Sunday 18th November 2018

Event of the day: Final of the Nitto ATP Finals

Our event of the day is the final of the Nitto ATP Finals at the O2 Arena in London. Alexander Zverev faces Novak Djokovic in what is set to be a fitting end to this exciting, and often unexpected, edition of the season finale of premier men’s tennis. The two players met on Wednesday during the round-robin stage of the tournament and Zverev will surely be eager to get revenge after that bruising straight sets loss against the world number one. Be sure that you don’t miss what is expected to be an unforgettable match. Roger Federer entered the 2018 ATP Finals looking for his 100th career title. He had had a good year, winning four ATP tournaments and reaching the finals of a further three. But that left him at 99 titles over his twenty-year professional career. Federer was not his usual calm and collected self during the group stage of the competition. He lost the opening game of the tournament in straight sets to Kei Nishikori, a man he had beaten in 7 of their 9 previous meetings. That game also saw Federer snap at an umpire, behaviour rarely seen from the Swiss legend. While he bounced back to beat Dominic Thiem and Kevin Anderson in straight sets to win the group, it seemed the pressure of winning title number 100 was weighing on him. However, Federer would have to wait until 2019 to try for title number 100. He was stunned in his semi-final against the German sensation, Alexander Zverev.

Zverev has been making waves this year and is widely seen as one of the brightest up-and-coming stars of tennis. At only 21 years old, he is currently ranked 5th in the world and had upset Federer before, having beaten him at the 2017 Canada Masters. A dramatically improved ground game from the German put him past the 37-year-old Federer in straight sets. This made Zverev the first German to reach the final of the ATP Finals since Boris Becker in 1996. Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic continues to be a dominant force in men’s tennis. After reclaiming the number one ranking during the season, he came into the ATP Finals as the favourite. The only undefeated player following the round-robin stage, Djokovic continued his winning ways as he defeated Kevin Anderson in the evening semi-final in straight sets. Anderson looked over-matched as Djokovic only dropped 4 games to the South African on his way to a rematch with Zverev. Djokovic will look for his 6th title at the end of season tournament, and his first since the 2015. It should be a great match. 

Honourable mentions around the globe go to the UEFA Nations League, where England hosts Croatia at Wembley Stadium for the final game of their group. It is all to be play for tonight for these two sides. A goalless draw will see England finish the group in second, while Croatia will be relegated to League B. However, England will be relegated if both sides score in a draw. A win for either side will see them leapfrog Spain to win the group and secure a place in the Nations League Finals next June. Gareth Southgate will be desperately hoping that England do not suffer two tournament losses to Croatia in the same calendar year. Be sure you don’t miss this crucial match for both sides. Elsewhere, in the NFL, the in-form Chicago Bears host the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field. In NCAA women’s basketball, 10th ranked South Carolina look to continue a strong start to the season as they welcome the 9th ranked Maryland to Colonial Life Arena. In the Women’s World Cup Twenty20, the West Indies face England in St. Lucia. In the NHL, the Minnesota Wild look to close the gap at the top of the division as they travel to the United Center to face the Chicago Blackhawks. 

Whatever you’re watching, enjoy! 

Fixture 

Photos by ATP World Tour 

 

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