The most prestigious tennis tournament outside the Majors enters its final day and for the second year running, defending champion Novak Djokovic is in the final of the ATP Finals. This year he faces home favorite Jannik Sinner in a repeat of a round robin match here in Turin. The Italian is the only player who has managed to defeat the World #1 since the Wimbledon final; will he be able to do it again?
ATP Finals Final Prediction
Jannik Sinner vs Novak Djokovic
Head–to–Head: Sinner 1 – 3 Djokovic
It always seems Novak Djokovic loses when he wants to! There’s a myth in Serbia that he sometimes gives up games and sets just to make matches more entertaining. Having arrived in Turin as the overwhelming favorite after defending his Masters title in Paris, he struggled to get past Holger Rune in the opening match before succumbing to Sinner in the next match in a thrilling three-setter. The win over the Dane ensured he would achieve his goal of finishing the year at the acme of the rankings so there were speculations he might have taken his foot off the pedal after losing to the Italian. However, the mercurial Serb went into overdrive, defeating Hubert Huckasz and then his closest rival Carlos Alcaraz in the semis.
At 36, Djokovic is not letting up. While he occasionally reminds everyone that he is human, he often demonstrates the perfection that has hauled him into being regarded as the greatest player in the history of the sport. His destruction of Alcaraz in the semifinal defied the huge age gulf between them as well as expanding the gulf in the quality of tennis between him and the rest.
Homeboy Jannik Sinner is the only player who has a 100% record here in Turin and will look to prevent his opponent from becoming the record winner of this tournament. The lanky dynamite seems to have chosen the perfect time to explode and he has done so with some sensational tennis to wow the home fans. He has bolted out of the blocks in all of his matches and has been very decisive, especially in the 3rd sets. Jannik Sinner will be looking to finish this year in the most remarkable way possible and nothing will match winning the ATP Finals in front of his home fans.
This promises to be a blockbuster. At least, it’ll certainly make up for the anticlimactic semifinal the Serb had against Alcaraz. Djokovic holds a 3-1 record against Sinner but he has not managed to defeat the Italian on hard courts. Both are certainly extremely motivated going into this match. Apart from the huge prize money and the prospect of defending his title, Djokovic will become the record winner in the Finals with 7 titles, usurping Roger Federer.
Djokovic is by far the more experienced player of the two. He’s been here so many times, it’s difficult and very rare to see him capitulating on the biggest stage. However, he is up against a very inspired and formidable Sinner who managed to see the Serb’s back just about a week ago. The Italian’s record on indoor hardcourts is an impeccable 17-1!
My head says Djokovic will win this but my heart says the young Italian will leave Turin with a 100% record and send the home fans into delirium.
Prediction: Sinner in 3
Main Photo Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports