Our event of the day is day two of the 2018 Nitto ATP Finals in London. This prestigious end of season tournament features only the best eight qualified singles players and doubles teams in the world. This is the tenth time the tournament has been held in London, with previous venues including Tokyo, New York and Shanghai. Today, four of the eight singles players and four of the double’s teams will face off at the O2 Arena as they vie to reach the knockout stages of the tournament. In the singles, Alexander Zverev will play Marin Čilić on the indoor hard court, as the two seek to get their campaign off to a strong start. Following this match, the London crowd will be treated to another blockbuster as world number one Novak Djokovic will do battle with the American John Isner. Considering his immense talent, Zverev has disappointed in tournaments of late, failing to reach a final in any of his last seven ranking events. Prior to this, the 21-year-old won the title at the Washington Open, but did so facing just one player from the top ten en route to the final.
However, what goes in the Russian’s favour ahead of today’s game is he has only lost to Marin Cilic once before, beating him five times out of six. In fact, Čilić s only win against today’s opponent came when Zverev was just 17 and since then the Croat has been unable to get the better of his young counterpart. Cilic himself has had an equally quiet few months since winning at the Queen’s Club and reaching the final of Wimbledon earlier this summer. This will be the 30-year-old’s fourth appearance at the ATP finals and he will hope to improve on his poor record at the event of one win in nine matches. In typical Djokovic fashion, the Serb has won four of the last six ranking events he has appeared in, indicating that the 31-year-old has no intentions of slowing down any time soon. He has won this event five times, taking the title in four of the last seven years, with only Roger Federer winning it more times (6). His opponent, John Isner, qualified for this tournament due to injuries to both Rafa Nadal and Juan Martín del Potro. This year will be the American’s first ever appearance at this famous event and he will look to capitalise on his chance – but couldn’t have a sterner test to kick-off his campaign. These two have faced each other ten times, with Djokovic winning eight of those meetings, including the last five in a row. In yesterday’s games, Kevin Anderson kicked off his tournament in style with a straight-sets win over Dominic Thiem whilst Kei Nishikori defied the odds to beat world number three Roger Federer in the late game. In the doubles, Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares beat Michael Venus and Raven Klaasen as the Colombian pairing of Robert Farah and Juan Sebastián Cabal got the better of Alexander Peya and Nikola Mektic.
Honourable mentions around the globe go to the NFL where the San Francisco 49ers play the New York Giants on Monday night football. The 49ers have a disappointing record this season, winning just two games whilst losing the other seven, as they have suffered due to a tough sequence of injuries. The Giants have an inferior record this season of 1-7, failing to win any of their last five matches. With both team’s chances of making the playoffs all but dead, this game might have a big say in who will be drafting first in the 2019 NFL Draft. Elsewhere in the sporting world, there is a busy night in the NBA where a West Coast clash involving the LA Clippers and the Golden State Warriors will take place in Los Angeles as the Warriors look to improve to 12-2 on the season. There is also action in the English FA Cup as Hampton and Richmond take on Oldham Athletic in the first round. In cricket, day two of the Second Test between Bangladesh and Zimbabwe will get underway at the Sher-e-Bangla International Stadium. Finally, today will see the third day of the Grand Slam of Darts get underway, as Michael van Gerwen looks to make it four wins in as many years at this event.
Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!
Photos by ATP World Tour
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