Surprising ATP Finals stat ends 43-year streak and could signal two-man race
As the only Slam title holders in the draw Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev are the clear favourites at this year’s ATP Finals.
The 2021 ATP Finals sees four previous champions among its competitors. Djokovic has five year-end titles, while Medvedev, Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas have one each.
However, this year’s event is different in one way from every iteration since 1978.
For the first time since that competition, fewer than three Slam champions are competing in the tour finals.
Since the inaugural event in 1970, this has occurred just twice, in 1976 and 1978. 1976 saw just one Slam champion compete in Manuel Orantes, while 1978 saw two in Arthur Ashe and Jimmy Connors.
In 2021, 20-time Slam champion Djokovic and 2021 US Open champion are shoe-ins to make the final as the top two seeds in Turin.
Djokovic leads Medvedev in their head-to-head 6-4. In addition, both Djokovic and Medvedev do not have a losing record against any of the rest of the field, highlighted in the table below.
Djokovic is the odds on favourite at 7/5, followed by Medvedev at 3/1. Zverev is next at 6/1 and Tsitsipas at 10/1.
While Djokovic and Medvedev are the only Slam champions in the draw, they are not the only Slam finalists.
Berrettini was this year’s Wimbledon runner-up to Djokovic, while Tsitsipas lost to the Serb in the Roland Garros final.
Zverev reached his maiden Slam final last year at the 2020 US Open. He lost that day to Dominic Thiem.
Djokovic would make history should he win, equalling Roger Federer’s record tally of six year-end titles.
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