LONDON, UK - The best of the best on the ATP World Tour have descended on London for the Nitto ATP Finals, and the Tennis Channel is bringing all of the action to you live throughout the week.
Here are 10 Things To Know at the Nitto ATP Finals on Monday:
1. Federer and Zverev are already on the board. Group Boris Becker played its first round robin matches on Sunday, with No.2 seed Roger Federer beating No.8 seed Jack Sock for his 50th win of the year, 6-4 7-6(4), and No.3 seed Alexander Zverev battling past No.5 seed Marin Cilic, 6-4 3-6 6-4.
Here are some highlights of Federer’s milestone win:
2. Nadal, Thiem, Dimitrov and Goffin debut today. No.4 seed Dominic Thiem plays No.6 seed Grigor Dimitrov in the daytime and No.1 seed Rafael Nadal plays No.7 seed David Goffin at night.
3. Nadal has by far the most ATP Finals experience in this group. The World No.1 is playing this event for the eighth time (he’s actually qualified 13 times now but had to withdraw five of those times). Meanwhile, Thiem has qualified for just the second time, and Dimitrov and Goffin the first time each.
4. Nadal also dominates this group head-to-head-wise. The Spaniard has a 17-3 record against the other three players combined. Meanwhile, Thiem is 7-12, Dimitrov is 5-13 and Goffin is 7-8.
5. Thiem and Dimitrov have two of the best one-handed backhands on the tour. They’re the second and third highest ranked players with one-handed backhands after, of course, Federer.
6. Thiem leads Dimitrov in their head-to-head, 2-1. But they’re tied 1-1 on hardcourts and they’ve never played on indoor hardcourts. Also, their last meeting could easily have put Dimitrov up 2-1 in the head-to-head - Thiem saved five match points to edge the Bulgarian in Madrid earlier this year:
7. Nadal hasn’t lost his opening match at the ATP Finals since 2009. Robin Soderling got him in his opening match that year - since then he’s won his last four opening matches in a row at this event.
8. Nadal’s playing his first match since a knee injury took him out in Paris. Having already clinched year-end No.1 by winning his opening match there, Nadal withdrew before his quarterfinal match at the Masters 1000 event in Paris due to a right knee injury. How will it hold up against Goffin?
9. Goffin’s going for his first career win over a World No.1. The Belgian’s best win to date came against a World No.2 with a win over Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals of Monte Carlo this year.
10. Nadal’s beaten Goffin in straight sets both times they’ve played. Like Thiem and Dimitrov, Nadal and Goffin’s last meeting came at Madrid earlier this year - Nadal won in straights, 7-6(3) 6-2: