Djokovic Hails 'Perfect Five Months,' Targets ATP Finals Glory

Rafael Nadal has pulled out of next week’s ATP Tour Finals in London due to injury. —AFP  File

Rafael Nadal has pulled out of next week’s ATP Tour Finals in London due to injury. —AFP File

Djokovic seems to be the clear favorite to qualify as the victor from here; I do not expect Cilic, Zverev or Isner to give him too much trouble.

Djokovic looks the man most likely to deny Federer a 100th Tour title, having resumed the dominance he displayed in 2011, 2015 and 2016.

Nishikori would lose in the final of the Vienna Open to Wimbledon finalist Kevin Anderson in but a quarter-finals defeat to Roger Federer at the Paris Masters last week and the unfortunate withdrawal from the end of year championships due to injury from Juan Martin Del Potro secured Nishikori's berth at the tour finals for the fourth time in his career.

He joins tennis legends Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal who will also be honoured at the ceremony that will be held on Friday evening's award presentations at the Official Launch of the Nitto ATP Finals. The Serb's 7-6 (6), 5-7, 7-6 (3) win over Federer last week at the Paris Masters was yet another reiteration of the incredibly competitive nature of their matches. "I don't have much to lose, so I'll play loose and free".

For now, with the ATP Finals about to begin in London on Sunday, Connors's record is visible on the horizon, but hardly close enough to touch for Federer.

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His first opponent, Kevin Anderson, has qualified for just the first time in his successful career.

"It seemed to me that Sampras and Agassi had to be out of the picture before Federer gained the confidence to win". Isner has been drawn in the same group as Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev and Marin Cilic, with the top two playing off against the top seeds from the second group for ultimate honours.

"Lucky for me", he said.

A champion's mentality instilled by Chang and Nishikori at his own accord saw him win a Challenger event at the beginning of the year in Dallas - It was back to basics. It has been a momentous year for the 32-year-old Anderson, who reached a career high of World No 5 in July and has become the first South African since Wayne Ferreira in 1995 to play in the season finale.

Anderson booked his place in the elite tournament by winning the Austrian Open recently, his second ATP title of the season. The Japanese has also had the better of Thiem the last time the two guys met, in the Vienna quarterfinal. With Rafael Nadal out of the mix this year, Djokovic and Federer are the players to beat and Thiem could be just the player to make an impact. I expect the match between Zverev and Cilic to be the eventual quarterfinal.

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