Tennis

ATP Finals 2018: Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer lead elite eight-player London field

The ATP Finals return to London for 2018 with the top eight players in the world battling it out for supremacy.

The season-ending event has become prestigious due to the number of points on offer, and in the eyes of many, has become the unofficial fifth Grand Slam, with the winner walking away with a maximum of 1,500 points.

We look at the groups and eight players to have secured their spot in the field at the O2 Arena after the Paris Masters brought the regular season to an end.

Singles – Group Guga Kuerten

1. Novak Djokovic (Points: 8,045)

Despite defeat against Karen Khachanov in the Paris Masters final there can be no doubting the 14-time Grand Slam champion is back to near his very best.

Djokovic became the first man to complete a career sweep of all nine Masters 1000 Series titles by winning the Cincinnati Masters in August – either side of major titles at Wimbledon and the US Open – before he added his fourth Shanghai Masters title in October.

The 31-year-old booked his Finals appearance at the same time as Roger Federer – on September 8 – by defeating Kei Nishikori in the last four at Flushing Meadows. After his return to world No 1 he will be intent on finishing his season in style with a sixth title at the season finale.

  • Djokovic to meet Zverev in London
  • Djokovic’s return to world No 1

3. Alexander Zverev (Points: 5,085)

The 21-year-old will make his second consecutive appearance at the season finale and will be aiming to progress past the round-robin stage for the first time.

Zverev has again struggled to impress on the Grand Slam stage this year – progressing to the second week for the first time at Roland Garros – as he seeks to demonstrate why he is so highly regarded.

Zverev’s most eye-catching title came at the Madrid Open in May, while he was also triumphant at the Bavarian Championships in his native Germany as well as the Citi Open in Washington – and accumulated enough points to book his spot in London after a run to the Shanghai semi-finals.

5. Marin Cilic (Points: 4,050)

Cilic qualified for the tournament for the fourth consecutive year with a run to the Paris Masters quarter-finals and pushed Djokovic the distance with an impressive performance.

The Croatian world No 6, whose only title this year came at Queen’s Club where he defeated Djokovic in the final, has suffered successive early exits in Tokyo, Shanghai and Basel to harm his hopes.

He was a Grand Slam runner-up at the Australian Open this year and will surely prove a stern test in the capital.

8. John Isner (Points: 3,155)

The tall American found his way in to the season-ending tournament after Nadal’s withdrawal due to an ankle injury, but some would argue that the 33-year-old deserves his spot.

Isner claimed the biggest title of his 14-year career as he defeated Alexander Zverev to win the Miami Masters earlier this year and then captured his fifth Atlanta title in the summer.

He lost out in a five-set semi-final epic to Kevin Anderson at Wimbledon before going down in four sets to Del Potro in the quarter-finals of the US Open. The big server could be a real danger man at the O2.

Singles – Group Lleyton Hewitt

2. Roger Federer (Points: 6,020)

Federer enjoyed a positive week in the French capital and was unfortunate to reach the final after a thrilling semi-final encounter against Djokovic, which was decided by a decisive tie-break.

The Swiss great won the first Grand Slam of 2018 by defeating Cilic in the Australian Open final and has added three 500 Series titles since his Melbourne triumph by winning the Rotterdam Open, Halle Open and Swiss Indoors in Basel for his ninth hometown title.

Federer last won the ATP Finals in 2011 and, having suffered two showpiece defeats against Djokovic in 2014 and 2015, he will be determined to win his 100th title in a city which has provided plenty of memorable highs in his illustrious career.

4. Kevin Anderson (Points: 4,310)

Anderson won the longest Wimbledon semi-final in history, beating American John Isner 26-24 in the fifth set to make his second Grand Slam final. But he ran out of steam against Djokovic and fell to a second showpiece defeat in straight sets after losing to Nadal at the US Open last year.

The big-hitting South African is enjoying his best year yet, at the age of 32, and is expected to prove a tough obstacle for opponents on his debut appearance in London.

He won the ATP 250 event in New York earlier this year as well as finishing as runner-up in Pune and Acapulco before his maiden ATP 500 title with victory against Nishikori in Vienna.

6. Dominic Thiem (Points: 3,895)

The clay-court specialist will come into the ATP Finals in confident mood after his encouraging run to the Paris Masters semi-final, before his defeat by eventual champion Karen Khachanov.

Thiem has enjoyed a positive season with his run to the French Open and also won the Argentina Open and Lyon Open on clay before adding a St Petersburg Open hard-court win in September.

Austria’s 25-year-old was seeded fourth at last year’s Finals but crashed out at the round-robin stage.

7. Kei Nishikori (Points: 3,390)

Nishikori benefited from Del Potro’s withdrawal through a right knee injury, sustained at the Shanghai Masters, to book his spot in the field.

The world No 9 reached the semi-finals back in 2016 – his third consecutive participation in the tournament – and having begun his year by playing in Challenger tournaments has done well to reach London.

Despite putting himself in position for an ATP title this season he is yet to do so after defeat against Anderson in Vienna was the third time he had lost in a showpiece this year.

Karen Khachanov, who beat Djokovic for his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title at the Paris Masters, and Borna Coric are first and second alternates respectively in the singles field.

  • ‘Khachanov is the real deal’

ORDER OF PLAY – SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 11

CENTRE COURT start 12:00 noon
[4] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA) vs [6] R. Klaasen (RSA) / M. Venus (NZL)
Not Before 2:00 pm
[4] K. Anderson (RSA) vs [6] D. Thiem (AUT)

Not Before 6:00 pm
[2] J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL) vs [7] N. Mektic (CRO) / A. Peya (AUT)
Not Before 8:00 pm
[2] R. Federer (SUI) vs [7] K. Nishikori (JPN)

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 12

CENTRE COURT start 12:00 noon
[1] O. Marach (AUT) / M. Pavic (CRO) vs [8] P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA)
Not Before 2:00 pm
[3] A. Zverev (GER) vs [5] M. Cilic (CRO)

Not Before 6:00 pm
[3] L. Kubot (POL) / M. Melo (BRA) vs [5] M. Bryan (USA) / J. Sock (USA)
Not Before 8:00 pm
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [8] J. Isner (USA)

Live Tennis: ATP World Tour Finals

November 11, 2018, 1:45pm

Live on

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We will have coverage of the ATP Finals at London’s O2 in November with every match live on Sky Sports.


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