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Ricky’s pick for the Nitto ATP Finals final: Djokovic vs. Sinner

Novak Djokovic and Jannik Sinner will be squaring off for the fifth time in their careers and for the second time this week when they battle for the title at the Nitto ATP Finals on Sunday evening.

They faced each other in round-robin competition on Tuesday, when Sinner treated his Italian fans to a 7-5, 6-7(5), 7-6(2) upset. It was a thrilling contest that lasted three hours and nine minutes. That was Sinner’s first victory over Djokovic in four tries, although he had been competitive at Wimbledon in 2022 (lost from two sets up in the quarterfinals).

This rematch should be another good one. Sinner is obviously the underdog on paper, but he can’t be discounted. After all, the world No. 4 just beat Djokovic earlier in the tournament. Moreover, he is undefeated at this year-end championship–having also posted wins over Stefanos Tsitsipas, Holger Rune, and Daniil Medvedev. The 22-year-old improved his overall 2023 record to 61-14 by beating Medvedev 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-1 in the semifinals.

Despite going 2-1 in the Green Group, Djokovic’s destiny was in Sinner’s hands on Thursday. Had the Italian lost to Rune, Djokovic would have been eliminated. Instead, by virtue of Sinner’s victory it was Rune who got knocked out and the 36-year-old Serb secured a semifinal spot. With a new lease on life, Djokovic drubbed Carlos Alcaraz 6-2, 6-2 on Saturday.

Given Djokovic’s form in the semis and his history of success at the Nitto ATP Finals, it’s almost impossible to pick against him. Again, though, this should be another enthralling contest.

Pick: Djokovic in 3

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