The race is over. A season which began down under but the world number one once again rose to the challenge in Melbourne, before you know it players had landed at Indian Wells and Miami before dusting off the clay in Monte Carlo, Madrid, Rome and of course Paris where for the first time Novak Djokovic lifted the title. The green green grass of home welcomed Andy Murray with open arms as he picked up a record 5th Queens Club title and followed it up with another Wimbledon crown as he became king on centre court once again. There was no time for a summer break as the Rio Olympics were on the horizon. Juan Martin Del Potro produced the story of the games but could only clinch silver medal and once again Gold belonged to Murray. New York was the final Grand Slam destination where Stan Wawrinka picked up his first title in the city that never sleeps. The tour then arrived in Asia where Murray reigned in Beijing and Shanghai closing the gap on the world number one and then Paris where the spot of world number one could change hands and it did as Marin Cilic took out Djokovic in the quarter finals.
Now we are in London, the top 8 in men’s tennis will battle once again this season but who will end the season as World Tour Finals champion in this final sprint on the ATP tour?
So, who will taking to court in London?
Is Novak still the favourite?
When was the last time I saw Novak at his very best for a consistent amount of time? I’d say Roland Garros. Form has been patchy ever since and since finally getting his hands on the title he’s wanting to win his whole career his season has slowed down and since winning that final has lost to Sam Querrey, Del Potro, Agut, Cilic and Wawrinka all players you’d expect him to do well against. He will be a threat in London but it will be a challenge to win that title once again having not being at his best for quite some time. Is he favourite? I don’t think so but he is definitely a contender!
Monfils to make London debut!
Gael Monfils turned 30 earlier this year and some have said he may have underachieved in his career but now the Frenchman is set to play on the biggest stage in his career as he makes his debut in London. Monfils is the great entertainer in tennis, the variety and his personality make him such a great watch in big matches but you could also say he is frustrating to watch at times as there are a lot of matches he loses that you think he should be winning. London will be an intense week of tennis and I think he has the character to live up to it and I can see him getting to the semi-finals if he turns up at 100%.
World number one!
The title of world number one could change but right now it does belong to Andy Murray. The Brit has had his best season on the tour and to go into the final showdown as the world number one is a great achievement. You don’t get any easy matches in London and he will be itching to set the record straight having not made it out of the round robin for a couple of years now. The fight begins on Sunday but who will reign above the rest?
Will Thiem be too tired?
Dominic Thiem has been one of the stories of the season. The Austrian broke the top 10 and thoroughly deserves his place in London however recently he has looked tired and has had a few injury problems and it isn’t a surprise having played over 100 singles/doubles matches this year and despite London being his last tournament of the season it is also his 28th tournament of the year which is quite remarkable! I do think that Thiem will be a great addition but this could be a learning curve for the Austrian who may have to revisit his scheduling for next season.
Could Stan be the man?
Well once Stan Wawrinka get’s to a final there is literally no stopping him. The Swiss number one has won 11 or his last 12 finals on the tour and also has never lost a final against a world number one. Stan is in a tricky group and has had some surprise losses recently but don’t write him out of this one just yet…
This year the groups are named after one of the best rivals in tennis history, Ivan Lendl and John McEnroe, but who makes up which group?