The 2021 ATP Finals are now around the corner and yesterday the draw for the two groups (red and green, in honor of the Italian flag) took place. The big favorite Novak Djokovic happened together with Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrey Rublev and Casper Ruud, while the number 2 of the seeding Daniil Medvedev will face Alexander Zverev, Matteo Berrettini and Hubert Hurkacz.
Being the first edition in Turin, there is great anticipation among fans and professionals. At the same time, there is no doubt that the absences of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal take away the appeal of the event, even if the Swiss and the Spaniard are now far from the glories of the past.
The 40-year-old from Basel played the misery of 13 official matches in 2021, before undergoing surgery on his right knee again. Rafa, for his part, was limited to just seven tournaments by a chronic foot injury. During a recent interview with rts.ch, Marc Rosset expressed some strong opinions on the eve of the year-end Masters.
"There are some new faces in this year's edition, which is a positive aspect, but we are far from the appeal and interest that there was at the O2 Arena in London. Hurkacz did very well at Wimbledon, but there is no denying that some of these guys got through to minor tournaments.
People want to see legends like Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray or Stan Wawrinka at the Masters, not guys who have secured their place by playing a myriad of ATP 250s," Rosset ruled. "To be quite honest, I don't remember a less attractive edition of the ATP Finals than the one we are about to live", he added to the dose.
Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev are the only Slam winners present in Turin. "I don't want to disrespect Hurkacz, Ruud or Rublev, but they still achieved too little in the major tournaments. Zverev can no longer postpone his appointment with success in a Grand Slam and the same goes for Tsitsipas.
This would give more credit to the event next year," he commented.
ATP Finals 2021: the groups
The countdown is getting shorter and shorter, with a few days of waiting for the official opening of the curtain. On Sunday 14 November the Nitto ATP Finals 2021 will definitively begin at the PalaAlpiTour in Turin: a truly prestigious tournament, which will take place in Italy, reserved exclusively for the best eight tennis players in the world in the Race ranking (only the points collected by the players in the current season count).
On Thursday evening, the highly anticipated draw of the two groups took place, which established the pairing for the first part of the competition. The formula has not changed: after a round robin, in which each participant will play three races (the winner gets 2 points; the loser none), the first two of each group will snatch the pass for the next phase, which will consist of a semifinal and then in the final for the awarding of the crown.
Matteo Berrettini is the Italian sure to take part in the prestigious appointment, given that Jannik Sinner will be only the first reserve. The Italian was not very lucky with the assignment of the groups, even if it was particularly difficult to have a favorable draw for the passage of the round, considering the high value of the tennis players at the starting line.
The 25-year-old from Rome avoided the immediate crossing with Novak Djokovic, consequently taking Russian Daniil Medvedev. In addition, the German Olympic champion Alexander Zverev and the Polish Hubert Hurkacz are present in the red group.
Surely, and there was no doubt about this, The Hammer will have to fight hard to get a sensational qualification for the semifinal, given the excellent performances of its rivals on hard courts. He will present himself as the man to beat Nole, fresh from the victory in the Paris-Bercy Master 1000 and eager to get another satisfaction in this splendid 2021 (to be framed).
The Serbian was perhaps a bit of an advantage: with him in the Green Group will be the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas (his participation confirmed), the Russian Andrey Rublev and the tough Norwegian Casper Ruud. The groups Green Group: Djokovic, Tsitsipas, Rublev, Ruud Red Group: Medvedev, Zverev, Berrettini, Hurkacz