ATP Final Stats Preview: Djokovic and Medvedev set for a third final in three months?

Novak Djokovic Daniil Medvedev Hubert Hurkacz ATP Finals Stefanos Tsitsipas Casper Ruud Matteo Berrettini

The highest eight point scorers across the 2021 ATP Tour convene on Turin as the Italians take over the hosting of the ATP World Tour Finals. The competition remains indoors, which is good news for some of the competitors, and not so much for others.

Novak Djokovic is, of course, the number one seed and favorite for the title. It would be his sixth year end finals crown which would equal Roger Federer’s record six. Yet another record that the Serbian would then hold (albeit jointly). However, it would also be his first since he managed four-in-a-row from 2012-2015. In fact, the last five events have all seen first time winners. Andy Murray, Grigor Dimitrov, Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Daniil Medvedev is the roll of honor since 2016 so it has actually been quite an open competition recently.

Who will emerge victorious in 2021? Let’s see if the statistics can help us.

ATP Final Stats Preview

The Key Stats

2021 ATP Tour Season

In what will become a common theme of the study, Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev stand out over the course of the whole season. Their ranking point accumulation is much greater than anyone elses, as you would expect when they are the Grand Slam winners. They are actually very close in game win % accumulation, with Djokovic just ahead of the Russian in the rate that they break their opponents.

Outside of the top two we can see that Alexander Zverev and Casper Ruud have accumulated a lot of wins and Stefanos Tsitsipas has played the highest number of matches this season at 71. This may have caught up with the Greek at the end of the year. Also, Matteo Berrettini’s serve has been the hardest to break, the Italian holding serve over 90% of his service games. Hubert Hurkacz has the poorest record across the eight, but has certainly played well on big occasions in 2021, can he raise his game again for the finals?

Playing Indoors

With the indoor conditions often being a factor in the finals it is worth examining how the participants have performed under a roof across their careers. The data is taken from all main draw matches the players have played on the ATP Tour.

The lowest ranked players Ruud, Berrettini and Hurkacz are quite inexperienced on the main tour indoors. This is unsurprising given the recent COVID-related problems with indoor arenas. Djokovic, inevitably, has the by far the highest number of matches and wins and the highest winning percentage too.

Zverev has had great success breaking his opponents indoors, Berrettini has the best hold record, but his break data is truly abysmal. Ruud and Hurkacz have losing records indoors too.

Relevant Form

The green all belongs to the incredible Serbian on this measure. Djokovic’s dominance is most obvious here, he has won 9 out of his last 10 matches, and has a frankly ridiculous record over fellow top ten players, even more so this season. It is perhaps easier in this season with no Federer, very little Nadal and a recovering Andy Murray outside the top ten as well, but it is still an impressive achievement.

Daniil Medvedev is the only other player with a winning career record against fellow top ten opponents. Zverev, Hurkacz & Rublev have just about managed to avoid losing records this season against the rest of the top ten. However, Casper Ruud and Matteo Berrettini in particular have really suffered in the tough matches.

Predicting The GroupsĀ 

Group Red

To help look at the groups in more depth there is a head to head record table included.

It hasn’t been a given in the past few events that Novak Djokovic has made it out of the group stages. He failed to do so in 2019, losing to Federer and Dominic Thiem on that occasion. However, it is difficult to see where to find two players to defeat him here.

Casper Ruud has won a lot of matches to make it to the finals, it is perhaps unfair to write him off here despite his really poor head to head record against the others in Red group. Andrey Rublev has been an especially difficult opponent for Ruud in the past but the Russian has had a question mark against him for a while now in the bigger matches against the top players.

I hinted already at Tsitsipas’ physical issues towards the end of the season but if he has been able to come to this event fully fit then he is clear second favorite to progress. However, I do have some doubts about whether the Greek is in the right mental space as well as physically ready to do well in Turin.

Predictions:

  1. Djokovic
  2. Ruud
  3. Tsitsipas
  4. Rublev

Group Green

Medvedev and Zverev are the obvious picks from the Green group. They have clearly the best data and also winning head to head records against the other two in the group. Obviously, it doesn’t always play out that way.

Berrettini should be able to force some tiebreaks with his incredible serving record indoors but forcing them is one thing, converting them is quite another. The actual surface will have to be slick enough for him to be as effective as he can be.

Hurkacz can also travel down this path and he pushed Djokovic all the way in Paris recently. He has risen to the occasion on a few times this season and certainly won’t be a walkover here for anyone.

Prediction:

  1. Medvedev
  2. Zverev
  3. Hurkacz
  4. Berrettini

Who will win the ATP Finals?

It’s very hard to pull away from the statistical dominance of Djokovic and Medvedev. Of course, the last five editions of this tournament have not produced the expected result so you could say that this is actually unlikely to happen, but also a part of me also wants to see a trilogy of Djokovic vs Medvedev finals.

It will be easier to assess the winner once the conditions have been fully assessed when the tournament commences but at the moment I have to side with Novak Djokovic. The way that he took charge of the second half of the Paris final was quite compelling. We all know that the Serbian is a record hunter and surely he will be motivated to finally match the year-end finals record of Federer which gives him a chance to hold it outright next year. Time is running out for this record.

Main Photo:
Embed from Getty Images


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.