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Daniil Medvedev has disputed predictions that Novak Djokovic is the man to beat at this week’s ATP Finals, as the 2020 champion claimed there were no favourites at the eight-player tournament. Both men have been drawn in what appears to be the ‘group of death’ but Medvedev has downplayed the idea that any opponent is more dominant than another.
The final event of the 2022 ATP season begins on Sunday as the likes of Medvedev and Djokovic will battle it out to be crowned the ATP Finals champion and end the year strong with up to 1,500 extra points added to their ranking. While some players are coming into Turin with more form than others, the Russian has disputed claims that there could be a “favourite” for the title.
“I don’t think there is an answer to this question,” the fourth seed said ahead of the tournament. “In the Nitto ATP Finals there is no favourite player, all tennis players are at the same time. There are great tennis players and you never really know who arrives in better mental or physical shape at the last tournament of the year.”
His words come after Greg Rusedski and Tim Henman claimed Djokovic was the man to beat in Turin following his recent defeat to Holger Rune in the final of the Paris Masters – something they thought would give him extra motivation. Rusedski said there was “no doubt” the Serb was the favourite, adding: “He’s coming into the best form of his life.”
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But it seems the 2020 champion does not appear to agree, as he said anyone would be able to win the tournament thanks to the calibre of the field, with eight of the nine players who earned the most ranking points this season qualifying for the event following world No 1 Carlos Alcaraz’s withdrawal.
Medvedev continued: “Anyone can win the 2022 ATP Finals because there are only high-quality players, there can be surprises from the first match, which at the same time would not be any surprises either. From my point of view, we are all favourites.”
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Rafael Nadal told five reasons he can defeat Djokovic at ATP FinalsThe Russian is part of what many deemed the ‘group of death’ at this year’s season-ending tournament as he has been drawn in the Red Group with Djokovic, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev – with himself, Djokovic and Tsitsipas the only former champions in the draw. While Medvedev may not see a difference in the level of opponents, his countryman Rublev has already joked about coming up against the three past winners.
“I thought ‘What [am] I doing there? Why am I in this group’” he laughed when asked what he thought when he saw his group for the round-robin stage. The world No 7 will serve as Medvedev’s first opponent on Monday, while Djokovic and Tsitsipas will face off for the third time in the last six weeks.
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