After qualifying for both the ATP World Tour Finals in London and the NextGen ATP Finals, World #5 Alexander Zverev has decided to only play the more prestigious event in London.
While the Next Gen ATP Finals held in Milan is a chance for the best seven 21-and under-players to compete for a title between themselves, the decision for the 20-yearold to skip the event is completely understandable and here’s why.
While the ATP Tour Finals features the standard best of three format like every other ATP event the Next Gen Finals finds themselves experimenting in the first year of the event.
Sets will be the first to four games per set, which means a tiebreak at 3-3, five sets, no ad-scoring and a shot clock to avoid players taking additional time in between points, amongst other changes.
Moving on, without being disrespectful to the other players who have qualified for the event, Zverev is simply far superior at this stage in their careers than everyone that will be in Milan.
The next ranked player after him is ranked at #35, after that #42 and #49, and so on. Keep in mind the two-time Masters champion is likely to become the World #3 in just a few weeks while everyone else has yet to even win a 500 event.
Lastly, the Next Gen Finals are being held just a week before the World Tour Finals. While all other seven players in London would have the week off, the young German would have found himself playing at least three matches and quite possibly five. The Masters event in Paris is also the week before and the 500 event in Vienna preceding that, all which the German is playing.
Overall, switching to and back from the different formats isn’t very smart preparation for the biggest ATP event of the year. The stress and tiredness that could be caused by playing four weeks consecutively would have its own toll, and to someone as good as the German is he should be competing against the very best, not just those who are around his age.
Additionally, given this year’s World Tour Finals field will only feature one past champion, Roger Federer, it’s also the perfect time for someone to up their game and join the elite list of winners. If Alexander Zverev is to be the one who does then for all the reasons mentioned there’s no doubt skipping Milan is the correct decision.