In recent years, Novak Djokovic has done a great job both on and off the pitch. The number 1 in the world has come close to the Calendar Grand Slam this season, as well as posting his 37th career Masters 1000. Thanks to the ride in the Paris-Bercy tournament, the Serbian champion has secured the mathematical certainty of ending the year at the top of the ATP ranking for the seventh time ever (thus surpassing his idol Pete Sampras).
In August last year, the 20-time Grand Slam champion founded the Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA) together with colleague and friend Vasek Pospisil. This association represents the top 500 ATP singles players and the top 200 doubles players.
Nole came up with this idea with the aim of helping second tier tennis players through a more equitable distribution of cash prizes. In a recent interview with AS, WTA legend Billie Jean King highlighted how Djokovic exposed himself more to political issues than his eternal rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Billie Jean King said: "Novak Djokovic is unique and different from all the others. In addition to being very intelligent, he has always been more outspoken than Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal about possible changes in tennis.
I would like Roger and Rafa to expose themselves more outside the pitch. Federer has launched the initiative to unite the ATP and the WTA during the pandemic, but there is still a lot of work to be done." According to Billie Jean, the ATP Tour is in excellent health right now: "At the time of the rivalry between Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert, there were complaints about the lack of depth of the WTA tour.
Now the same thing is said about the ATP circuit. You always want what you don't have. It would be great to have it all, but you have to stick to reality. The level of competitiveness has increased significantly compared to the past, there are many guys who deserve the right attention.
I see a bright future ahead of us."
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