Just Give Roger Federer the ATP Finals Trophy

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2017 has been some comeback year for Swiss superstar Roger Federer. From going into this year’s Australian Open ranked 17th in the world, the 36 year old now finds himself second in the rankings with the help of seven titles, including two Grand Slams and three Masters events.

Going into this year’s ATP Finals, the Swiss is the heavy favorite and on paper we haven’t seen him this likely to win the event since it was the Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai in 2006 and 2007. Unsurprisingly, he won the event comfortably in both those years with just the loss of just three sets combined. It wouldn’t at all be shocking either if 2017 follows on from that.

This is by far the worst field we’ve had based on accomplishments for over 10 years. With just three players having won a Grand Slam, the other five find themselves without even a Grand Slam final. In fact, three of them have never even played in a Grand Slam semifinal, with two of those without even a single quarterfinal.

If we compare this to the 2015 World Tour Finals, for example, we had a field of five Grand Slam champions, the other three were Grand Slam finalists, and seven of the eight with Masters titles. A huge difference to this year’s event and a worthy note to finish the year on.

Federer is coming into the event with wins in his last two events (Shanghai and Basel). Meanwhile, his biggest rival Rafael has only recently said his knee is “not perfect” and may still pull out of the event. Third seed Alexander Zverev has only won eight of 15 matches since winning his second Masters event in Canada, and fourth seed Thiem is in even worse form, with just two wins in ATP events since squandering match points to Juan Martin Del Potro at the US Open. Croatian Marin Cilic hasn’t made a tournament final since Wimbledon.

When you look at Roger Federer’s head to head this year against the field, it’s astonishing as shown below:

Federer vs Field 2017

Nadal

Zverev Thiem Cilic Dimitrov Goffin

Sock

Federer

4-0 1-1 0-0 1-0 1-0 1-0

1-0

With the exception of Dominic Thiem, the 19-time grand slam champion has played all the others without a single negative head to head. His only loss came to third seed Alexander Zverev in Montreal where he was injured, but even with that he’s 9-1 against the whole field for 2017. In eight of those nine wins he didn’t drop a set.

Roger Federer has won this event six times in the past (2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2010, and 2011). Everyone else in the field, combined, has won it a grand total of zero times. Since the event moved to London in 2009, the Swiss Maestro has lost to the following players: Juan Martin Del Potro twice, Nikolay Davydenko once, Novak Djokovic four times, and Rafael Nadal once. The first three players aren’t at the event with Del Potro barely missing out and 2009 champion Davydenko being retired. Roger Federer’s biggest rival at this event, five-time champion Novak Djokovic, is out injured having not played since his retirement at Wimbledon.

Federer vs Field on Indoor Hard

Nadal

Zverev Thiem Cilic Dimitrov Goffin

Sock

Federer 5-1 0-0 0-0 1-0 2-0 3-0

1-0

 

Believe it or not, that win for Rafael Nadal is the only win any of this year’s players have against Roger Federer indoors and came in the year the Swiss lost to the likes of Sergiy Stakhovsky and Tommy Robredo at Wimbledon and the US Open, respectively. Overall, the 36-year-old is 12-1 against all seven players on indoor hard and with the exclusion of his matches against the Spaniard he’s only lost a single set in all other seven matches.

To conclude, if Roger Federer is fully fit and in the form he’s been in most of this year, this will be the most one-sided ATP Finals we’ve had for a while. It won’t only be down to one of the greatest players of all time playing great tennis but also down to an event filled with players who just aren’t good enough to trouble the eight-time Wimbledon champion when playing well. For sure lots of things can happen next week but Roger Federer not winning the event is something that’s incredibly unlikely. He’ll most likely just sweep the event like he swept the ATP awards.

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