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Tennis 10sBalls Shares Ricky Dimon’s Preview & Predictions For Nitto ATP World Tour Finals in London

Photo by @ATPWorldTour via Twitter

 

 

Ricky’s preview and predictions for the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals in London

 

By Ricky Dimon

 

The selling point of the 2016 World Tour Finals was a two-man battle between Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic for the year-end No. 1 ranking between. In the absences of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, Murray and Djokovic did not disappoint—successfully playing their ways into the final match of the year for both the tournament title and the No. 1 ranking.

 

Now, roles are reversed. Murray and Djokovic are on the sidelines, while Nadal and Federer could turn London’s O2 Arena festivities into another two-man party. But whereas Murray and Djokovic had competition from Stan Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori, and Milos Raonic (among others), Nadal and Federer may be the only ones who can stop themselves. Nadal is struggling with a knee injury that forced him out of the Rolex Paris Masters prior to the quarters and Federer—whose back has been an issue at times—has not captured the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals title since 2011.

 

Of course, it’s not like the six other competitors are pushovers of any sort. Federer’s round-robin foursome could be especially difficult. Alexander Zverev earned two Masters 1000 titles in 2017, Marin Cilic was the Wimbledon runner-up and is making his third appearance in the year-end championship, and Jack Sock is coming off an incredible run to the Paris winner’s trophy.

 

Nadal arguably needed more help from the draw than Federer, and the world No. 1 got it. Thiem has been slumping since the French Open, Grigor Dimitrov is a first-time WTF participant, and Goffin has never been a real threat to the best players (he is a combined 0-8 lifetime versus Federer and Nadal).

 

Federer is more than capable of handling his tough round-robin path and even Nadal at less than 100 percent should be able to survive the waters he must navigate. But the question remains: just how healthy is Nadal? He will obviously have to be at full strength if he wants to stop his current five-match losing streak to Federer.

 

“Let’s see if I am able to be 100 percent to compete,” Nadal cautioned. “I went back home and visited the doctors to do some treatment. I expect the treatment to work and be ready for here. I know I’m confident because I’m having a great season with one event to go. I am here to try my best.

 

“If I play Roger in the final then my chances are less than playing another player,” Nadal said when asked about a potential title match between the top two players in the world. “But I would love to play in the final and if I play Roger then I will try my best to beat him. It’s true that I play Roger every time this year on the surfaces that are better for him. But I will just fight to win my first match of the year against him.”

 

Group A

Rafael Nadal

Dominic Thiem

Grigor Dimitrov

David Goffin

 

Group B

Roger Federer

Alexander Zverev

Marin Cilic

Jack Sock

 

Round-robin predictions:

Group A

Nadal over Goffin in 2

Dimitrov over Thiem in 3

Dimitrov over Nadal in 3

Goffin over Thiem in 3

Nadal over Thiem in 2

Dimitrov over Goffin in 2

 

Group B

Federer over Sock in 2

Cilic over Zverev in 3

Federer over Cilic in 2

Sock over Zverev in 3

Federer over Zverev in 3

Cilic over Sock in 3

 

Semifinals: Federer over Nadal in 2 and Cilic over Dimitrov in 3

Final: Federer over Cilic in 2

 

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

 

Photo by @ATPWorldTour via Twitter

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