After six intense days of group stage, there is only one day left to meet the finalists in Turin, and they will be determined through two meetings with various ATP Tour backgrounds: Novak Djokovic v Taylor Fritz and Casper Ruud v Andrey Rublev.
Judging by the second matchup, at least one player is already guaranteed to make his debut in the final round of the Nitto ATP Finals, but it could also be two if Fritz pulls off an upset against Djokovic. The Serbian, who is seeking to equal the record for titles at the Nitto ATP Finals (held by Roger Federer, with six crowns), enters with favoritism on his side: by position in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, by his experience playing this event (they will be his 11th semi-final at this event) and for his record with Taylor Fritz.
The Serb leads the ATP HeadToHead 5-0 between them, and is 11-2 in sets in this rivalry. The first reason is the wear and tear that ‘Nole’ drags on, who had to fight for more than three hours in this Friday’s game against Daniil Medvedev.
While the much more rested American last competed on Thursday when he beat Auger-Aliassime. And fatigue weighs heavily in this end-of-season competition. Let Djokovic himself say it: the last three times he advanced to the semifinals undefeated, he did not end up being the champion.
“I am facing a great opportunity. I really want to play against Novak. He obviously he is one of the best, if not the best. He has done quite well here in the past. I am super excited for this match”, assured Fritz, who is looking to become the first tennis player from his country to qualify for the final of this event since James Blake in 2006, when the tournament was played in Shanghai.
Djokovic struggled physically
Novak Djokovic made it three wins in a row at the 2022 ATP Finals on Friday, beating Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 6-7(5), 7-6(2). “There was a lot of different things. But I’m not going to go into details about it because I just don’t feel it’s a place for me to share that because why would I? I don’t want to reveal what I’m going through exactly to my opponents,” he said.
“Everyone has one of those days where they struggle more physically. For me that was today. I’m very proud to be able to find a way, because that’s what we are I think owing to ourselves and to the team and to the people who come and watch you, is to always try to give your very best in that given moment,” he added.