LONDON, UK – World No. 1 Novak Djokovic takes on Diego Schwartzman and Alexander Zverev and Daniil Medvedev have a Paris Masters rematch.
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Novak Djokovic  v Diego Schwartzman  | H2H: Djokovic leads 5-0
In what has been an eventful year for Novak Djokovic, he will still receive the trophy for the year-end World No. 1 but having a chance to lift the title once more as London’s tenure finally comes to an end after 11 years.
Djokovic won his first (then called) Masters Cup in 2008 in its last year in Shanghai, and since it loved to London, he won four straight times between 2012-2015. Since then the trophy has bounced around European champions and Djokovic has his eye on both prizes this year, and will pick up the Year-end No. 1 trophy before his opening match.
“Coming into the tournament knowing I already clinched the year-end No. 1 releases some of the pressure definitely, but at the same time it doesn’t change what I hope to achieve in this tournament and why I’m here. I really want to win every single match that I get to play and try to get my hands on the trophy and I want this trophy as much as anyone here.
“I’m really hoping that I can end the season in the best possible way and the success that I had previously here in the past 10 years helps me feel more comfortable and confident about myself on the court.”
He will face Diego Schwartzman who makes his debut in a tough group but this year while he might be the only member of the group without a title this year, he made three finals and the semi-finals of the French Open, and has hung tough with tough players all year.
Djokovic’s game is built for this court, and his aggressive and consistent game has had the better of Schwartzman on five occasions.
The Argentine will have to pull something out of the bag and has only once been able to push Djokovic the distance in any of their encounters.
Schwartzman has a decent return, and has great movement around the court but it still feels like a tall order (no pun intended) to get past the king of the indoor court.
Prediction: Djokovic in straight sets.
Daniil Medvedev  v Alexander Zverev  | H2H: Zverev leads 5-2
After probably a humbling debut for Daniil Medvedev, he returns with the Paris Masters in his boat, and indeed his opener here is a rematch of the Paris final against Alexander Zverev.
Medvedev’s highlight of the year prior to that was a run to the US Open semi-final, and while he could not quite pull off the same amazing run of finals and titles of last summer, he has shown that it was not a flash in the pan.
Medvedev might not have the most powerful serve but can dictate his game from the baseline at his best. It might like a little bit unorthodox, but has proved hard for opponents to read, and backs it up with a capable backhand. He can mix up his pace well, slice effectively and is an all-round tricky opponent, and last year started to make inroads in what had been a very one-sided head to head.
Zverev is still fending off the details of his alleged domestic abuse, and has continued to deny them, but there is no doubt that his reputation and achievements at still just 23 are now a little tarnished. He has gone from the defiance in Paris to a slightly more contrite message, but essentially still the focus is more off-court than on.
He will make more use of a stronger serve, which will put some pressure on Medvedev, but with the benefit of experience, he might be able to settle in the group stages more than last year.
Prediction: Medvedev in three sets.
Play begins on Day 2 of the Nitto ATP Finals at 12pm on Monday.
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