LONDON, November 8, 2019 (Sponsored)
The Nitto ATP Finals is the final tournament of men’s professional tennis season, featuring only the world’s best eight qualified singles players and doubles teams as they battle it out for the last title of the season. The 2019 edition held at London’s O2 Arena will be headlined by Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, who first all competed at the season finale in 2007. Twelve years on, it could be the last ATP Finals event to feature all of the “big three”.
The trio have played 16 matches and 32 sets against each other at the year-end climax. Between them, they have delivered 11 titles, and helped to transform the tournament from an end-of-season hit into one of the sport’s most prestigious titles.
We broke down their head-to-head numbers and analysed whether they have dominated the ATP Finals like they dominate Grand Slam tournaments.
Federer, the oldest of the trio, had three attempts at winning the ATP Finals (winning twice) before either Djokovic or Nadal were involved, so it is no surprise the Swiss maestro has won it most often.
The 38-year-old has played this event 14 times overall, winning on six of those attempts (42.9 per cent).
Djokovic’s numbers are even better, winning the title on five of 11 attempts (45.5 percent).
All of those victories came when Federer was competing, though Nadal only featured in two of them.
Nadal, who hopes to be ready for the tournament despite suffering from a right abdominal injury, has not won the event in eight attempts, although he has never competed in one when either of the other two have been missing.
Federer has won three of the six ATP Tour Finals that the trio have all played in, with Russian Nikolay Davydenko winning the other in 2009.
Djokovic’s head-to-head record stacks up for individual matches as well.
The 32-year-old from Serbia leads Federer 4-2 in match-ups at this event, though one of those was the 2014 final when the Swiss pulled out beforehand because of injury.
Djokovic also beats Nadal on head-to-head, 3-2 in this instance, and has won both of their meetings since 2010.
Taking all of this into account, Djokovic should be considered the greatest of the three at the prestigious tournament in London.
Djokovic also boasts a superior head-to-head record against both Federer and Nadal in hard-court majors, suggesting that suitability to the surface is one of the biggest deciding factors in winning the ATP Tour Finals.
The Serb leads Federer 6-4 in head-to-head records at the US Open and Australian Open combined and is beating Nadal 3-2 across the same events.
Yet, the impact of the ATP Tour Finals being an indoor tournament is proved by Federer’s head-to-head record against Nadal.
The current World No. 3 is very well known for his indoor record. The lack of wind ensures that conditions remain consistent, so hitting through the line of the ball and hand-eye co-ordination are attributes that flourish.
It explains why he is trailing 3-1 to Nadal in hard-court majors but beating him 4-1 in the at the final tournament of the season. Some of the figures were taken from an article by Betway Tennis.