The 2021 ATP Finals: How Do The Players Compare? - UBITENNIS
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The 2021 ATP Finals: How Do The Players Compare?

UbiTennis has a closer look at the eight contenders for the trophy in Turin this year.



ATP Finals 2021, Torino (via Twitter, @atptour)

As the season approaches its end, attention switches to the ATP Finals which will be held in the Italian city of Turin for the first time in history.

Besides the prospect of winning one of the sport’s most prestigious titles outside of the Grand Slams, there is also an eye-watering prize money pool. This year’s winner is guaranteed to take home $1.094M but their earnings will rocket to $2.316M if they go undefeated. The eight-day tournament is split into two stages. First players are split into two groups of four and will play three round-robin matches. The top two of each group will then progress to the knockout stages.

20-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic heads the Green Group. He has been drawn to play Stefanos Tsitsipas, Casper Ruud and Andrey Rublev. Meanwhile, US Open champion Daniil Medvedev is in the Green Group along with Alexander Zverev, Matteo Berrettini and Hubert Hurkacz.

On the eve of the tournament getting underway, UbiTennis looks at the how the player’s in this year’s draw fair against each other.

The head-to-head

Out of the eight participants, Djokovic is the only player to have either a positive or neutral record against everybody else in this year’s draw. Overall, the world No.1 boasts a win-loss record of 27-9 against the six players he has previously faced on the Tour. Djokovic is yet to play Andrey Rublev who has been drawn in the same group as him. Medvedev, Tsitsipas and Zverev are the only players to have beaten him before and all of them have done so on multiple occasions.

Reigning champion Medvedev is on level footing with two players in his group when it comes to their head-to-head. He is currently tied with Zverev at 5-5 and is 1-1 against Hurkacz. However, he has beaten Berrettini in both of their previous meetings.

At the other end of the spectrum, Ruud has only scored three wins over his fellow ATP Finals title contenders. Recording two victories against Berrettini and one over Tsitsipas. This means he is yet to beat two out of the three players he will face in the group stages.


  • Green = members of Green Group
  • Red = member of Red Group
  • Blue = potential semi-final/final head-to-heads when the two groups merge into the knockout stages

ATP Finals appearances

Djokovic is significantly the most experienced player when it comes to most times played in the season-ending event. This year will be the 14th time he has played in the event which is almost triple that of anybody else. After him, former champion Zverev will be making his fifth appearance. Djokovic is seeking to win the title for a sixth time which will tie the all-time record currently held by Roger Federer. Furthermore, if he wins two or more matches he will overtake Ivan Lendl for most matches won at the ATP Finals and moved into second on the leaderboard. He is currently on 38 wins but even if he goes unbeaten this year it will not be enough to surpass Federer who is on 59.

Ruud, who is the youngest player in the field, will be making an historic debut. The 22-year-old is the first Norwegian to qualify for the ATP Finals. Also making his debut is Poland’s Hurkacz at the age of 24. He is the second man for his country to qualify for the event after Wojciech Fibak who finished runner-up back in 1976.

Four out of the eight players in this year’s tournament have previously won the title. Making it the most number of former champions to feature in the ATP Finals since 1994. Besides Djokovic’s five-time triumph, Medvedev, Tsitsipas and Zverev have won the trophy once before.

Titles won in 2021

Djokovic, Ruud and Zverev lead the field in terms of most ATP trophies won in 2021 with each of them winning five titles. Three out of the five trophies won by the world No.1 was at a Grand Slam tournament with the only exception being at the US Open. Djokovic also won a 250 event in his native Belgrade and more recent the Paris Masters. In contrast, all of Ruud’s titles were won at 250 events. During July he became the first ATP Player in a decade to win three straight titles within as many weeks. Finally, Zverev claimed gold at the Tokyo Olympic Games in what he describes as one of the biggest achievements of his career. He also won two 500 events and two Masters 1000.

Russia’s Rublev has won the fewest titles so far in 2021 with just one to his name which occurred at the Rotterdam Open. However, since then he has reached the final of two Masters tournaments as well as a 500 event in Germany. Rublev has also achieved 32 wins on a hard court this season which is the joint-fourth highest on the ATP Tour.

Category of titles won


Olympic Qualification Is Not the Only Goal For French Veteran Gael Monfils



Gael Monfils (image via

Gael Monfils admits he doesn’t have too many years left on the Tour but this doesn’t mean his targets are any less ambitious. 

The 37-year-old has enjoyed a rapid rise up the rankings over the past 12 months following battles with injury. At his lowest, he was ranked 394th last May but is now in 40th position. As a result, he is closing on securing a place in the Olympic Games which is being held in his home country of France for the first time since 1924. The tennis event will be staged at Roland Garros. 

“When I was 400, I was thinking the Olympics would be great, but it’s going to be tough,” Monfils told reporters on Tuesday. 
“There are younger players playing well. If I don’t qualify, I don’t mind. It will just mean I’m very close to the ranking I want to be. That ranking will allow me to find another goal.”

Monfils is already a three-time Olympian but has never won a medal at the event. He reached the quarter-finals of the singles tournament twice in 2008 and 2016. 

Another goal of Frenchmen is the Wimbledon championships which concludes just three weeks before the Olympics begin. The proximity of these tournaments will be a challenge to all players who will be going from playing on clay to grass and then back to clay again. 

