Federer eyes ATP finals crown to reach career 100

Rafael Nadal has pulled out of next week’s ATP Tour Finals in London due to injury. —AFP  File

"Reflecting on what I've been through in the last year, it's quite a phenomenal achievement", Djokovic said after returning to the No 1 spot after two years.

Along with Juan Martin delPotro, the Japanese star was tipped to be one of the guys that would eventually break the stranglehold that Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray had on the men's game for so long. Isner is set to end the season inside the top-10 for the first time irrespective of the results in London.

The pace at which Federer plays and the rhythm he gets into on fast courts have never been to Djokovic's liking. I think the options are clearly important to look at. He has chased only a few tennis records with genuine intent, including the men's mark for Grand Slam singles titles, which Pete Sampras once held with 14 and which Federer now owns with 20. I was playing with them in the weekend, which cost me much more.' Asked if people would remember him for not being able to win a Grand Slam, Ferrer replied: 'Well, sometimes, but it does not matter.

The 31-year-old looked tired in his defeat to the Russian big-hitter Karen Khachanov in the Paris Masters final, but there is no denying that he is back to his sliding, defending, counter-punching best. Kevin Anderson and John Isner, who have qualified on the back of their career-best years, are long shots. "Djokovic, Zverev, Cilic, Isner is a pretty rough one".

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Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem, from a generation further below, are still developing.

That's preceded by the opening doubles match, in which another South African qualifier, the Wimbledon doubles runner-up Raven Klaasen, competes at the ATP Finals for the second time.

After starting the year off with wins in the Australian Open and the Rotterdam Open, where he became the oldest No. 1 in tennis history, the Swiss underwent a poor run of form that saw him drop down the rankings. "I just feel like there was always a couple of guys maybe just a little bit better during that week". So that makes me feel good about his chances when he does come back.

With more players still to be announced over the coming weeks, the tournament is shaping up to be one of the most well rounded in recent times with strong fields for both the Women's and Men's weeks already confirmed.

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