If the Inexperienced Group meant ‘go’ on the opening day of the 2022 Nitto ATP Finals, the Pink Group might stand for ‘hazard’ on Monday in Turin.
The loaded singles foursome contains a trio of former champions — Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas — in addition to the highly effective Andrey Rublev, who’s making his third straight look on the season finale. It’s the first time since 1996 that three former champs have been positioned in the identical group.
On Day 2, Djokovic will meet Tsitsipas within the night session after Medvedev and Rublev sq. off earlier within the day.
In doubles motion, Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios make their much-anticipated Nitto ATP Finals debut towards prime seeds Neal Skupski and Wesley Koolhof, earlier than Croatians Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic face Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek.
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 Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) vs.  Novak Djokovic [SER]
Simply 9 days after their semi-final thriller on the Rolex Paris Masters, Tsitsipas and Djokovic meet on a good greater stage on the Pala Alpitour. The Greek got here inside three factors of snapping a seven-match shedding streak towards the previous World No. 1 in that contest, main 4/3 in a final-set tie-break, however Djokovic surged by means of the end line to prevail 6-2, 3-6, 7-6(4).
Tsitsipas was almost rewarded for his regular technique within the last as he patiently constructed factors and labored his manner into the frontcourt with regularity.
“I’ve weapons that I can use,” he mentioned forward of the Paris showdown. “However prior to now I really feel I’ve used an excessive amount of spin or energy. It’s essential that I keep at a medium degree and never overdo it. It is going to be a bodily match and I might want to transfer properly.”
Tsitsipas, who leads the ATP Tour this season in wins (60), can have one other alternative to excellent his techniques towards the Serbian on Monday. He faces a tall activity, with INSIGHTS Shot High quality statistics portray a fairly image for Djokovic, who leads the pair’s ATP Head2Head 9-2.
Whereas Djokovic is not going to be trying past the second seed — who can end the season with the year-end No. 1 Pepperstone ATP Rating by lifting the Turin title as an undefeated champion — the Serbian is chasing some historical past of his personal on the season finale. A five-time champion on the occasion, Djokovic can match Roger Federer’s file six titles by going all the way in which this week.
“[It would be] an ideal ending [to the season],” Djokovic advised ATP Media on Friday. “The cherry on the cake, for positive, but it surely’s a good distance. It’s an extended week.”
Djokovic Chasing ‘Cherry On High’ In Turin
The Serbian has gained six of the seven units he is performed towards Tsitsipas this yr, incomes straight-sets wins within the finals in Rome and Astana earlier than the three-set thriller in Paris.
“I performed him prior to now two tournaments I performed, within the last in Astana and the semi-finals in Paris,” mentioned Djokovic. “Each matches had been fairly shut, significantly the one in Paris. I do know that I’m anticipating a troublesome match undoubtedly.”
Along with his enjoying model described as ‘Stable Baseliner’ by INSIGHTS, Djokovic will one once more look to make use of his watertight recreation to blunt the Tsitsipas assault. However the Serbian’s biggest energy could also be a trait that can’t be quantified — his ice-cool composure underneath stress.
 Daniil Medvedev vs.  Andrey Rublev
Each Medvedev and Rublev have turn into regulars on the Nitto ATP Finals, with Medvedev showing annually since 2019 and Rublev returning annually since 2020. However whereas Rublev is but to advance past the round-robin stage, Medvedev has reached the ultimate in every of the previous two years, lifting the trophy in 2020 within the occasion’s final yr in London.
With a 9-4 file on the season finale, Medvedev is aware of higher than most what it takes to succeed on the distinctive competitors.
“From the primary match, you are going to play a troublesome opponent,” Medvedev mentioned on media day. “There’s a particular vitality about this match and I completely like it, and I hope to point out my finest tennis. I am feeling assured, however you by no means know earlier than the primary match.”
Including to the uncertainty is the truth that he has not met his opening opponent for the reason that 2021 Cincinnati semi-finals, the place Rublev claimed a three-set victory. Previous to that assembly, Medvedev gained the 4 earlier ATP Head2Head matchups between the pair — all in straight units, all in quarter-finals and all on laborious courts — together with on the 2020 US Open and 2021 Australian Open.
Whereas Rublev is thought for his energy and fervour on the court docket, he’s way over a baseline basher. As such, the 25-year-old is trying ahead to matching wits with a grasp tactician in Medvedev.
“Towards Daniil, that’s going to be an actual chess match,” Rublev mentioned, understanding that he must time his aggression properly. “I’m not even taking a look at my different matches. I imagine each of us will present an awesome degree that spectators will get pleasure from.”
With each gamers properly conscious of the problem of their group, the stakes are sky-high from the beginning.
The ‘Particular Ks’ are set to convey their brash model of doubles to the Nitto ATP Finals for the primary time, with Kokkinakis and Kyrgios searching for their third title of the season. The Australian Open champs are bidding to turn into the primary pair of doubles debutants to succeed in the title match on the year-end occasion since 2016, and the primary to say the trophy since 2013.
“It’s [going to be] a fairly superior expertise,” Kokkinakis mentioned. “I don’t assume it’s one thing we anticipated coming into the yr. To do it with such a great mate, there’s going to be good vitality on the market.”
The duo, who first teamed up on the 2013 Australian Open, face the hardest doable opening take a look at towards prime seeds Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski. The Dutch-British pair is making its debut on the Nitto ATP Finals because the No. 1 group within the Pepperstone ATP Dwell Doubles Groups Rankings after successful a Tour-leading seven titles in 2022.
The marquee doubles matchup would be the first assembly between the pairs.
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Returning semi-finalists Mektic and Pavic will meet fifth seeds Dodig and Krajicek within the second doubles match of Day 2 — a rematch of their assembly final month within the Astana quarter-finals, gained by Mektic/Pavic.
Th 33-year-old Mektic is searching for his second Nitto ATP Finals title after successful the 2020 crown alongside Wesley Koolhof. Dodig reached the 2014 last with Marcelo Melo, whereas Krajicek is making his debut on the season finale.
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