The 2017 ATP World Tour Finals in London will begin late Sunday night here in Australia with the best 8 players in the world set to battle it out in the biggest tennis tournament outside of grand slam tennis. Players will be split into two groups and play each opponent once in a round robin schedule for the first round of the tournament.
Pete Sampras Group
Roger Federer (2)
The Swiss maestro has drawn to play Jack Sock in the first match of the tournament which should be a comfortable win for him based on current form. After a slight disappointment in his quarter final loss at the US Open he has kept his stellar 2017 form going with strong wins in both Shanghai and Basel since.
With Rafael Nadal coming in under an injury cloud Federer looks the man to beat and make it a record 8th World Tour Finals victory. His biggest challenge could come from drawing the young German Alexander Zverev in his group who remarkably at just 20 years of age holds a 3-2 head to head advantage over Federer including two wins this year and a straight sets victory when they last met.
Alexander Zverev (3)
At just 20 years of age the young German star has risen to number three in the world after a highly impressive 2017 season where he took out five titles. He did struggle a little bit at grand slam level though with just the one Fourth Round appearance coming at Wimbledon, but with just the best of 3 sets to be played here that shouldn't factor in too much.
At odds of $10 with the bookies he could be the player who represents the best value as we know he can beat the best players in the world regularly.
Marin Cilic (5)
Despite the fact he only won the one title in 2017, Cilic has been an extremely consistent performer. After making the quarter final at the French Open he finished runner up at both London Queens Club and Wimbledon before solid semi final performances in both Shanghai and Basel leading in here.
Unfortunately his record against top 10 players was quite poor which will make it a pretty difficult task here and there are definitely others which represent much better value.
Jack Sock (9)
As the rank outsider of the group Jack Sock looks up against it here to even register a win in the round robin period. He is 0-4 this year against his opponents lining in the finals and lost all of those matches in straight sets. With a decent serve he might be able to put the pressure on at the back end of sets, but really he looks outclassed in this line up.
Boris Becker Group
Rafael Nadal (1)
After a magnificent 2017 that propelled him back to #1 in the world, Rafael Nadal looks a very real chance of taking out the title at the Nitto ATP Finals. Unfortunately he has been battling a knee injury in the lead up, but has declared he is confident that he will be 100% fit for the tournament.
He comes here in great form backing up his US Open title with a win in Beijing before losing to Federer in the final of Shanghai. Set to face off against David Goffin in his his first match, that should be a fairly comfortable win with the Spaniard having already got the better of him twice this year and has never lost a set to him.
The real task for Nadal is going to come if he has to face off against his long time rival Roger Federer. Despite holding an overall head to head record it has been Federer who has had the better of the match up in recent times, winning the last five matches between the two.
Take the odds of $4 on offer and lay off if he ends up against Federer in the final.
Dominic Thiem (4)
Unfortunately for Thiem it looks like he has drawn the wrong group as not only does he have to face Nadal but he also has a poor head to head record against David Goffin which could be troublesome. The back end of his 2017 season has been quite poor as well. Since the US Open he hasn't made it past the second round at any tournament and has suffered three first round losses in that time.
There is a lot going against him here and it would be surprising if didn't finish bottom of his group.
Grigor Dimitrov (6)
Dimitrov has been playing pretty good tennis over the last month but unfortunately he is going to meet Nadal early on again. He lost to Nadal in three set matches in both Beijing and Shanghai when in good form so won't be looking forward to facing him early on here as well. His form in making the final of Stockholm was also very strong and his only real let down recently came when he lost in the second round of Paris, but that was an extremely tight three set match dominated by the serve that could have gone either way.
David Goffin (8)
This draw is a bit of a mixed bag for the Belgian. While he lines up very well against Thiem his head to head record against Dimitrov is very poor so he will need to find a way to beat Dimitrov if he is going to progress.
It's hard to imagine him being a serious chance at the title though. His form recently has been very hot and cold with first and second round losses in Paris, Antwerp and Shanghai to go with his titles in Tokyo and Shenzhen. He can be a dangerous player on his day though so could have a say in shaping who actually does win the tournament.
Winner - Roger Federer
Runner Up - Rafael Nadal
Roughie - Alexander Zverev