ATP FinalsRoger Federer

ATP Finals Draw 2019

Federer in Group Bjorn Borg along with Novak Djokovic.

The Nitto ATP Finals draw for 2019 has just taken place in London and Roger Federer has landed in Group Bjorn Borg along with Novak Djokovic.

The first bit of interesting news came earlier in the day when Rafael Nadal confirmed his intention to participate having withdrawn from his Paris Masters semi-final last week with an abdominal injury.

Nadal's appearance in London is still subject to how he feels when he resumes serving practice but his name is in the draw and the lure of winning his first-ever ATP Finals trophy plus the hefty $9,000,000 prize money pool should be enough to get him out of bed come Monday.

You can see the groups below.

Nitto ATP Finals Groups 2020

Atp Finals Draw
Group Andre Agassi Group Bjorn Borg
Rafael Nadal (1) Novak Djokovic (2)
Daniil Medvedev (4) Roger Federer (3)
Stefanos Tsitsipas (6) Dominic Thiem (5)
Alexander Zverev (7) Matteo Berrettini (8)

Thoughts on Federer's Group

Federer Tour Finals

There's obviously no such thing as an easy draw when all players are the top eight in the world but I think Federer will be happy with the group he's landed in.

He, of course, has Djokovic to contend with which is a very tough ask but will fancy his chances against Thiem and Berrettini. I think on balance they are easier propositions than Medvedev and Zverev based on current form and indoor pedigree.

Federer will face Thiem in his first match on Sunday evening and he beat the Austrian 6-2, 6-3 at last years event. Roger is the favourite indoors despite his losing 2-4 head to head record and if he can replicate his Basel form (assuming a similar court speed) then Thiem will struggle for time on the ball. 

Berrettini is making his debut in London after squeaking into the final eight when Monfils lost to Shapovalov in Bercy and he's had a solid run in recent months. The Italian made the semi-finals at the US Open, Shanghai and Erste Bank Open in Vienna to help book his spot at the O2.

Berrettini a heavy first serve but given how Roger took him apart at Wimbledon then you'd have to say he's got the edge.

As for Djokovic, he looked bang in form in Paris last week but he's slightly more vulnerable in the group stages as Federer proved in 2015. Obviously Novak showed him who's boss when it counts in the final that same year but it'd be great for confidence if Roger were able to go unbeaten to make the semi-finals.

In terms of Group Andre Agassi, I think that's the tougher group as nobody will want to face Medvedev indoors as he's had such a strong second half of the season. There are always questions about who has what left in the tank when London rolls around but the Russian is fairly well rested having skipped Moscow and Vienna. 

Zverev is the defending champion and can play brilliantly when he finds that groove. Tsitsipas is no pushover either so even a fully fit Nadal would have his work cut out to come through that unscathed and it will be interesting to see what version of Nadal turns up if any.

What do you guys make of the groups? Predictions for Federer? Let me know in the comments.

Jonathan

Huge fan of Roger Federer. I watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or tweeting about tennis I play regularly myself and use this blog to share my thoughts on Federer and tennis in general.

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53 Comments

  1. Well, I wanted the “revenge” group with Djokovic, Thiem and Zverev, but it’s ok.
    Hopefully, Nadal can win at least a match, so Djokovic will be forced to either win all group matches and semis or win the title with two group wins.

    I think it’s better for Roger to play Djokovic without too much pressure in group stage, rather than facing elimination or for the title.
    A title run with Nadal in semis and Djokovic in the final would be a dream.

  2. Exciting whatever. If in good form – and why not? – our man has a proper chance, he was so very close beating Novak in Wimby. Can’t wait

  3. Court speed will be a huge factor here. I don’t think it be any faster damn organiser wants extended match time and rallies. Hope Rog stay on focus and sharp not easy first match against Thiem.

  4. I know Berrettini is the less known to you people, so I’ll say this: Matteo could be trickier to Nole than Roger. He plays an excellent backhand slice, his serve is very powerful and variable at the same time, he uses a lot of rotations, and most importantly he is unknown to the Serbian. If he makes the upset we could have a LOOOOOT of fun in these Finals from the start, and increase Roger’s chances of ending first in the group. My idea is that his last showing in Basel was much better than Nole’s in Paris, where the Serbian was either gifted sets (Grisha in the semifinal), entire games, or he didn’t show the best of his game (Moutet-Edmund).
    I’ve heard voices that the surface is gonna be quite similar to Basel, but I have yet to confirm it so I won’t talk about this. BTW I expect Nadal to forfeit, Medvedev to win heavily his group, and so if Berrettini makes the surprise and/or Roger beats Nole (he will have fire in his eyes for this, I am sure, and he won’t feel much pressure as he should make it), my prediction is a final with the Maestro and the Russian.
    I am very confident also because he DEFINITELY deserves a big win this year after that painful loss in July.

    1. Who is “you people” 😆 I think most here will have seen Berrettini play numerous times this season as he’d been on the show courts loads so he’s hardly an unknown.

      It’s good that Fed has played Berrettini before but not sure I see him troubling Djoker. I thought he looked good in Paris, played very smart throughout.

      1. Sorry Jonathan, I didn’t want to sound disrespectful. I just saw comments that gave me that idea. And of course in Italy we follow him Very closely
        I apologize again

      2. No need to apologise. I guess you could be right but I thought most would have seen a lot of him this year given his form…

        Is Sinner getting popular now?

      3. He is! And he’s doing wonders in the Next Gen Finals, which are also in Milan, so he’s getting more and more recognition.
        I have to say, I don’t like AT ALL his style, he’s very “Robotic”… I prefer Berrettini and Fognini, but honestly there’s this feeling that Jannik could really be the next big thing in this muscular tennis…
        God save Roger as long as he can, ’cause his type of tennis is really gonna die after him…

  5. Ok folks what happens if Rafa can’t cope and tbe stomach pains of knee returns and guess what come Monday he can’t play ? Could happen he’s somewhat physically fragile at the moment!

