10sBalls.com • TennisBalls.com

Ricky’s picks for the Nitto ATP Finals field in 2024

With the 2024 tennis season underway and the Australian Open on the immediate horizon, it’s time to make annual predictions for the field of eight at the Nitto ATP Finals.

Here we go!

1. Novak Djokovic – Djokovic won three of the four slams in 2023, came within a set of winning a fourth, and won the Nitto ATP Finals. Needless to say, the 36-year-old was the dominant player on tour last season and probably should be ahead by even more than 2,390 points (his current lead over Carlos Alcaraz in the rankings). Djokovic may up there in age relative to the rest of the top players, but he is the fittest guy in the sport and is showing no signs of slowing down. Another year-end No. 1 ranking should be expected.

2. Carlos Alcaraz – Alcaraz missed the Aussie 2023 Open and wasn’t 100 percent until March (and he was hobbled at Roland Garros). That’s one argument for him to finish in the top spot this season–if he stays healthy the entire way. Of course, don’t forget that Djokovic was unable to play either Indian Wells or Miami and the Serb still finished comfortably atop the rankings at the end of this past year. It’s likely just a matter of time before Alcaraz adds to his year-end No. 1 count, but for now I have him once again at No. 2.

3. Jannik Sinner – Sinner climbing to No. 4 was my best pick in my 2023 year-end predictions. The Italian was awesome from start to finish last year and was especially amazing throughout the fall swing, setting the stage for an even better 2024. Arguments can be made for Sinner to reach No. 1 as soon as this year. I’ll continue to be high on him but will settle for the third spot simply because Djokovic and Alcaraz are so good.

4. Daniil Medvedev – With Djokovic and Alcaraz sharing the major titles and Sinner red hot late in the year, Medvedev was mostly under the radar last season. Nonetheless, he turned in another outstanding campaign on the ATP Tour. Medvedev won a surprise clay-court Masters 1000 title in Rome, advanced to the semifinals of Wimbledon, and made it to the U.S. Open final. If he can keep that up on all three surfaces, this self-proclaimed hard-court specialist has every reason to stay in the top four.

5. Alexander Zverev – Zverev was basically hopeless for the first two months of 2023 after making his return from a terrible ankle injury at Roland Garros in 2022. Despite that, the German still finished at seventh in the rankings. Zverev came on strong late in the season after he was 100 percent physically, so it stands to reason that the 26-year-old will be better in 2024 from start to finish. He certainly got off to a roaring start at the United Cup.

6. Andrey Rublev – I had Rublev out of the top eight last year and that was a bad decision. I’m not going to make that mistake again; I’m back on the Rublev bandwagon where I belong. He may not ever win a slam (at this point just a SF appearance would be nice!), but Rublev is far too consistent to be left out of the Nitto ATP Finals. The Russian never has a bad year; he barely ever has a bad tournament. Most importantly, he is great on every surface and that allows him to rack up points on a consistent basis.

7. Hubert Hurkacz – Hurkacz has been frustrating to watch in recent years. Th Pole has been good–but not as good as he should be given that he is the prototypical player for success in this era: 6’5”, moves extremely well for a man of his size, and has the biggest serve in the sport (in terms of sheer number of aces). Aside from a run to the SFs at the All-England Club in 2021, the 26-year-old has stunk up the joint at majors. If he can clean that up even a little bit, Hurkacz should find himself in Turin.

8. Alex de Minaur – I feel like I have to have a longshot pick in here–and this is it! It is true that De Minaur’s ceiling is low relatively to everyone else on this list simply because he doesn’t have a ton of offensive firepower. However, sneaking into the top eight is not out of the question mainly due to the fact that the top four (and perhaps even the top six) will hog so many points that it may not require a whole lot to reach seventh or eighth. De Minaur is already into the top 10 for the first time and that’s even without doing much of anything at the four majors in 2023.

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