Federer, Djokovic divided over future venue for ATP Finals
Federer, Djokovic divided over future venue for ATP Finals
Karen Khachanov and Novak Djokovic
11 November, 2018, 03:30
Serbia's Novak Djokovic arrives for his men's singles final tennis match against Russia's Karen Khachanov, on day seven of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 - Rolex Paris Masters - indoor tennis tournament at The AccorHotels Arena in Paris, on November 4, 2018.
The Spaniard has not played since he pulled out midway though his semifinal match against Juan Martin del Potro at the US Open in September due to a knee injury.
Isner hopes to make a similar impact to compatriot Jack Sock, who reached the semis on his debut a year ago before losing to eventual champion Grigor Dimitrov.
The title is contested by the eight players who have accumulated the most ranking points over the season and is in a round-robin format, with the best four players reaching the knockout semi-finals stage.
"It's really only Novak who can say "If I play as well as I have the last three months then maybe I can win the ATP Finals as well", the Swiss, who begins in Lleyton Hewitt group against Japan's Kei Nishikori on Sunday, told reporters.
Nadal, however, will keep his place as the world number two despite skipping the final two events of the season as he has built a sizeable gap to world number three Roger Federer.
"Lucky for me", he said.
"After February's elbow surgery it looked quite improbable that I would be in this position as the year-end number one, not just because of the rankings - I was 22 (in May) - but just because of how I felt on the court, how I was playing". I always have, ever since I qualified for the very first time back in 2002.
"But there was always part of me that believed I could make it back and I never thought it was impossible", he said.
Two recent defeats to Federer will be fresh in Nishikori's mind but he did compete well in their Shanghai and Paris matches so he certainly has what it takes to test the six-time champion.
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"It turned to out to be a flawless five months of the year, with two Grand Slam titles", he added.
There are expected to be only two more editions of this season-ending finale in London after this one before it moves elsewhere, and Federer and Djokovic disagree on the event's future.
Playing in his first Grand Slam final at the US Open in 2014, Nishikori was beaten by Croatia's Marin Cilic in straight sets.
But it is hard to see anybody other than Federer or Djokovic prevailing.
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