15/04/2024

The top eight players will battle it out in Turin during the ATP Finals. (Photo: Nitto ATP Finals official)

As the 2023 tennis calendar comes to a temporary halt later this month, there is still one tournament remaining; the Nitto ATP Finals.

1500 ranking points await the champion, but more importantly will provide the opportunity for one player to claim bragging rights against the very best in the world on the blue hard courts.

With a strong history attached to the event, The Inner Sanctum explains all you need to know about the competition as well as dissecting each of the top eight hopefuls’ chances.

What is the ATP Nitto Finals?

Established in 1970, the ATP Finals comprises the top eight players in the world based on the highest ranking points come the end of the season.

The one-week tournament is prestigious not only because of the opportunity to win more ranking points than a typical Masters 1000 and the $4,801,500 prizemoney, but it is also an indication of the best overall player for 2023.

Where are the finals being held?

Up north of Italy, Turin has played host to the event since 2021 at the Pala Alpitour stadium holding a capacity of over 15,000.

After the Next Gen Finals moved location from Milan last year, Italy was eager to attain the rights to the Nitro Finals and attract the sport’s best athletes.

The ATP World Tour Finals was previously held in London at the O2 Arena before its contract expired.

How does the format work?

Two groups of four players are drawn and a round-robin group stage will commence, allowing for everyone to face each other once.

The top two in each group will then progress to the semi-finals based on the following criteria in order:
A) Most wins
B) Most matches played (in the case of a retirement)
C) Head-to-head record if two players are tied

The fixtures for the semis will be determined by the group winners facing off against the group runners-up before an eventual champion will be crowned in the final.

Green Group

Novak Djokovic
Jannik Sinner
Stefanos Tsitipas
Holger Rune

Red Group

Carlos Alcaraz
Daniil Medvedev
Andrey Rublev
Alexander Zverev

Individual player previews

Novak Djokovic
Age: 36
World ranking: 1
2023 titles won: 6
2023 win-loss record: 50-5 (90.9%)

Best ATP Finals result: Champion (2008, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2022)

Where to begin but with the man who loves to break records for fun?

Djokovic has had to adapt his schedule, only entering 11 tournaments in 2023 to help win there out of the four slams on offer. At 36, the body requires as much recovery as possible to sustain its level of greatness.

Barring no injuries or setbacks, it’s going to take a substantial dip in form for the 24-time Grand Slam champion for his rivals to lift the trophy come next week.

Jannik Sinner
Age: 22
World ranking: 4
2023 titles won: 4
2023 win-loss record: 58-14 (80.6%
)
Best ATP Finals result: Group stage (2021)

There has been a lot of talk about Carlos Alcaraz and his incredible potential, but Jannik Sinner has proven this year that his game is not too far behind.

Carrying a lanky build and ferocious hitting power, the Italian is finally achieving some consistent scalps against the top players, most notably with two wins against Medvedev and a victory against Alcaraz.

This indoor harcourt environment may well be the most suitable conditions for Sinner to cause real damage.


Stefanos Tsitsipas
Age: 25
World ranking: 6
2023 title won: 1
2023 win-loss record: 44-21 (67.7%)

Best ATP Finals result: Champion (2019)

The past 10 months have been a somewhat disappointing campaign for Tsitsipas, especially after reaching the Australian Open final back in January.

Lately, the Greek star has rediscovered some of his best form by reaching three consecutive semi-finals in the past three weeks.

Reports from Turin suggest that Tsitsipas stopped during the middle of his practice session earlier this week due to discomfort in his elbow. One to keep an eye on.

Holger Rune
Age: 20
World ranking: 8
2023 titles won: 1
2023 win-loss record: 41-21 (66.1%)

Best ATP Finals result: N/A

Announcing himself to the world against Novak Djokovic last year to claim the Paris Masters, the next step for Rune is to display those kinds of performances consistently.

Taking advantage of his biggest weapon of the forehand topspin will ultimately prove key if the Dane hopes to compete in more than three games.

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Carlos Alcaraz

Age: 20
World ranking: 2
2023 titles won: 6
2023 win-loss record: 63-10 (86.3%)

Best ATP finals result: N/A

Forced to miss the Australian Open earlier this year, tennis’ new sensation has been in a back-and-forth battle with Djokovic for the number one ranking.

Not known for his grass-court ability, Alcaraz defied all odds to defeat Novak to claim his maiden Wimbledon crown whilst putting everyone on notice that he is in fact the real deal.

The 20-year-old enters Turin with some shaky form and will be looking to get off to a flying start in an already difficult group.

Daniil Medvedev
Age: 27
World ranking: 3
2023 titles won: 5
2023 win-loss record: 63-17 (78.8%)

Best ATP Finals result: Champion (2020)

Playing more matches than anyone on the ATP tour during the calendar year, it will be intriguing to see whether tired legs will catch up to the former US Open champion as the tournament progresses.

We saw at the last grand slam in New York how Medvedev successfully neutralised Alcaraz’s game and gave him no room to breathe. The same will be required in the group stage.

Andrey Rublev
Age: 26
World ranking: 5
2023 titles won: 2
2023 win-loss record: 56-22 (71.8%)

Best ATP Finals result: Semi-finals (2022)

For all of the talent at his disposal, it seems that Rublev can’t quite break through at the very summit with the golden generation now making its charge. Two title victories this year have been somewhat overshadowed by the four finals he has agonisingly lost.

Although his power from the back of the court is lethal, Rublev’s game is too one-dimensional with no alternative plan to problem solve when things are heading south.

Getting past either Alcaraz or Medvedev will be a tall order.

Alexander Zverev
Age: 26
World ranking: 7
2023 titles won: 2
2023 win-loss record: 52-23 (69.3%)

Best ATP Finals result: Champion (2021)

Having suffered a serious ankle injury at last year’s French Open semi-final against Rafael Nadal, Zverev is now slowly starting to gain the same consistency that saw him compete at the highest level.

Despite going down to Alcaraz in the US Open quarter-finals in September, the signs were evident that the German is back to striking the ball cleanly and dictating more of the points on his terms.

Winning this tournament will provide Zverev with the confidence to make another deep run.

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