The 2017 ATP Finals are here. Rafael Nadal’s health has been a constant point of discussion, but Nadal has chosen to enter the season-ending ATP Tour championship event. He will join Roger Federer in pursuit of bragging rights at the end of a season in which he and Federer have been the two best players in the world, splitting (or coming close to splitting) the season’s biggest titles. Nadal has never won the ATP Finals. Getting this victory would represent one of the sweetest moments of his career.
The competition in the 8-player event begins on Sunday, November 12.
Event: ATP Finals
Category: Year-End Championships
Date: November 12-19, 2017
Location: O2 Arena – London, England
With a prize money allotment of $8 million, the ATP Finals have a richer purse than all but the four Grand Slam events. Players get large six-figure prizes for winning round-robin matches, and even larger prizes for winning semifinal and final matches.
Each player gets 200 points per round-robin match victory. There are three round-robin matches.
After the three round-robin matches, four players make the semifinals.
Semifinal winners get 400 points.
The winner of the championship match earns 500 points.
If a player wins all three round-robin matches and then wins the tournament (semifinal match and championship match), he will gain 1,500 points.
If a player wins all three round-robin matches, wins the semifinal, and loses the final, he will win 1,000 points.
Former Champions and Results (5 Years)
Year Champion Runner-up Score
2016: Andy Murray def. Novak Djokovic – 6-3, 6-4
2015: Novak Djokovic def. Roger Federer 6-3, 6-4
2014: Novak Djokovic def. Roger Federer, walkover
2013: Novak Djokovic def. Rafael Nadal – 6-3, 6-4
2012: Novak Djokovic def. Roger Federer – 7-6, 7-5
The eight men are drawn in two groups of four. The top two players from each group will qualify for the semifinals.
Sunday-Tuesday-Thursday round-robin group, with seeds attached
1) Roger Federer
This is the favorite for the tournament, due to Nadal’s questionable health. Federer has flourished on hardcourts and has been a great indoor player throughout his career. He did not get an easy draw, but he is playing better than anyone except Sock and Nadal entering this tournament. It is all set up for him to claim his eighth title of 2017.
2) Alexander Zverev
The two-time Masters 1000 champion in 2017 has enjoyed a breakout year, but he has played over 90 matches and has been tired the past month. He has lost a lot of matches and will need to find a way to refuel in London. Some players come to London at the end of the season and get a second wind. Zverev will need it.
3) Marin Cilic
The 2017 Wimbledon finalist will play Zverev on November 12 in a match which will likely decide the second semifinalist from the group other than Federer. Cilic should be favored to win, but he has not played his best tennis in Basel or in the Bercy Masters. He must also sharpen up his game and anticipate Zverev’s best effort.
4) Jack Sock
Ranked outside the top 20 heading into the Bercy Masters, Sock had to win the tournament and get help from other sources, and that is exactly what happened. He won his first Masters 1000 championship after rebounding from a 5-1 third-set deficit to Kyle Edmund early in the tournament. He will play Federer first, and he hopes momentum can carry him to a victory and a semifinal berth.
1) Rafael Nadal
It is all about his health. If Rafa is healthy, he is the best player in this group, hands down. He should easily go to the semifinals if he can play up to his normal standards. Whether his body will be up for the strain of playing hardcourt tennis is the question.
2) Dominic Thiem
Thiem is excellent on clay and will be a contender at the French Open for the rest of his career, but on hardcourts, he often looks lost. He has never made a major quarterfinal on hardcourts and has very rarely gone deep into hardcourt Masters 1000 tournaments. He needs a spark but is unlikely to find one anytime soon.
3) Grigor Dimitrov
Grigor Dimitrov has played Rafael Nadal close in many matches this season, in three sets or five. The Bulgarian is a much better hardcourt player than Thiem and is more physically fit than Goffin. He will be favored to reach the semifinals along with Nadal.
4) David Goffin
The Belgian suffered a gruesome injury at the French Open and missed Wimbledon but battled to make London. He has the Davis Cup Final with Belgium later in November, so he will find it challenging to play his very best in London.
This is a spiffy indoor arena which has hosted the ATP Finals since 2009, when the event moved from Shanghai, China. The O2 hosts concerts and basketball and all sorts of events for an international sports and entertainment mecca such as London. It is a heavily-booked destination arena which attracts top talent in various facets of activity.
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