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ATP Finals: Breaking down the draw as Nadal faces Rublev first up

Roland-Garros champion Rafael Nadal faces Russia’s Andrey Rublev as Group London 2020 gets round-robin action under way at the ATP Finals. We break down the draw and look at the head-to-head records.

Rafael Nadal, Rolex Paris Masters 2020 Rafael Nadal, Rolex Paris Masters 2020

The Nitto ATP Finals begin on Sunday, November 15, as the best eight male players in the world meet at London’s O2 Arena for the year-end title.

Defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas opens up his round-robin campaign in Group London 2020 with a meeting against US Open titlist Dominic Thiem.

Here we take a look at the schedule – and the head-to-heads as they stand.

Day 1, Sunday November 15

Order of play

  • 12 noon – Doubles tbd
  • Not before 2pm – Thiem v Tsitsipas
  • 6pm – Doubles tbd
  • Not before 8pm – Nadal v Rublev

Thiem v Tsitsipas

Thiem holds a narrow advantage in the head-to-head, 4-3. The Greek has the most recent win, though – it was Thiem he beat to win last year’s ATP Finals, 6-7(6), 6-2, 7-6(4).

Nadal v Rublev

This pair have only met once before – three years ago at the US Open, when the Spaniard won 6-1, 6-2, 6-2.

Andrey Rublev St Petersburg

Day 2, Monday November 16

Order of play

  • 12 noon – Doubles tbd
  • Not before 2pm – Djokovic v Schwartzman
  • Not before 6pm – Doubles tbd
  • Not before 8pm – Medvedev v Zverev

Djokovic v Schwartzman

The Argentinian will be looking for his first-ever win over Djokovic. The pair have met five times before and Schwartzman has only managed to take three sets off the world No 1. They mostly recently clashed in the Rome final, where Djokovic won 7-5, 6-3.

Medvedev v Zverev

Medvedev has been hitting back in the last two years after their early head-to-head was entirely dominated by the German. The Russian won their most recent match, winning the Paris Masters final 5-7, 6-4, 6-1.

The other head-to-heads

Djokovic v Medvedev

The young Russian clocked two victories over Djokovic in 2019, winning in the Monte Carlo quarter-finals 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, and the Cincinnati semi-final 3-6, 6-3, 6-3. Djokovic won their most recent clash, though, in the ATP Cup, 6-1, 5-7, 6-4.

Djokovic v Zverev

It’s an oddity of their head-to-head that all five of their encounters have been resolved in straight sets. Djokovic just edges it 3-2 – but Zverev won their most recent match at the end-of-year showpiece, winning the 2018 final 6-4, 6-3.

Medvedev v Schwartzman

Medvedev is another one with a perfect record against Schwartzman – four wins out of four. The Russian’s most recent victory was in the Paris Masters, beating Schwartzman at the quarter-final stage, 6-3, 6-1.

Diego Schwartzman au Rolex Paris Masters

Zverev v Schwartzman

These two have a finely-poised head-to-head – two wins apiece. Both Zverev’s wins have come on indoor hard courts, though – most recently in the final in Cologne, 6-2, 6-1.

Nadal v Thiem

This rivalry is a storied one. Nadal leads 9-5 at the moment – but only two of their matches have been on hard courts. The Austrian won the most recent one, in the quarter-final of this year’s Australian Open, 7-6(3), 7-6(4), 4-6, 7-6(6).

Nadal v Tsitsipas

Nadal leads this head-to-head 5-1, and even won their round-robin match at last year’s ATP Finals – although Tsitsipas had the last laugh by winning the event.

Thiem v Rublev

This head-to-head is poised at 2-2 – but Rublev has won their two most recent meetings, in straight sets. The last match was the quarter-final in Vienna, which the Russian won 7-6(5), 6-2.

Tsitsipas v Rublev

This is another equal head-to-head at the moment, with two wins each. Tsitsipas won their only meeting on an indoor hard court – at the NextGen ATP Finals in 2018, winning their semi-final encounter 4-3, 3-4, 4-0, 2-4, 4-3.


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