“I really want to go and play Wimbledon. I don’t have so many Wimbledons to play in the future. The Olympics is one goal, not the only goal.” Monfils states.
“My dream is of course to be part of the Olympics. I played three times at the Olympics. I’d like to be there again. But I also really want to do well in Wimbledon this year. To reach my goal, it has to be including Wimbledon.” He added. 

Monfils is currently playing at the Monte Carlo Masters where he beat Aleksandar Vukic in his opening match. In the next round, he will take on Daniil Medvedev in what will be their first meeting since 2022. He leads their head-to-head 2-1. 

Medvedev has openly spoken about his roller-coaster relationship with playing on the clay. He admits it is not his favourite surface but how much of a factor could this be in his upcoming clash with Monfils?

“Of course, it’s not his favourite one, but he’s still Daniil Medvedev, and whatever the surface, it’s always very complicated to play him,” Monfils concludes. 

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Matteo Berrettini wins in Marrakech displaying quality tennis



Matteo Berrettini - Marrakech 2024 (photo X @ATPTour_ES)

Matteo Berrettini defeats Roberto Carballes Baena in straight sets, 75 62, and proves that his comeback is well grounded  

If life is often considered a continuous narrative, it may be no coincidence that today Matteo Berrettini’s comeback journey intersescted Carballes Baena, a player he had faced twice in straight tournaments, Florence and Naples in October 2022, shortly before plunging into his annus horribilis, an injury-plagued 2023.

Just like resuming the story from where it was left.

Carballes Baena, the defending champion, got off to a sharper start, holding serve with ease and earning a first break point in the second game. Berrettini averted the threat by hammering down three serves but lost his service two games later.

Doubts on the Italian’s recovery from his energy-draining semifinal may have been starting to come afloat. However Berrettini broke back immediately, unsettling the Spaniard’s consistency with changes of pace and alternating lifted and sliced backhands.

The next six games neatly followed serve. Figures witness how close the match was. After 45 minutes the scoreboard read 5 games all, and stats reported 27 points apiece.

The eleventh game was to be crucial. Carballes Baena netted two forehands, while trying to hit through the Italian’s skidding spins and conceded a break point. Berrettini followed up two massive forehands with a delicate, unreachable drop shot and secured the break.

Carballes Baena was far from discouraged, and fired two forehand winners dashing to 0 40  with the Italian serving for the set.

Berrettini was lucky to save the first break point with a forehand that pinched the top of the net, and trickled over. Then he hit two winning first serves to draw even. Then again two first serves paired with their loyal forehand winner: Berrettini’s copyright gamepattern sealed a 59 minute first set.

The match seemed about to swing round at the very start of the second set when Carballes Baena had three break points and was winning all the longer rallies. Once more Berrettini got out of trouble thanks to his serve. Carballes Baena’s disappointment turned into frustration after he failed to put away two quite comfortable smashes and lost his service immediately after.  

Unforced errors were seeping into the Spaniard’s game and when Berrettini won a 16-shot rally with a stunning crosscourt forehand on the stretch and went on to grab a two-break lead, the match appeared to have taken its final twist.

Berrettini did not falter when serving for the match at 5 2, despite an unforced error on the first point. Three first serves chauffeured him to two match points.

Carballes Baena only succeeded in bravely saving the first, well steering the rally. But the 2021 Wimbledon finalist produced a massive serve out wide and joyfully lifted his arms to the sky, for a most emotional victory. It means so much to a player whose talent and career have been incessantly diminished by injuries.

It’s been a tough last couple of years” Matteo Berrettini said, holding the trophy. “Thanks to my team I was able to overcome all the tough moments my body didn’t allow me to play. I thank you and all the people that made my comeback possible: all my friends and my family, the people that were with me all the time when I was sad, injured and I didn’t think I could make it.”

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Andrey Rublev Reflects On Recent Struggles Ahead Of Monte Carlo Title Defence



Andrey Rublev admits he continues to struggle to maintain his emotions on the court after his disqualification from a tournament earlier this year.

The Russian world No.6 hopes to get back on track after a disappointing American swing where he won just one out of three matches played. In Indian Wells, Rublev beat ex-No.1 Andy Murray before falling in straight sets to Jiri Lehecka. Then in Miami, he lost his opening match against Tomas Machac. 

“At Indian Wells, I was so focused on trying to control my movements that I was completely stuck,” the 26-year-old recently commented
“I had no energy left, I had no strength. And in Miami, I exploded. I could no longer control myself, my actions, my nerves. I felt paralyzed, I couldn’t move.”

As to why Rublev felt so paralyzed, he acknowledges it could be linked to an incident that happened earlier in the season. At the Dubai Tennis Championships he was defaulted from his semi-final clash against Alexander Bublik for unsportsmanlike conduct after he was accused of saying an obscenity in his native language at an official. He then successfully appealed against the penalty and retained the ranking points and prize money he earned, barring a fine of $36,400 for a code violation.

“Maybe what happened in Dubai remains in my mind,” said Rublev. 

Rublev’s focus now switches to his title defence at the Monte Carlo Masters. It is the only Masters 1000 event he has won so far in his career. 

“I feel better. These last two weeks I have been training a lot. But it’s one thing to train well, it’s another to play well in a match.” He evaluated of his current form. 

Rublev has yet to defend a Tour-level title so far in his career. Should he do so, he will become only the fifth player in the Open Era to win multiple Monte Carlo trophies. 

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