ATP Finals Groups: Djokovic, Federer Clear Favorites

by Staff | November 6th, 2018, 10:38 pm

The groupings for the ATP Finals were announced Monday for the year-end event which begins on Sunday.

Former champions and favorites Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer are the only players to have made the finals of the tournament before.

Year-end No. 1 Djokovic is mixed in with big men Alexander Zverev, Marin Cilic and John Isner, all of whom are at least 6-foot-6. Overall, the Serb is 25-5 against those three players.

While Federer deals with Kevin Anderson, Dominic Thiem and former semifinalist Kei Nishikori. Federer is 13-4 against his fellow Hewitt group foes.

John Isner is the lone debutant among the eight. Four players – Federer, Cilic, Nishikori and Thiem – return from last year.

Federer has won the title six times, Djokovic five, so 11 of the last 15 years the title as gone to one of those two. The 19th-ranked 2017 champion Grigor Dimitrov did not make it back to the event.

Karen Khachanov and Borna Coric will serve as the alternates. Rafael Nadal and Juan Martin del Potro were both withdrawals.

Matches begin Sunday with the Hewitt group featuring Federer-Nishikori and Thiem-Anderson. On Monday, Djokovic meets Isner and Cilic battles Zverev.

Singles – Group Guga Kuerten
[1] Novak Djokovic (SRB)
[3] Alexander Zverev (GER)
[5] Marin Cilic (CRO)
[8] John Isner (USA)

Singles – Group Lleyton Hewitt
[2] Roger Federer (SUI)
[4] Kevin Anderson (RSA)
[6] Dominic Thiem (AUT)
[7] Kei Nishikori (JPN)

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24 Comments for ATP Finals Groups: Djokovic, Federer Clear Favorites

Humble Rafa Says:

My thoughts and prayers to all those still playing at this time of the year.

J-Kath Says:

Sorri folks to veer from the O2 chat – but given there is not a lot, I thought I’d comment that Andy Murray is playing Brisbane Int. (New Year’s Eve) – supposedly back to full health – Inshallah!

AndyMira Says:

Yeah JK!….Insyaallah!…C’mon Andy!

J-Kath Says:

Re. above –
Rafa 3rd
Novak 14th.

AndyMira: What is the correct spelling for “Inshallah”?

Giles Says:
Rafa fans.
Wow our boy won the Stefan Edberg Award.πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‡«πŸ‡΄

Giles Says:

Sorry, cross out the last emoji. Lol

AndyMira Says:

Congrats Rafa & other winners as well!

JK….It doesn’t matter whether we write “Insyaallah” or “Inshaallah” from Islam POV… it’s still sounds the same in Arabic[Al Quran]…So,it’s not wrong…We Malaysian use to the “Insyaallah”..but your “inshaallah” also correct…And thank u for using it JK!

skeezer Says:

Congrats Rafa. Proof that this is not a custom award for Federer. Question is will Novak ever have a shot at winnin this award? Doubt it, His behavior on court speaks for itself.

Van Persie Says:

Yes, Congrats to Rafa. Am glad he won the award and honestly wish him to feel better next year !


Thank you for worrying for “my guy” never winning this. But you should be more worried about: Will Fed be able ever again to win a match against Nole?:)

skeezer Says:

Not worried. Fed is too old already. Just happy he is competing at such a high level at this age. He has accomplished enough :)
Note on ATP awards: Fed won Fans favorite for the 15TH year in a row. Ya mon!

Van Persie Says:

If this helps you sleep better, enjoy the 15 awards. If Nole and Rafa will play at a high level for 2-3 years more, those awards might remain Roger’s last record in tennis.

Daniel Says:

VP, 2-3 years for both of them is a bit much. Maybe, big maybe for Djoko.

Nadal is already right now 32 and a half. Djoko 31 and a half. Even Federer with his unique, efortless, effective game wasn’t bale to play full season after 35, but won Slams at 35 and 1 at 36 and a half.

Nadal is already not able to play back to back full seasons. 2017 he played all year but got injured at the tail end. This year out almost 5 months.

