Pilot Heidi Kennedy
On the 15th November, the top eight qualifying male singles tennis players will begin the battle at the O2 Arena in London, UK. The top eight doubles teams on the Men’s ATP tour will join them.
This is no ordinary event in any year. However, the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has led the organisers to decide to go ahead with the event without spectators. Taking place for the final time in London before moving to Italy from 2021 onward, the popular event looks set to go out on a whimper in the city.
Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have long since qualified for the event. So too has Dominic Thiem, winner of this year’s US Open for his first Grand Slam title. Many fans will wonder whether Thiem can go one better than his runner-up showing in the 2019 finals. He lost a thrilling three-set match to Stefanos Tsitsipas on a final set tiebreak.
Tsitsipas has also qualified for this year’s competition, along with:
If you’re keeping track, that keeps one slot open for the final participant. At the time of writing, this was yet to be decided, although Diego Schwartzman and Pablo Carreno Busta look to have the best chance of qualifying.
You may have noticed Roger Federer’s name hasn’t made the cut. That’s due to earlier knee surgery, taking him out of play until 2021.
So, who stands the best chance of taking the singles ATP World Tour Finals title in London this year?
Surprisingly, Nadal has never won, although he has been runner-up twice. It would be great to see him end the year with this title. Tsitsipas and Zverev have won the last two years, while Thiem knows what it’s like to be runner-up without winning. Could this be his year, buoyed by his first Grand Slam win?
Conversely, perhaps Djokovic could take his sixth title and his first since 2015. Regardless of who takes the final spot in this competitive field, we are in for a superb competition. The old guard meets the young challengers, many of whom are already experiencing success on the tour.
We’re ready to see how it all plays out – even if only remotely. Are you?