The ATP Tour season concludes over the next eight days when the top eight players of the year head to Turin for the ATP World Tour Finals, the showpiece occasion to round off what has been a wonderful campaign of tennis.
Novak Djokovic got his hands back on this title for the first time since 2015 last year and he will be expected to retain the title but plenty of others know that he is vulnerable in this format which should make for a good week of tennis.
2022 – Novak Djokovic
2021 – Alexander Zverev
2020 – Daniil Medvedev
2019 – Stefanos Tsitsipas
2018 – Alexander Zverev
2017 – Grigor Dimitrov
2016 – Andy Murray
2015 – Novak Djokovic
2014 – Novak Djokovic
2013 – Novak Djokovic
We have already had the draw for the singles and doubles events which have seen the eight players and teams put into two groups of four for the opening round. That sees each player or pair playing the other three in their group. At the end of that stage the top two in each group move into the semi-finals where the winner of one group plays the runner up of the other one. The two winning semi-finalists meet in the final for the title on the second Sunday of the event. Each singles match is the best of three sets with a tiebreak in the decider while the doubles are the best of three sets with the third set being a match tiebreak.
The defending champion Novak Djokovic is the number one in the world and as such he is the top seed in the tournament and he heads up the Green Group as a result of that. He looks to be in a tough section of the draw though as he is in with the Canadian Open winner Jannik Sinner who will be out to entertain on home soil. Stefanos Tsitsipas has a decent record towards the end of a season and he is a tough third seed while the group is completed by the lively debutant Holger Rune who has been hitting the ball well recently.
Carlos Alcaraz has been towards the top of the game for a while now and he makes his debut in the tournament as the top seed in the Red Group this week. The exciting Spanish youngster has lost three of his last five matches heading in here so he will have needed to find his best form again. That is particularly the case because his section looks tough too. Daniil Medvedev took care of Alcaraz at the US Open and he is in this group, as is Andrey Rublev who comes in here having won plenty of matches in Asia and in Paris. The section is completed by the 2018 and 2021 champion Alexander Zverev.
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It isn’t all about the singles this week. Once again the doubles will complement the action and we should get a very competitive tournament from the eight pairs on show. The number one seeds in this edition are the Croatian player Ivan Dodig and his American partner Austin Krajicek. They are the top pair in the Green Group and will go in against the Mexican-French pairing of Santiago Gonzalez and Edouard Roger-Vasselin. Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos have been in this tournament before which could be an advantage to them while the Argentine pair of Maximo Gonzalez and Andres Molteni will make their debut at the finals.
The Red Group in the doubles tournament looks like an absolute cracker as three of the four Grand Slam winners are in it. Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski won Wimbledon this year and they pair up for the final time this week. Rohan Bopanna and Matthew Ebden lost out in the final of the US Open to Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury and both teams take their chance in this group while the Australian Open champions Rinky Hijikata and Jason Kubler complete a very good looking field.
You have to go all the way back to Rome for the last time Daniil Medvedev won a singles title but he has done everything but win one since then. He made the semi-finals at Wimbledon and the final at the US Open, in Beijing and in Vienna so he looks to be in decent form and I’m a little surprised that we can get 13/2 on him to win this title this week, especially as he knows he has the beating of all three men in his group.
Medvedev won this title in 2020 and was the beaten finalist in 2021 and last year he must have run over a number of black cats or something because he lost all three matches in the round robin phase in a deciding set tiebreak, two of those to Novak Djokovic and Stefanos Tsitsipas who are in the other group this year. The Russian is a good player indoors as we’ve seen in Paris and in this tournament and in the easier of the two groups I think the 13/2 on him here is too big to ignore.
I think we are in for a really competitive doubles competition this week and that is highlighted in the fact that it is 4/1 the field in the outright markets with bookmakers struggling to separate the top two seeded pairs. I would probably side with Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek over Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski of the two pairs though with the latter splitting after this tournament. Teams always say they want to go out on a high but deep down Skupski will know he needs a new partner for 2024.
The pair I actually think are a decent price are Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos. They have had an underrated year having made the final at Wimbledon and two other Grand Slam semi-finals as well as winning the Masters 1000 event in Shanghai recently. Granollers won this title in London alongside Marc Lopez and these two have made the semi-final of this event in 2020 and 2021 and while they didn’t come out of the group last year, two of their three matches went to a match tiebreak. The Spanish-Argentine pair are in much the easier looking group here, one I expect them to escape from quite comfortably and at 6/1 I think they’re the team to beat.
Back D.Medvedev to win ATP World Tour Finals (e/w) for a 2/10 stake at 7.50 with BetVictor (1/3 1-2)
Back M.Granollers & H.Zeballos (e/w) for a 2/10 stake at 7.00 with Bet365 (1/3 1-2)