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Djokovic in difficult Nitto ATP Finals group with Tsitsipas and Medvedev, Nadal with Auger-Aliassime

The 2022 Nitto ATP Finals draw ceremony was held on Thursday afternoon in Turin, and it resulted in one group being decidedly more difficult on paper.

Novak Djokovic went into the pool as the No. 7 seed, so there was always a chance that the round-robin quartets were going to be skewed. That is exactly what happened, as Djokovic landed in a loaded Red Group with Stefanos Tsitsipas, Daniil Medvedev, and Andrey Rublev. Rafael Nadal, who is the No. 1 seed with Carlos Alcaraz unable to participate, headlines the Green Group alongside Casper Ruud, Felix Auger-Aliassime, and Taylor Fritz.

Only a red-hot Auger-Aliassime instead of Andrey Rublev would have made the Red Group even tougher than it is.

Here are the groups:

Green Group
1. Rafael Nadal
4. Casper Ruud
5. Felix Auger-Aliassime
8. Taylor Fritz

Red Group
2. Stefanos Tsitsipas
3. Daniil Medvedev
6. Andrey Rublev
7. Novak Djokovic

The Green Group will kick off the 2022 year-end championship festivities on Sunday, with the first afternoon singles match belonging to Ruud and Auger-Aliassime. Nadal and Fritz will cap off the opening night session. Djokovic will begin his Turin campaign against Stefanos Tsitsipas on Monday night, preceded by an afternoon-session battle between Medvedev and Rublev.

Djokovic (2008, 2012-15), Tsitsipas (2019), and Medvedev (2020) are the only former champions in this year’s field–and they are all in the same group. In the Green Group, the four competitors have combined for just two final appearances–both by Nadal (runner-up to Roger Federer in 2010 and to Djokovic in 2013).

Nadal has compiled a 2-1 round-robin record in each of his last two trips to the Nitto ATP Finals but failed to qualify for the semifinals in 2019 and lost in the 2020 semis to Medvedev.

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