The draw for the final tournament of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) took place on Thursday in Turin. It could not be successful by default. The reason is the elite composition of the participants. Russians Daniil Medvedev and Andrei Rublev were in the same group. Serb Novak Djokovic and Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas will compete with them for reaching the semi-finals. This fact greatly complicates the task. Sport tells about the chances of our athletes for the final success.
For most of the tennis audience, the main result of the draw – Djokovic and Rafael Nadal settled in different quartets. Everyone is waiting for their new meeting. After all, they have few matches left to play with each other, given the age of both athletes.
However, Russian interest is directed exclusively towards Medvedev and Rublev. The draw brought them together in one group, which the organizers of the tournament called “Red” (the other – “Green”). The company seeded under the fourth number of Medvedev and the sixth racket of the tournament Rublev was the third number of the world ranking Tsitsipas. And, to the misfortune of three, Djokovic. It is obvious that the Serb does not play at the level of the eighth racket of the world, but much stronger. But for reasons far from sports, Novak did not compete in the Australian and US Opens. Now Djokovic is on a roll. Having missed two of the three most rated tournaments of the season, he still qualified for the final championship of the year.
So it turns out that two Russian tennis players were in the “group of death.” Despite the absence of the first racket of the world Spaniard Carlos Alcaras (withdrew due to injury), Medvedev and Rublev will meet with the “shadow” leader of the rating. Two tennis players advance from the group to the semi-finals. Of course, I would very much like the Russians to take these places. Unfortunately, the chances are slim. Even getting into the coveted four of at least one of them will be a success.Judge for yourself. Medvedev last met with Djokovic a month and a half ago in the final of the tournament in Astana. Then he withdrew after two sets due to an adductor injury. After that, Daniel performed at a tournament in Vienna, where he became the winner. True, then Medvedev flew out of the Paris Masters already in the first round. However, there the reason was clearly not in physical form. Rather, in the psychological, given the criticism of the Russian in the direction of the referee.
The overall statistics of face-to-face meetings between Djokovic and Medvedev is also in favor of the Serb – 7-4. But there is one interesting nuance. In the 2021 US Open final, Novak was over-motivated to win a calendar Grand Slam. If he had beaten Medvedev there, he would have stood on a par with Donald Budge and Rod Laver. However, Djokovic played arguably the biggest match of his career below his ability and lost. Although, of course, Daniel was then super good.
Djokovic also has a chance to make history at the upcoming ATP Finals. If he wins, he will become a six-time champion of the competition. The same number of times the tournament was won by the retired Swiss Roger Federer. Of course, it cannot be argued that this factor will somehow affect Novak. The grand slam is a more iconic achievement. Here, only a statistical fact looms. At the same time, one should not completely exclude that such an idea will not put pressure on the Serbian tennis player.
As for the personal meetings between Djokovic and Rublev, then the score is equal – 1-1. Due to their small number, it is too early to draw serious conclusions. After all, exactly a year ago, Novak and Andrei played each other here, and the Serb was stronger. And Rublev's victory took place in Belgrade, where Djokovic probably had an additional responsibility in the form of a desire not to let his native audience down.Let's talk about Andrey's form. At the last two tournaments – in Vienna and Paris – he won one match each. Quite frankly, it's weak. Although earlier Rublev won the tournament in Gijon. Even though the only rival of his level there can only be called the Austrian Dominik Thiem, who has been suffering recently due to injuries. Before Gijon, at the tournament in Astana, Rublev lost to the fourth opponent in the current group – Tsitsipas.
The half-Russian Greek is now playing his best tennis in his career. Rublev this season, he won not only in Kazakhstan, but also on clay in Madrid. Although for Andrey, who trains in Spain, this coverage is almost native. Rublev himself said that “they play real tennis” on clay. However, Stefanos beat Daniil in the last face-to-face match.
Statistics show that the favorites in the group of Medvedev and Rublev are far from the Russians. Although tennis is beautiful because it is full of episodes when no laws, considerations and layouts work. So just wait for the “red heat”. The matches promise to be exciting.