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Djokovic chases history at ATP Finals, Medvedev opens title defence with victory

By Tobi Awodipe
15 November 2021   |   3:25 am
The seasons’ top eight singles players and doubles combinations are all in action for the first Nitto ATP Finals holding in Turin, Italy. Top seed, Novak Djokovic, is chasing history again...

The seasons’ top eight singles players and doubles combinations are all in action for the first Nitto ATP Finals holding in Turin, Italy. Top seed, Novak Djokovic, is chasing history again, looking to cap off a fantastic season with another title, which will further cement him as the greatest.

Djokovic has already secured a record-breaking seventh year-end No. 1 finish in the FedEx ATP Rankings en route to his fifth title of the season at the Rolex Paris Masters, where he avenged his US Open final defeat to Medvedev. The 34-year-old surpassed Roger Federer’s record 311 weeks at World No. 1 in March, and notched a record-equalling 20th major with his third Grand Slam triumph of the season at Wimbledon (beat Berrettini).

Now the Serb has his sights set on levelling Federer’s record six Nitto ATP Finals titles. Five times the Serbian has clinched the season finale, in 2008 in Shanghai and 2012-2015 in London. He holds a 38-16 record at the event. He is clearly the man to beat as he plays his first match today.

Second seed, Daniil Medvedev, is looking to defend the trophy he won in London last year. He started this defence with a victory, beating Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz in three sets yesterday.

After going 0-3 in his 2019 debut at the tournament, Medvedev was almost invincible last year, beating the top three players on his way to the trophy. He became the first man to beat the world’s top three players in the tournament’s history and is looking to defend his title once again.

Other players in contention include Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrey Rublev, Matteo Berrettini, Hukarcz who lost his first match already and Casper Ruud who is making his debut at the tournament alongside Hukarcz.

While Djokovic is the favourite to win again, he faces stiff competition from the top two players in the red group but doesn’t have to face them until the quarterfinal, that is, when he clears the group stage successfully.

Over the weekend, Alcaraz capped off his breakthrough season in style, beating Sebastian Korda to lift the ATPNextGen trophy, dropping just one set en-route to the finals. The top seed was in ruthless form throughout the tournament as he dispatched Holger Rune, Brandon Nakashima and Juan Manuel Cerundolo in the round robin stage, before cruising past Sebastian Baez in the last four.

American Tommy Paul, also captured his first ATP tour title over the weekend to complete a dream week at the Stockholm Open, beating Denis Shapovalov in three sets.