Kei Nishikori set for ATP Finals test after bouncing back from slump

Carrie Guzman
November 10, 2018

The Japanese player qualified for the tournament, which starts at the O2 arena on Sunday, as a result of the withdrawal of Juan Martin del Potro due to a right knee injury.

Isner hopes to make a similar impact to compatriot Jack Sock, who reached the semis on his debut past year before losing to eventual champion Grigor Dimitrov.

Last year's victor of course, was Grigor Dimitrov, who entered the tournament for the first time and walked away with $2,549,000 in prize money earnings following his three-set win over David Goffin in the final.

Federer is expected to emerge from Group Lleyton Hewitt, also featuring Kevin Anderson, Dominic Thiem and Kei Nishikori, while Djokovic is highly fancied to top Group Guga Kuerten, which also includes Alexander Zverev, Marin Cilic and John Isner.

Nishikori opens his tournament against world number three Roger Federer and admitted it would be tough after two recent losses against the Swiss.

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Novak Djokovic revelled in his "perfect" five months on Friday as he took aim at his sixth ATP Finals title with the year-end number one ranking in the bag.

"I don't think it matters really where I win my 100th as long as it's going to happen at one point", said the 37-year-old, who has not won the ATP Finals since 2011. In 2009, Nishikori didn't play any of the Grand Slam events due to a persistent elbow injury.

Novak Djokovic is back at No. 1 and continues to have the upper hand as he showed by beating Federer for the fourth straight time by winning a taut, three-set semifinal at the Paris Masters on Saturday.

"Maybe Wimbledon and the US Open didn't go the way I was hoping but those were really the only two disappointments of the season", he said. But at the same time I feel as a general idea of this event is that it travels more'. He has chased only a few tennis records with genuine intent, including the men's mark for Grand Slam singles titles, which Pete Sampras once held with 14 and which Federer now owns with 20. Isner is set to end the season inside the top-10 for the first time irrespective of the results in London. De Minaur was selected for Newcomer of the Year after reaching a career high ranking of No. 31, which places the 19-year-old as the second-youngest ATP player inside the Top 100.

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