Let’s see how Djoko will fare next 6 months closing a 12 month spam after his “official” come back (from Rome onwards) as he is currently injured free. But already showing sign a stress week can hhurt. Had one long match with Fed and nothing in the tank for next round, and thta fater resting 2 weeks post Shangai. 2-3 years ago that wouldn’t happen.

I would be very surpirsed, almost shocked if Nadal or Djoko win a Slam at 35. Maybe Djoko but Nadal, to me is impossible. Next year maybe be his last Slam winning year. He has the RG-USO 4 month spam, after that, 33 and a half and his body is starting to show age and stress.

Realistically, even emulating Fed longevity as Nadal started winning younger, so he has more milage, he has 1 and a haf years left, till RG 2020 where he will turned 34.

Djoko may have 2 and a half years, till USO 2021, when he will be 34 plus.

Daniel Says:

Also I give Fed untill Wimbledon next year as his last shot at Slams. If he wins London undefeated he will finish the year ahead of Nadal as #2. And if you are #2, 2 months away from a Slam you won last 2 years (AO) and 8 from Wimby, you still have a decent shot, considerd top 3 favorite. After that he knows its over, 38, specially with USO and his string of bad and strange losses there. He will probably just play for 110 total titles and qualify for last Olympics in 2020. Some point in 2020-2021 he will retire.

Humble Rafa Says:

Proof that this is not a custom award for Federer

The award is for players under 35. He won the senior award in the category.

chris ford1 Says:

1. Novak Djokovic confirmed the Saudi exo is cancelled. “Due to Nadal’s surgery (35 minutes for a floating bone object in ankle)??? Novak – “Yes”.

2. Fed has talked in the past about possibly doing doubles when his singles career is over. He has a great Swiss example – Martina Hingis was winning big titles in her mid-30s in regular and mixed doubles. Daniel is right I think about Fed’s remaining life expectancy in singles. But it may not be “over” – not when he could have a glory run like Hingis in doubles. And maybe try in mixed doubles at the Olympics….It would be great for him, for his sponsors, and to help pro tennis’s doubles sport by getting it more airtime and attention.

3. Fed’s USO travails are a big part of his career, coupled with his success in years before. He dominated the USO as much as he did Wimbledon up to 2008. Then while he won several more titles at other Slams after 2008, his reign at the USO ended 10 years ago. He lost 3 big, dispiriting matches to Djokovic, 2 to Delpo, Berdych rose to fully meet his potential in another tough loss, Robredo got him, hit Marin Cilic in the semis when Cilic had his brief time as unbeatable in 2014’s USO. Amazingly, he never faced Rafa at the USO – likely would have lost badly to Nadal in the 2010 and 2011 finals if Djokovic hadn’t snatched victory from the jaws of defeat away from Fed those two years. Obviously, the competition got tougher in 2008 onwards.

skeezer Says:

“If this helps you sleep better, enjoy the 15 awards. If Nole and Rafa will play at a high level for 2-3 years more, those awards might remain Roger’s last record in tennis.”

Ain’t happening.
It makes me sleep better knowing he has all this:

J-Kath Says:

Still think, Roger would like to crown his career with an Olympic gold in singles. These are 3 setters…if he prepares well, and is fresh, is possible.

Humble Rafa Says:

He has a great Swiss example

Examples such as
1)Do drugs
2) Beat and cheat on your spouse
3) Be a sore loser.

Good examples, for sure.

Humble Rafa Says:


Olympics schedule is horrendous. Three setters, yes but it is for us young kids. As a young kid and Olympics singles gold medalist, I know.

J-Kath Says:

Humble Rafa: If you prefer B-Dath to J-Kath it may be a problem for me when trying to post???????????

J-Kath Says:

Margot: ATP Finals – No listing for Sunday???? Hopefully on Red Button.

AndyMira Says:

Ermm….Last year,Dimitrov won…and it’s a possibility too that this year,player outside the favs can win it…i think Anderson has the most chances to win…

But…i still will go with the ol’ dawg Novak…To me,he’s very very motivated,he’s in freight train with full speed & momentum,he’s very confident…And we all know what’s going to happen when he’s in this mood…

Oh yeah!…that flu!…But the truth is…Novak has the capability of winning whole d@#$ thing even if he’s not at his best…Hehehe…That’s the scary thing!

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