don’t change. The three legends – Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal – are the top seeds and last year’s winner, Alexander Zverev, along with Austrian Dominic Thiem, are also back to  make up the eight for 2019.

Medvedev the big mover in 2019

Medvedev and Zverev in Shanghai

The 23 year old Russian was ranked 16 at the end of last year, but is now number 4.  His form since the mid year has been very impressive.

  • He won the Western and Southern Open in Cincinatti.
  • He lost narrowly to Rafael Nadal in the US Open in five sets and followed this up by taking the St Petersburg Open title.
  • Then in the Shanghai Masters he beat Djokovic in the semi-final and went on to take the title over Alexander Zverev.

He is definitely one of the favourites for the Barclays.

Everyone gets three games at least

The players compete in two round-robins of four to find the semi-finalists. The matches are the best of three sets. Picking a winner is not easy – in the last two years the champions have both been lower seeds – Zverev won in 2018 and Grigor Dimitrov in 2017.

Winner Zverev and runner-up Djokovic in the 2018 Barclays

Over the years Federer has won the ATP finals six times and Djokovic has five titles. Rafael Nadal has never won it, however this year he is the number one seed so his chances are very good.

Play begins on Sunday.

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