By Abigail O’Sullivan
17 November 2021
Whilst it seems that the year in tennis is coming to an end, there is still plenty of action for hungry tennis fans to soak up prior to the 2021 season closing out. Before we travel to Turin and deep dive into everything that’s gone down so far at the Nitto ATP Finals, we’re going to review how we got here. Let’s look at who retired from tour before visiting our top 10 and their performance over the last 12 months, from number of titles to biggest wins.
Unfortunately, we said farewell to some remarkable players this year with nine players retiring from the tour. Alexandr Dolgopolov, Guillermo Garcia López, Martin Kližan, Paolo Lorenzi, Lu Yen-Hsun, Leonardo Mayer, Jürgen Melzer, Leander Paes and Viktor Troicki all packed up their racquets and said goodbye to the ATP. These players will certainly be missed as they step aside to make way for the new field of young guns moving in.
2021’s ATP tour saw several players hang around at the top of the field, playing incredible tennis for the duration of the season. The number of titles won by these players is indicative of their success. Indeed, Djokovic has five titles under his belt, including three grand slams, a 250 series and the Paris Masters. Equalling this number, world number three Alexander Zverev secured the gold in Tokyo as one of his five titles. The 2021 season also saw a new entry into the top 10 in Casper Ruud. The young Norwegian matched Novak and Zverev by taking out five titles including the Geneva Open and the Swedish Open. With the Stockholm Open rounding out the year in Sweden prior to tour finals, our ATP Top 10 finished out like this:
Fans of Djokovic were treated to an absolute domination of the field this year with the Serbian coming out on top at year end. The 2021 world number one sits nearly 3000 points away from his closest competitor in Daniil Medvedev. After taking out the Australian Open, Wimbledon, French Open and narrowly missing out in the final of the US Open, Novak was the bookies’ favourite heading into the Nitto ATP Finals.
- Novak Djokovic
- Daniil Medvedev
- Alexander Zverev
- Stefanos Tsitsipas
- Andrey Rublev
- Rafael Nadal
- Matteo Berrettini
- Casper Ruud
- Hubert Hurkacz
- Felix Auger-Aliassime
Novak is presented with year-end Number 1 trophy at ATP Finals
(Source: ATP Tour, Inc)
Day one of the Nitto ATP Finals certainly lived up to expectations, delivering superb tennis and quality entertainment to fans in Turin. With Rafa sitting out this year due to a foot injury, Hubert Hurkacz rounds out the top 8 players participating in this year’s finals. Two fan favourites faced off on Sunday as Zverev took on Berrettini in front of the Italian’s home crowd. Whilst the first set seemed to hint at a nail biter, going to Zverev 9-7 in a tie break, heartbreaking news came only one game into the second set. The Italian was forced to retire after a persistent injury to his left oblique.
The ATP Tour website reported how Berrettini was feeling about his heartbreaking situation:
“The atmosphere was one of the best I ever felt in my life," Berrettini said. "It was unbelievable. That is probably why I feel so bad right now. Not being able to finish the match is killing me. It is just really tough to face. I really wanted to enjoy every second, that’s what we said as a team. The worst thing that could have happened, happened.”
(Source: ATP Tour, Inc)
Berrettini’s future hangs in the balance over the next couple of days. On a brighter note, first alternate player Jannik Sinner may be given the opportunity to complete the rest of Berrettini’s matches. The young Italian rounded out last week at number 10, only just missing out on qualifying for Turin. Since then, however, Sinner and Auger-Aliassime have traded places, with the latter now joining the top 10 for the first time and Sinner dropping to 11th in the ATP rankings. Day one also saw Medvedev triumph over Hurkacz in three sets, while on day two, Rublev and Djokovic came out on top over Tsitsipas and Ruud, respectively. Watch this space for more scores in the exciting race to take out the final tournament of the year!