Greg Rusedski tips ‘fresh and motivated’ Novak Djokovic to come good again at ATP Finals
Greg Rusedski believes Novak Djokovic will be hungry for his share of history at the ATP Finals next week.
The season finale featuring the best eight players of the year takes place at London’s O2 for the final time before it heads to Milan in 2021.
Djokovic recently tied Pete Sampras’ record of being the year-end world number one on six occasions and victory in the capital next week will see him tie Roger Federer’s tally of six ATP Finals victories.
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The Serb, who opted not to play in Paris last week, won four titles in a row between 2012 and 2015, when Andy Murray stopped his winning streak, but has not lifted the trophy since then.
But Rusedski is backing him to come good at the O2 farewell.
“I think Novak Djokovic is going to want to re-establish and tie the record of six with Federer,” the former British No 1 told the PA news agency.
“I think he is fresh now. His main goal was to get to No 1 – he did that. He had that little dip in Vienna and didn’t play in Paris.
“To get six year-end No 1s is a phenomenal accomplishment, only Pete Sampras has done that. Pete’s accomplishment is still ahead of Novak’s because Pete did it six years in a row.
“But I think he is going to be motivated because he hasn’t won it in a long time and whether you like it or not these guys want records. Federer, Djokovic and (Rafael) Nadal want to go down with the most Slams, the most ATP Finals wins, the most Masters wins, that is what drives these three incredible legends of the game.”
In a strange anomaly, despite his raft of grand slam titles, Rafael Nadal has never won the season-ending tournament and Rusedski is not giving him much hope of breaking his duck.
“I still think he can be dangerous but I think it will be a big ask for him to win and it will also depend what group he gets placed in,” he said.
“I think the court speed and the balls are just a little bit too quick and the other guys are playing better than him indoors. It is still a big ask to beat Nadal.”
Djokovic and Nadal are joined in London by US Open champion Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev, defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas, Daniil Medvedev and newbies Andrey Rublev and Diego Schwartzman.
* The Nitto ATP Finals will be available to watch on Amazon Prime Video on Sunday 15th to Sunday 22nd November.
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