      1. Bautista Agut and Monfils are the alternates. I don’t know if there’s a third, in case someone withdraws before the beginning of the tournament.

  6. Court speed and who has gas left in the tank are the big factors for me. Quite often in the past, someone new in the field is like a deer in the headlights. Never gets their game going.
    Good luck Mr. Exhoerer!

  7. Actually a good opportunity here to break the complete mental domination Djokovic has over Fed, he’s gotta make it less one-sided results wise at some point. I think the last time he beat him was back here actually in the group stage. The rest of the group is pretty beatable so it’s there for Fed, he just has to get it done.

    Anyone see the prize money for the WTA Finals? $4.7 million for going undefeated, though the prize money pool is the same as this one. That’s gotta be one of the best paydays in sports surely, don’t know any other sport that pays close to 5 million dollars for one week’s work.

    1. Ye heat beat him in 2015 groups, then lost in the final. So I dunno about breaking the mental domination unless, would have to beat him twice here to do that. RR win would be good, but it’s only a RR.

      Yeah I dunno what some golf events pay for the winner but that is huge.

  8. Of course Fed in Novak’s side. Though it isn’t a bad draw. WTF’s court is similar to Basel? Hope so. Also hope he is holding on to his Basel form in London, too. It’s about time he won the bloody thing!
    And he’s got haircut, hasn’t he – sorry but had to mention.

    1. Well, it’s the same surface as Basel but they can change the topcoat to alter the speed with sand, layers of paints etc. Paris was 40 which is faster than normal. Maybe London does the same.

  9. I’m sooo much looking forward to Tuesday. It will be the first time I’ll get the chance to see the Maestro live! I guess he will play Berrettini that day, or do you think there is any chance they will put on the Federer-Djokovic clash already on Tuesday?

      1. Ah, is that the case? Yeah, it will be great whoever he plays, but I can’t deny that I have my fingers crossed for Fed-Djoker! 😊

  10. As I said before, I don’t have high expectations.
    I don’t think Domi is a given. He’s made a big step forward on hard courts this year.
    It really depends on what Roger can bring to the court.
    Last year his opener was just sad to watch but then he recovered a bit.

    I hope he brings his A game and the good results will follow.
    If he plays his best and loses, at least we will enjoy top quality tennis. 🙂

  11. According to Roger the London surface plays relatively fast.
    Thiem said it’s not as fast as Paris but faster than Vienna. And the ball bounce is typically for indoor surfaces.
    Sounds ok for me….

  12. It’s not the subject here but let just me tell you I am very happy for the French Fed Cup team.
    Kiki Mladenovic has been fantastic those 2 days in Australia.
    And now, let’s go Roger !

  13. Thoughts on WTF. Berrettini was a deer in the headlights. Seems like a fun player to watch but his shorts are way too long. 🙂
    Djoker was his usual self. Expecting perfection from himself and so much anger when he missed a shot. Is he unbeatable?
    Don’t you think Djoker is one of the best dressed on the tennis court these days? A lot classier than the garb Roger wears.
    No fancy party this year? No photo shoot with the boys in suits?
    The age difference between Roger and Djoker is the same as Djoker and Thiem. So why does everyone lump Fed and Djoker together and Thiem is part of the “nextgen”?

  14. Ladies and gentlemen, the now incomparably terrible roger Federer! Lays an egg at the business end of two sets. No plan, raining mishits, What a bum. Fed will never deliver in a big match again. This is a nostalgia tour.

    1. Just shut the f up, as this is your only contribution to this forum every time Roger loses.
      No added value in your comments, so dont wast our time.
      I guess your tennis is incredible, regardless of your age, right ?

      1. You can shut the f up right back. My opinion is just that, mine. Take your anger out on Fed, not those he disappoints time and again In meaningful events and matches, and who say the same.

        Give me a break, age. Is this a farewell tour? He is out there to win! Otherwise, why play? If he’s so hobbled by age, surely he’d have retired long ago. He knows he can beat these guys but fails over and over now. He needs to do better, is all, and despite how awesome he is from historical perspective, he is often frustratingly terrible now, and needs to rethink his approach, or pack it in. Do we as fans want him to keep taking bad losses all by roger loves tennis? He can do as he likes, but not all fans have to love it.

    2. Please feel free to show up at times other than those following Fed’s defeats. It’s quite likely that what drives your comments on the aforementioned occasions might as well help you produce relevant analyses when things go differently. It’s just an invitation, nothing more.

  15. I would accept your words if you would appear here on a regular basis. But you just show up when he loses to call him a peace of shxxx and then you disappear – this is very annoying.
    At his age I stopped expecting anything from him – I’m glad when he delivers, the rest is part of a more-year-lasting farewell tour. This is definitely a more healthy attitued for a Fed Fan.

  16. Not quite true. Yes, I mostly now comment when he loses, but only bc his losses of late are remarkable In nature, his victories less so (e.g., Blowing out de Minaur in Basel…wow). I’ve also written plenty of times when he had special victories, and said nothing when he had losses in which he Couldn’t compete And there was nothing to get mad over. But it’s right that when Fed loses matches like to Dimitrov or Djokovic this year, I’m on here fuming. Fed is older, but he Inexplicably donated two games at 5-5 Today that cost him the match, along with his usual failures on bps. I want him to succeed, or stop playing if he’s gonna keep losing meaningful matches. We should take him to task as fans sometimes too, I think, though your point about a contrary attitude as a healthier approach is taken.

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