London Calling: Who will finish tough 2020 on a high?Nov 13, 2020
By Joel Fruci
The most unique ATP season ever culminates with the year-end finals from 15 November, and The Tennis Menu will be covering it all with a series of daily shows.
The round-robin event at London’s O2 Arena will wrap up what’s been a chaotic year for the tennis calendar, the likes of which we have never seen.
Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev and Diego Schwartzman have been drawn into group one, formally known as Group Tokyo 1970.
Meanwhile, in Group London 2020, lie Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev.
Andrey Rublev has won five titles in 2020, the most on the ATP
Every player has their own case to make in claiming the final trophy of the year.
Djokovic and Nadal are the seasoned campaigners with an enviable familiarity of the elite tournament. World no.1 Djokovic has won it five times, while somewhat remarkably, Nadal is still gunning for his first finals triumph.
Enigmatic Russians Medvedev and Rublev head into London in varying form. Medvedev has endured a rollercoaster few months before winning Paris-Bercy, while Rublev holds the mantle for most match wins and most titles in 2020.
Thiem has enjoyed a breakthrough year having won the US Open and finishing runner-up at the Australian Open. The Austrian will be hopeful of putting some icing on the cake and go one better in the year-end finals.
The man that got the better of him in 2019 was Tsitsipas, who since failed to move beyond the second round in both Vienna and Bercy after reaching the Roland Garros semi-finals.
Pocket rocket Schwartzman presents a compelling case. He broke through to new heights in 2020 – figuratively, of course – and earned himself a place among the elite.
US Open champion Dominic Thiem will look to cap off an incredible year
Incredibly, despite accusations by former partner Olga Sharypova of domestic violence, Zverev has appeared unfazed on court; so much so that he’s adapted something of a siege mentality. He takes his place in the last eight on the back of two grand slam finals and a runner-up mantle in Bercy.
So, who do The Tennis Menu team expect to perform?
Head Coach Marc Sophoulis
“With the less pressure that comes into play with the first round being a round robin, these guys are able to play a little bit more freely, which actually makes a big difference. When you get to this environment, those guys just behind the eightball who have those issues of going to the next level can swing without any fear and you see the true elements of their game coming through.”
FINAL: Djokovic vs Medvedev
“Novak and Medvedev are the two standouts, Djokovic for his season as a whole and Daniil for how he played in Paris. On the other side, Thiem and Rublev are too hard to go past, no disrespect to Rafa and Tsitsipas but I don’t think they’ll get through.”
FINAL: Rublev vs Thiem
“I like Andrey Rublev. He’s won the most matches on the ATP Tour this year and the most titles too. If we cast our mind back to recent year-end finals, we’ve seen some unexpected winners. Zverev has been the talk of the tennis world … but it doesn’t seem to be fazing him on the court and he actually has had a very good season.”
FINAL: Rublev vs Zverev
SEE who the boys chose to win the Year-end Finals by subscribing to The Tennis Menu on YouTube and by liking The Tennis Menu on Facebook.
Joel Fruci is a tennis writer and co-host of Break Point Podcast
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