LONDON, November 8, 2019
The world’s top eight singles players competing at the 2019 Nitto ATP Finals, to be held in London from 10-17 November, gathered Friday for media day. Here is what they said.
Defending champion Alexander Zverev:
“I didn’t have my best season or the season that I wanted to have, but I am still Top 8 in the world and still made London. So being in the same group as these guys is an unbelievable honour. I wanted to get back here to give myself at least the chance to defend my title and to play some good matches as well. It was a rough year for me, mainly outside the courts, but I am just happy to be back again.”
Stefanos Tsitsipas, who hoisted the trophy at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan last year. The 21-year-old Greek will make his debut at the ATP Finals this year:
“I am very proud of myself. I put a lot of effort and work to get here. It’s a great transition between these two events but I would say that the real deal is here. It’s great to be part of such a prestigious event, which has a long history in our sport. Everyone is dreaming of playing here. It’s the best possible way to end the year.”
Daniil Medvedev has become the first Russian to qualify for the season finale since Nikolay Davydenko clinched the title in 2009:
“All of us young Russian players coming up saw Nikolay winning this title. It was amazing, as he was the only Russian, who managed to win this title here. It feels good to represent my country and I hope that I will be able to play some good tennis and win some matches.”
Rafael Nadal was forced to pull out of the Paris Masters last weekend after suffering an abdominal injury and has been in a race against time to recover:
“I need to go day by day. I’m happy to be here because after last Saturday in Paris I didn’t know if I would have the chance to be here.
“So I’m excited to be here after a couple of years without being able to play. I need to see how things evolve every single day. I have good hopes to be 100 per cent ready for Monday.”
Nadal had been unable to serve because of the injury but said: “I started yesterday, very slow. I have been serving very well in Bercy (Paris), I had good matches, so I am confident that I can be very competitive but of course it’s a tournament that you will face the top guys since the beginning so you need to be 100 per cent ready.
But I really hope I will be able to serve every single day a little better and my hope is to be on Sunday serving normal.”
— ATP Tour (@atptour) November 8, 2019
Matteo Berrettini is the first player from Italy to qualify for the ATP Finals in singles in 41 years:
“I didn’t expect to be here at the beginning of the season. After the US Open everything changed a little bid. I always push myself to be a better person, to be a better player. That’s what I did and I am here. I am happy.”
Dominic Thiem has had one of the best seasons of his career and will compete for the fourth consecutive year at The 02 in London:
“I had a rough start into the season. The title in Indian Wells turned everything around and I am very happy and excited. It was one big personal goal to qualify for the ATP Finals again. It is a big achievement to be one of the best eight players. I am proud of this. I can’t wait that everything starts.
Roger Federer has won more Nitto ATP Finals than anyone in the tournament’s history, with six:
“Playing indoors is where I had my first success on the tour. This is where I made my first points. I feel comfortable.”
Federer withdraw from the ATP Cup in January next year due to family reasons but will play some exhibition tournaments in South America and China during the last month of this year.
“When we had to sign up for the ATP Cup, it was shortly after Wimbledon. For me it always was a logical decision to play the first week of the new season. I always wanted to play the South American exhibition tour but couldn’t do it in the past because of my knee, I couldn’t do it because of the birth of my children or it was simply too much. South America had priority to me to be honest and the ATP Cup, too. But then I realized that Stan was not going to play there and my family wouldn’t travel to Sydney. I decided to stay at home to train some more and make the priority to play the ATP Finals and the Australian Open. I will also have this dream match with Rafa in South Africa. There was something I had to give and that was the ATP Cup, which I was happy to play but it didn’t have that level of importance for me. It was also a little bit connected to the Olympics in Tokyo. My family was always going to travel to Japan and I was trying to come up with a good schedule.”
World No. 2 Novak Djokovic. Nadal takes a 640-point lead in the ATP Rankings over the Serbian into the tournament:
“Of course I would love to be the year-end number one but I always said it was not my personal goal because I did not follow that [path].
“If I did I would be flying to China after New York because I was in a positive position. But that doesn’t mean I am renouncing to try to be number one. Not at all. I am fighting for it.”