Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal lead the field but could Paris Masters champion Daniil Medvedev storm past them both to the trophy at the 2020 Nitto ATP Finals?
It’s been five years since Novak Djokovic last took the Nitto ATP Finals title and Rafael Nadal has never won it – who is the favourite to emerge triumphant from the ‘elite eight’?
The Nitto ATP Finals is being played behind closed doors at London’s O2 Arena from 15-22 November.
The eight-man field is comprised of the world’s top eight male singles players (with world no. 9 Diego Schwartzman taking the place of Roger Federer, who has not competed since January due to multiple knee surgeries) and is led by five-time champion Djokovic and 20-time Grand Slam winner Nadal.
Here are the latest outright odds for ATP Finals singles champion in 2020:
|Player||Bet365||SkyBet||888Sport||William Hill||BetVictor||Paddy Power|
*You have to be 18+ to gamble. All odds within this article are correct as of the time of writing (12.12 GMT on 13/11/2020). BeGambleAware.
ATP Finals Groups, Draw & Head-to-Heads
The draw for the Nitto ATP Finals splits the eight players into two groups of four. The players in those groups then compete amongst themselves in round-robin matches from Sunday 15-Friday 20 November.
The top two players in each group progress to the semifinals.
Group Tokyo 1970
|vs Djokovic||vs Medvedev||vs Zverev||vs Schwartzman||Combined|
Group London 2020
|vs Nadal||vs Thiem||vs Tsitsipas||vs Rublev||Combined|
Who are the favourites for the Nitto ATP Finals 2020 title?
With only eight players in the field, the possibilities are obviously limited but that doesn’t mean that picking the probable champion at the O2 Arena is easy! Here is a brief rundown of the eight players in the field, in the order the market has placed them, starting with tournament favourite Djokovic.
The only man in the field to have won multiple ATP Finals titles, Djokovic is a five-time champion at the season-ending championships, although he hasn’t lifted the trophy since 2015 despite two subsequent trips to the final (losing to Andy Murray in 2016 and Zverev in 2018).
Djokovic is 39-3 in 2020 and won his first 37 completed matches of the season before a one-sided defeat to Nadal in the French Open final. His only tournament since ended in a shock quarterfinal loss to lucky loser Lorenzo Sonego in Vienna.
Medvedev made his year-end championship debut at last year’s Nitto ATP Finals and went a woeful 0-3, memorably choking away a match against Nadal from a winning position, but the Russian returns in 2020 as second favourite.
That’s thanks to Medvedev’s performance at the Paris Masters a fortnight ago, where he beat two of the players in his group (Schwartzman and Zverev) to claim his third Masters 1000 Series title and enliven an underwhelming season. If he can reprise his Paris win over Zverev when they meet in the group stages, he will be in an excellent position to make the semifinals even if he doesn’t beat Djokovic (something he has done twice in the past).
One of the very few prestigious titles to have eluded Nadal is the ATP Finals – at 34, could this be his best chance for years to claim that crown?
With only 30 matches played in 2020, Nadal has rarely come into this tournament so energised. He has played one tournament since winning his thirteenth French Open title, making the semifinals in Paris before losing to Zverev, and his head-to-head against the other players in his group is extremely convincing. Nadal looks set to make the semifinals at least.
Thiem impressed when he reached the final at last year’s ATP Finals, and is now a Grand Slam champion, having finally made that breakthrough at the US Open. But he hasn’t been playing very well, or very much, in the wake of that win, losing in the quarterfinals of the French Open and at the same stage in Vienna to Andrey Rublev, against whom he will have to play in the group stages.
Blistered feet have been a concern for Thiem coming in but generally there’s a sense that he’s having a bit of a post-Slam slump and looks an unlikely winner to me.
Zverev seems an unlikely winner when you consider the turmoil of his personal life right now – but that didn’t hold him back in Paris, where he beat Nadal to reach the final. The German picked up two indoor hard-court titles in Cologne this autumn in addition to his runner-up run in Paris, and he has a great history at the ATP Finals, winning in 2018 and making the semifinals last year. He’s also the only player other than Djokovic or Nadal to have a winning record against his group.
With an absolutely superb 40-8 win-loss record this season and five titles to his name, including ones on indoor hard courts in St Petersburg and Vienna, Rublev has been a real force on the ATP Tour this year and made the quarterfinals of the French and US Opens.
The Russian’s power game is very effective and he plays well against both Thiem and Tsitsipas, who are in his group. The big question is how Rublev will deal with the ATP Finals, an event which can be very intimidating for a first-timer.
Concerns about a leg injury cloud Tsitsipas’s chances of an ATP Finals title defense. The Greek, a semifinalist at the French Open, dazzled at this tournament last year but has had poor results on indoor hard courts coming into this year’s event.
Deservedly the least favoured player, with no disrespect intended. Schwartzman has had a stellar year including a first Masters 1000 Series final in Rome and a first Grand Slam semifinal at the French Open, but he’s out of his league here.
ATP Finals Outright Odds: Other Markets
There are other outright odds markets available on the Nitto ATP Finals, live from London from 15-22 November.
Multiple bookmakers are offering odds on the winner of each group.