After the Paris Masters, things didn't look promising for Rafael Nadal in the year-end no. 1 battle against Novak Djokovic, withdrawing with an injury before the semi-final and allowing the Serb to take home 1000 points.
The ultimate clash for the best player of the season came at the ATP Finals in London and it was Djokovic who had the advantage, eager to erase 640 points deficit and pass the Spaniard for the sixth year-end no. 1 honor. He was on a steady course towards that after the first round-robin matches, with him scoring an absolute triumph over Matteo Berrettini while Nadal played on a mediocre level versus Alexander Zverev, with just 440 points advantage over the Serb ahead of the second round encounters.
Out of sudden, Nadal found himself in a much better position, with Dominic Thiem prevailing against Djokovic and the Spaniard who came from the verge of defeat to defeat Daniil Medvedev and restore the order, mounting the pressure on Novak ahead of the last round-robin clashes.
There, Roger Federer displayed a flawless performance to topple the Serb, sending Novak out from the competition and securing the year-end no. 1 for Nadal, his fifth overall that puts him on the level terms with mentioned Federer and Djokovic, trailing one to the record-holder Pete Sampras.
Roger Federer secured another season in the top-3 at the age of 38, 765 points ahead of the ATP Finals finalist Dominic Thiem who moved in front of Daniil Medvedev who couldn't score at least one victory in London. The 21-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas went all the way on his debut in London, securing the biggest title of his career and moving closer to Thiem and Medvedev before the Australian Open showdown in January where the Greek has to defend the semi-final.
Alexander Zverev did his best to regain the crown in London but that proved to be the mission impossible, losing to Dominic Thiem in the semi-final and finishing the season ranked seventh after two straight top-4 performances in 2017 and 2018.
Matteo Berrettini, Roberto Bautista Agut and Gael Monfils complete the year-end top-10 line-up, with plenty of action and drama waiting just around the corner at the beginning of the new season. Jannik Sinner was the mover of the week, claiming his third Challenger title in Ortisei to pass 18 rivals and close the year in the top-80 at the age of 18.
Houston Challenger finalist Ivo Karlovic has secured another year in the top-100, his 17th in a row, becoming the third 40-year-old player with that achievement after Ken Rosewall and Jimmy Connors. ATP Rankings