2017 Nitto ATP Finals Draw

index

Singles – Group Pete Sampras
[1] Rafael Nadal (ESP)
[4] Dominic Thiem (AUT)
[6] Grigor Dimitrov (BUL)
[7] David Goffin (BEL)

Singles – Group Boris Becker
[2] Roger Federer (SUI)
[3] Alexander Zverev (GER)
[5] Marin Cilic (CRO)
[8] Jack Sock (USA)

There you have it. We suspect, only just beginning here to sip our morning tea, on first alert, that Nadal has a much easier draw, but then again he’s injured. And this is a funny sport, so often things aren’t quite as they may appear.

All things being equal, Zverev and Cilic (even Sock to a certain extent) are the most dangerous, outside Fedal, given their power. The only player in Group Sampras with some kind of dark horse stride would appear to be Dimitrov, but we know how reliable is that guy’s form.

Thiem seems pretty worn-out, not his favorite surface, and I just don’t see Goffin with enough on the hard courts to really take charge here. Of course, if Nadal is really limping around, then that group is wide open.

Federer begins with Sock (Sock may be in the best form of Group Becker’s bottom three); Federer could have his hands full.

What, then, is our take on Nadal, readers? Is it safe now to say he was pulling Guy Forget’s leg (pun intended)? Pulling-out of Paris like that (27 apologies) was then a nod to the security of YE #1 and an opportunity to rest for the WTF?

That actually makes more sense, but all of the reports of him blowing smoke up Forget’s skirt (sorry, Guy) and all of the medical reports (published on social media, mind you) that claimed his medical team had determined that this was the same knee issue and that playing London was probably not worth the cost, given the Spaniard’s desire to play well in 2018 and on; makes this a bit of a another case of smoke-and-mirrors.

Nadal could have secured another 1000, given what transpired in Paris, most likely if his knee was actually okay. Either way, he’s in London and has the group make-up to sail easily into the final four.

Remember, earlier I said my hunch was this would end for Nadal winning his first WTF; just been that kind of year, folks. The cards have been dealt and he looks good.

But what about the knee?

12 comments

  1. Nadal wins if he does’t face Federer, I just think that at the moment he doesnt have the mental edge he needs to beat Roger indoor..everyone else lacks experience at WTF.

    Both Nadal (first title) and Roger (widen gap to Djokovic) really really want it this year. For Nadal this is a unique opportunity without Djokovic and Murray

    1. I agree. Something just says Nadal pulls this off somehow. Without a WTF, we know that is a huge shortcoming. Feels almost like the gods will lob him a WTF kinda like that 3rd USO. 😉

  2. He won a couple of slams this year, and it’s an an uneven year, two reasons he’ll probably perform very well in London, and end up first in his Sampras-group.
    Doesn’t necessarily mean it will be smooth sailing in RR’s.
    I expect some resistance from his unexperienced opponents, and he apparently does tool, if not he didn’t need to create an opportunity to have some extra rest.

    1. As you said yourself, Goffin probably has his heart on DC, which could only add to his vulnerability.

      As I said during the USO, where Nadal looked to have a pretty smooth draw until SF, hopefully he’s tested. In NYC, the likes of Kyrgios, Berdych, Dimitrov and even Federer went away. Hopefully Dimitrov/Thiem/Goffin here in London can hold their own against a (even slightly) compromised Nadal.

      1. I doubt I said anything about David Goffin in connection to the WTF’s and Davis Cup. Must have been someone else’s comment you’ve read.
        I’m personally not that interested in Davis Cup, although the only time I saw Goffin play ‘life’ was at the Davis Cup RR Belgium vs Argentina in Brussels (last year or two years ago, I don’t remember exactly). His fans make too much noise in the stands for my liking, so I probably won’t go see him again when I suspect they’re around. I guess it is no coincidence that Liège, where Goffin is born, is called ‘the ardent city’.
        As far as WTF’s is concerned, I’m not giving my opinion yet on the possible outcome (last four and finalists). I’m doing research on the past WTF’s and analyzing some data, and as long as I haven’t finished that job I prefer not to give any opinion at all, even if I sometimes feel inclined to do so. I might write an article about it for your blog though, during the off-season.
        I believe in the eye test combined with some statistical perspective.

      2. Well, if you didn’t, you should’ve said something about the Davis Cup, which is a week after the WTF. Given these circumstances, I find it hard to believe that Goffin will provide much resistance to Nadal et al.

        But I am certainly hoping that he does. Nadal v Goffin is the first Sampras group match I believe. Shock waves if Goffin pulls the upset. That would just about turn-in Nadal, I suspect.

        But again, Nadal hungrier than ever will a very tough out (unless the injury is for real).

        Speaking of posts, one coming-out later today regarding my favorite subject: Nadal.
        The contradiction that is Nadal continues to trouble me.
        And this WTF represents a huge moment in that narrative/argument, like 2017 AO final.

  3. I would say that Federer and Nadal are another class like others. This is last chance for Nadal to beat Federer this season, but with his knee, it would be hard task. So Federer is most probable winner. I am just curious about Dimitrov, he lost this year with Nadal twice (or three) times in tight matches, so now it is Grigor chance.

    1. Thanks for the comment, fff01. I like Dimitrov in the group, as well, as do a lot of people probably. He’s played Nadal very tight this year. I thought coming off his first Masters title (cincy), Dimitrov v Nadal in NYC would be quite the show, but Dimitrov often has other plans. He’s tough to read. He can be brilliant and quite lackluster. Coin-flip.

      If he’s on, his all-court tennis could really trouble the knee. Goffin and Thiem have to be lights-out from the BL, which will be a tall order against the hungry Nadal.

  4. Except anything else, Amazon Prime services pulling tennis event live rights(in USA) seems most surprising point for me …. Sorry really not much to add about draw as hard to gauge Rafa currently where he is..Hopefully we get some good matches…. Zevrev Vs Roger is more interested for me after weird Canada finals…

  5. Dimitrov needs someone like Norman..if he had the success he had with Soderling and Stan imagine what he could do with Dimitrov’s potential..

    1. Good call, but I think he’s with Vallverdu for the time being. They’ve been together only about a year. Vallverdu has a nice coaching background and Grigor, despite some underwhelming tennis this year, did have some real highlights (Brisbane, AO SF, Cincy, etc).

      But that is a good question: where does Norman go? Or what happens to Stan now, without Norman?

What say you?