The best eight players from 2020 will converge in London for the season-ending Nitto ATP Finals, live from the O2 Arena from 15-22 November.
ATP Finals 2020 Predictions
The 2020 Finals will be the last edition of the season-ending finale to be staged in London before the tournament heads to Turin, Italy from the 2021 season.
The tournament will once again feature the best eight players from 2020 battling for the prestigious title and 1500 ranking points. The eight participants will be determined by the ATP’s Race to London, a table that ranks players according to their performances in 2020. The top eight players in the Race will qualify for the ATP Finals.
These players are divided into two groups of four, with the top two from each group progressing to the semi-finals.
Because of the format of the Nitto ATP Finals and the unique distribution of points across the rounds, the Nitto ATP Finals usually plays a significant role in determining the year-end rankings.
Roger Federer, with six titles is the most successful player in the tournament’s history, while Novak Djokovic isn’t far behind with five titles. The Serbian currently shares second place with Ivan Lendl and Pete Sampras.
Stefanos Tsitsipas is the defending champion, claiming his biggest career title with victory over Dominic Thiem in last year’s final. In fact, the tournament has produced surprise champions in each of the last three years, with Grigor Dimitrov winning in 2017 and Alexander Zverev claiming the big prize in 2018.
Will there be another first-time winner in 2020 or will any member of the older guard reclaim the title?
Can Djokovic end a five-year title drought at the Finals?
Despite the ATP Tour being on break until June, the Race to London already has a very familiar feel, with five of the eight participants from last year – Djokovic, Tsitsipas, Zverev, Nadal and Dominic Thiem- already inside the top eight. The only players missing from last season are six-time champion, Federer, who is currently ninth in the Race, Daniil Medvedev, who is 15th, and Matteo Berrettini, who has struggled with injuries this season and has been restricted to just two matches all year.
In their place come Gael Monfils, Andrey Rublev and Cristian Garin.
While that table is bound to change through the course of the season when the tour does resume, we will most likely be seeing some customary faces in London.
Novak Djokovic looks shoe in for qualification, having made a perfect 18-0 start to the season. The world No. 1 inspired Serbia to ATP Cup glory, won an eighth Australian Open title and added the Dubai crown to his 2020 collection to sit comfortably at the top of the Race to London leaderboard. The Serbian currently leads second-placed Dominic Thiem by 1810 points, and is well on course to qualify for the tournament for the 13th time.
Djokovic first won the ATP Finals in 2008, when it was still held in Shanghai, before claiming four consecutive titles between 2012 and 2015. The world No. 1 has not added to his title haul since then, losing finals in 2016 and 2018 (to Andy Murray and Alexander Zverev respectively), and falling at the round robin phase last season. Part of his motivation this season will be to terminate a five-year title drought in London, while he will also have his sights set on equaling Roger Federer’s all-time record of six titles.
Federer aims to extend Finals record
Speaking of Federer, the great Swiss is currently recovering from knee surgery, but he is expected to be fully fit when the tour is projected to resume in June. The 20-time major champion might have had trouble qualifying had the season progressed while he’s out injured, but he’s now got every chance of making it to London for the umpteenth time with everyone unable to play at the moment.
Federer has qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals for a record 17 seasons, and is well-placed to extend that record to 18 in 2020. He is currently just one spot of the qualifying spots, 40 points eighth-placed Stefanos Tsitsipas.
In Federer’s 17 previous appearances in London, only once has he failed to make the semi-finals (2008). He has won this tournament in three different two-year spells- 2003-2004; 2006-2007; and 2010-2011; and had made the final on four other instances. However, the great Swiss hasn’t contested the title match since 2015, and has fallen at the semi-final stage in each of the last three seasons. The world No. 4 has played only one tournament this season, reaching the semi-finals of the Australian Open.
Nadal seeking maiden Finals title
While Federer and Djokovic have combined for 11 titles at the year-end Finals, the other member of the Big 3, Rafael Nadal is still seeking his first title at the tournament. The great Spaniard has qualified for the Finals for a record 15 consecutive season, but he hasn’t always featured at the tournament, with injury problems persistently bothering him at the end of the year. The world No. 2 has competed at the season-ending finale on just nine occasions, reaching the championship match in 2010 and 2013. He’s played in London in just four of the last eight editions, and hasn’t been past the round robin stage since 2015.
However, with the season on an enforced break, there’s an argument that Nadal could be fitter and fresher come the 2020 Finals, which would give him a great chance to finally get over the line. The Spaniard opened his season at the ATP Cup, winning four of his six singles matches as Spain reached the final. He then made the quarter finals of the Australian Open (lost to Dominic Thiem) before capturing his first title of the year in Acapulco. The great Spaniard is currently fourth on the Race to London, behind Djokovic, Thiem and Monfils.
Can Thiem go one step better than last year’s runner-up finish?
Prior to last season, Dominic Thiem had won just one match in each of his three previous campaigns at the Nitto ATP Finals, but the Austrian compiled three huge wins in 2019, taking out Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and defending champion, Alexander Zverev before falling just short against Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final.
Thiem’s London run was a reflection of the remarkable progress he made on hard court through the season, when he won his maiden Masters 1000 title at Indian Wells, and added subsequent hard court titles in Beijing and Vienna. The Austrian remained a force on clay, reaching the French Open final for the second straight year.
He began 2020 in a similar vein, reaching his maiden Grand Slam hard court final at the Australian Open, and coming very close to beating Djokovic in an epic five-set final. The Austrian is currently second in the Race to London, and is very much on course to qualify for a fifth straight season.
Just below Thiem on the Race to London is Gael Monfils, who is attempting to qualify for just the second time, and for the first time since his debut appearance in 2016. The Frenchman, who just missed out last year, has made a storming start to 2020, winning titles in Montpellier and Rotterdam, and reaching the semi-finals in Dubai.
Last year’s winner, Stefanos Tsitsipas made a slow start to the season, failing to make a quarter final in his first two tournaments (Australian Open and Rotterdam), but he picked up pace just before the break, retaining his Marseille title and reaching the final in Dubai.
2018 champion, Alexander Zverev is also well-placed in seventh majorly due to his semi-final run at the Australian Open- his maiden major semi-final- while Rublev and Garin are positioned in the top eight after fine starts to 2019. Rublev opened the season with consecutive titles in Adelaide and Pune, but has cooled off slightly since then, while Garin also has a pair of titles from Cordoba and Rio. Of everyone currently in the qualifying places, these two appear to be the most vulnerable.
ATP Finals 2020 tournament information
Name: Nitto ATP Finals
Location: London, England
Venue: O2 Arena
Category: ATP Finals
Surface: Indoor Hard Courts
Draw size: 8 Singles/ 8 Doubles
Roger Federer (6)
Singles – Stefanos Tsitsipas
Doubles – Pierre-Hugues Herbert/ Nicolas Mahut
ATP Finals betting tips
Check back for the best Nitto ATP Finals betting tips when odds are released closer to the tournament, where play begins on Monday 15 November 2020.