ATP Tour Finals: Meet the elite eight players set for the big end-of-year tennis shootout in London (VIDEO)
With the Grand Slam calendar done and dusted for 2019, the Nitto ATP Tour Finals returns to London's iconic O2 Arena for the now-traditional end-of-year battle. Here's everything you need to know about the London showdown.
The world's top eight players from the ATP Tour rankings will face off in the seven-day tennis extravaganza in England, with the players split into two round-robin groups that are named after tennis legends.
"GROUP ANDRE AGASSI"
The Spanish powerhouse has won almost everything there is to win in the sport, except this particular title. But, after a strong year that saw him return to the top of the tennis tree with four tournament wins, a win percentage of 89.5% and Grand Slam wins at the French Open and US Open, Nadal will hope to rectify that fact in London this month.
The Russian star appeared in more tournament finals (9) in 2019 than any other player on the ATP Tour as he proved his worth as one of the game's elite players. That included a remarkable run of six consecutive finals, including the 2019 US Open final. He's still chasing his first Grand Slam crown, but an end-of-year triumph at the ATP Finals would be the perfect way to cap off the best year of his career.
The towering 21-year-old from Athens climbed the ATP rankings to a career-high fifth in 2019 and heads into this week's season finale in London as the world No. 6. He wasn't able to reach any of the big Grand Slam finals, but he does hold victories over Nadal, Djokovic and Federer during the course of the season. This is his ATP Tour Finals debut, and he'll be looking to make an impact similar to the one made by the final member of Group Andre Agassi.
Last season's ATP Finals Champion became an established star by winning in London with a supreme tournament display. Zverev won eight of 10 sets at The O2 last year, and heads into this year's tournament as the world No. 7 player. After a solid, if unspectacular, year that saw him reach the last eight of a Grand Slam just once (at Roland Garros), Zverev will hope his status as defending champion will help inspire him to a repeat performance this time around.
"GROUP BJORN BORG"
No player claimed more tournament titles in 2019 than Djokovic, who picked up five titles on the ATP Tour en route to the No. 2 spot in the rankings. The Serbian superstar kicked off the year with Grand Slam success at the Australian Open, then reached the semis at Roland Garros before winning on grass at Wimbledon. He suffered a shoulder injury after the US Open and will be hoping he's fully fit and ready to go at full throttle in London.
Federer is the undisputed king of the ATP Tour Finals. The Swiss ace has captured the end-of-season title on no less than SIX occasions, and is looking for lucky number seven this week. He heads into the tournament as the world No. 3 having reached the Wimbledon final and the semis in France. But with his supreme record on the hard court in London, Federer will be hoping to extend his record as the most successful player in the history of the tournament.
World-ranked No. 5 Thiem will make his fourth successive ATP Tour Finals appearance this year, but he'll be looking to level up on his past appearances as he's failed to make the semi-finals on each occasion. The 26-year-old Austrian reached his second straight French Open final in 2019, but hasn't yet managed to capture a Grand Slam title. However, he defeated Federer to capture his first ATP Masters 1000 title at Indian Wells early in the year, then captured the China Open title to punch his ticket to London. His five titles put him alongside Djokovic as the man with the most tournament wins in 2019, and he'll be hoping to edge past the Serbian with one final success before the year's end.
Italian Berrettini produced his best Grand Slam year to date, reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon and progressing all the way to the semi-finals at the US Open as he climbed to his highest-ever ranking of eighth ahead of this week's season finale. The tournament outsider, he lacks the big occasion experience of some of his rivals, but the rising Italian star will see the ATP Tour Finals as an opportunity to set the table for a big year in 2020.
The ATP Tour Finals tournament runs from Sunday, November 10 to Sunday, November 17.Also on rt.com No love lost: Female tennis players BRAWL on the court over harsh post-match handshake (VIDEO)