Over the last 12 years, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic were the protagonists at almost every ATP Finals event, with Roger and Novak sharing 11 titles in total. After lifting 11 trophies in 13 years between 2003-2015, Roger and Novak lost the ground at the premium ATP event in the recent years, allowing Andy Murray, Grigor Dimitrov and Alexander Zverev to steal the glory in the last three years and not heading all the way this week as well following Stefanos Tsitsipas' victory over Federer in the semi-final.
Despite that, the best players of the last two decades are always in the spotlight at the ATP Finals, battling for the titles and sometimes for the year-end no. 1 spot, which was the case this week too. For the first time since 2011 when they were the top seeds as well, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have failed to pass the round-robin stage as the leaders of the pack, allowing the young guns to fight for the crown but still earning some excellent records and achievements.
In their head to head clashes, Roger Federer has the advantage over Rafael Nadal who defeated the Swiss only once at this event, with Novak Djokovic standing on the positive record against Rafa and with a 3-3 score versus Roger.
The Swiss has won 11 Majors on the hard court while the Serb stands on ten, leaving Nadal on decent five crowns in Melbourne and the US Open. Also, Federer is the most accomplished indoor player with 26 ATP titles, followed by Djokovic who also had some incredible runs at the ATP Finals and Paris Masters.
Nadal is not in the same category with them when we talk about tennis under the roof, lifting only one title in Madrid back in 2005 and never having a chance to go all the way at the ATP Finals, despite reaching two finals.
Plagued with injuries and lack of form in the last couple of months after the US Open, Rafa was forced to skip the ATP Finals in 2005, 2008, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018, qualifying for it in every year since 2005 when he was only 19 and setting a record that will hardly be broken in the future.
Of course, there is always a story around the surface, with Nadal not being happy with the fact the ATP Finals have to host the best players on the hard surface year after year, instead of bringing clay into contention at least once.
In the last couple of years, we had some thrilling clashes for big points and year-end positions and the most notable one is that from 2016, when Andy Murray toppled Novak Djokovic in the winner-takes-all title match that determined the best player of the season!
On the other hand, Federer couldn't fight against Djokovic in the final two years earlier, giving Djokovic a walkover due to a back injury for the only title match at this event that wasn't played. “This infographic was originally found on Betway”.