Nitto ATP Finals 2019: Roger Federer vs Novak Djokovic showdown headlines draw
As tennis fans wait with bated breath for the final ATP tournament of the year, they will soon be presented with a blockbuster showdown between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer as the groups for the ATP Finals 2019 were released earlier today.
With both being placed in Group Bjorn Borg, an enthralling clash between the two legends, who share 11 titles between them, awaits - as early as the round-robin stages. What makes the match-up even more exciting is the fact that the two players won the last events they competed in, with Federer completing a haul of 10 titles at home in Basel and Djokovic winning the Paris Masters for a staggering fifth time.
For the Serb, who had to battle back from a slight dip in form as well as flu, the triumph at the French capital was all the more significant. Not only did the victory enable him to him lay down the gauntlet, but it also helped instill in him a lot of self-confidence as he continues his fight for the Year-End World No. 1 ranking with his nemesis, Rafael Nadal.
Having won the gala season-finale five times, he would be looking to lay his hands on the trophy for a sixth time in order to emulate Federer's feat, something he narrowly missed out on last year, falling to a shock defeat to Alexander Zverev in the final.
While tennis aficionados will be looking forward to Federer and Djokovic's first meeting since their much-talked-about Wimbledon 2019 final, there is another player in the same group who could have a say in proceedings. In his career-best year, Dominic Thiem has won five titles and his mastery of the hardcourts, which includes a title at Indian Wells, has been quite extraordinary.
The Austrian has notched up wins over each of the Big 3 members this year, which points to his surging self-belief, improved versatility, and ascent into the big leagues.
He has proved countless times this year that he is not intimidated by the big names of the sport and that could make a lot of difference at the ATP Finals. The final member of Group Bjorn Borg is the Italian No. 1 Matteo Berrettini, who reached the US Open semi-finals in a breakout year.
Having snatched the numero uno position from Djokovic, the French Open and US Open champion Rafael Nadal headlines Group Andre Agassi. The ATP Finals is the only blemish in an otherwise spotless career for the Spaniard, with his best show being a runner-up finish in 2010 and 2013.
However, this time his participation remains in doubt after a sudden abdominal injury forced him to hand Denis Shapovalov a walkover right before their Paris Masters semi-final clash. The southpaw, however, has said that he will be heading to London and is still optimistic about his chances of playing.
It's the creme of the Next Gen that Nadal has to tackle if he does decide to give it a go. With Daniil Medvedev being placed in the same group, Nadal cannot expect smooth sailing, given their captivating five-set final at New York this year.
Medvedev's scintillating form that saw him reach six consecutive finals and win three of them, would be a cause for concern for not just the World No. 1 but also the rest of the players in the group.
Australian Open semi-finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas has succumbed to the lanky Russian in all of their five meetings so far and defending champion Alexander Zverev's resurgence was stopped by none other than the 23-year-old at the Shanghai Masters final.
With Federer and Djokovic both being scheduled for the first day of play, there will be no dearth of excitement on a Super Sunday for tennis fans. While Djokovic opens his campaign with a clash against the World No. 8 Berrettini, Federer will begin his bid for a record-extending seventh title, in the evening session against the in-form Thiem.
With a cracking line-up and some sizzling action in store, the eight-day ATP Finals event is here to take tennis lovers on a memorable ride, bringing the 2019 season to a close.
Group Andre Agassi
 Rafael Nadal
 Daniil Medvedev
 Alexander Zverev
Group Bjorn Borg
 Novak Djokovic
 Roger Federer
 Dominic Thiem