Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are engaging in a furious race to end the year at the top of the rankings. Rafa was in an extremely strong position after he conquered the US Open also because the Serbian sensation was sidelined by a nasty injury to his left shoulder. However, you can never count Novak out. With his incredible mental strength, he recovered from his injury to triumph in Beijing and Paris and he looks to be the overwhelming favorite to win the Finals in London.
After Djokovic annihilated Matteo Berrettini 6-2 6-1 in the opening match at the O2 Area, Novak pocketed 200 points. The Serb is currently only 440 points behind Rafa in the live Year to Date rankings and there are still doubts about the fitness of the King of Clay that withdrew from the ATP1000 in Paris 2 weeks ago with an abdominal injury.
If Nadal wins 2 matches in the round robin, Djokovic needs to win the Finals for the 6th time in his career if he wants to end the year at the top of the rankings. The Spaniard will finish the season as the deserving world no.1 if he will reach the final in London without losing a single match in the Round Robin.
If Djokovic ends the season at the top of the rankings, he will have an almost decisive boost to break Roger Federer’s record of being 310 weeks as the world no.1.
Nadal’s abdominal injury
The good news from Rafa is that he seems to have recovered from his abdominal injury. He was already quite optimistic a couple of days ago to comment:
“So I’m excited to be here after a couple of years without being able to play. I need to see how things evolve every single day. I have good hopes to be 100 percent ready for Monday.”
However, his body needs to be tested during his match against Sascha Zverev.
H2H and Prediction Rafael Nadal vs. Zverev
Rafa will face Sascha Zverev in his first match in London, where he will try to win his first match and also get 200pts to increase the distance in the rankings between him and Djokovic. The head to head is 5-0 for Nadal.
The pick for Tennis Tonic is Rafael Nadal that should win in 3 sets.
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Novak Djokovic’s ranking and performance in 2019
This year Djokovic has a 54-9 win-loss record. The Serbian conquered 5 titles in 2019 at the Australian Open, in Madrid, in Wimbledon, in Tokyo and in Paris. The Serbian was the finalist in Rome.
Rafael Nadal’s ranking and performance in 2019
At the moment ranked no.1, Nadal was meant to have his last match on the 2nd of November when he conceded to Denis Shapovalov a walkover in the semifinal in Paris.
This year the Spaniard has a 50-6 win-loss record. Nadal has won 4 titles in 2019 in Rome, at the French Open, in Montreal and at the U.S. Open. The Spaniard was the finalist at the Australian Open.
Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal played each other 54 times. The head to head is 28-26 for Djokovic.
The last time that they played each other, Rafael Nadal won 6-0 4-6 6-1 in the final in Rome on the 19th May 2019.