The 2019 men’s season ends next month with the ATP Finals in London. Rafa Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev, Roger Federer, Dominic Thiem and Stefanos Tsitsipas have all qualified for the year-end showcase – but two spots remain open.
Alexander Zverev and Matteo Berrettini are next in-line but they both have work to do to guarantee a trip to the O2. Roberto Bautista Agut, David Goffin, Fabio Fognini and Gael Monfils are also in contention and have reason to grind out some wins in the closing weeks.
Do you even need to guess who this title belongs to?
Local boy Roger is the record nine-time champion and 14-time finalist at the Basel Open. He’s won the past two editions and would surely love to claim a 10th trophy in the St. Jakobshalle. Fresh off a surprising loss to Zverev in Shanghai, the 38-year-old is unlikely to be upset here, at least early on.
Federer will start against a qualifier before a potential clash with Radu Albot or Dusan Lajovic. The level should pick up dramatically from there, with a possible run of Stan Wawrinka (quarters), Tsitsipas (semis) and Zverev (final). If the Swiss doesn’t take the title, the rejuvenated German, Zverev, could well be the cause.
The man from Lausanne is a two-time semi-finalist here and will enter the tournament in decent shape after a deep run in Antwerp. It’s a tall ask for him to displace Federer from their section, but never rule out Stan The Man.
The Belgian is still chasing a place at the ATP Finals but he would have liked an easier opening round. Marin Cilic has had an underwhelming season but he’s notched some welcome wins lately. If Goffin can overcome the former US Open champion, he has a decent path to the semi-finals.
The Austrian hails from just south of the capital but he hasn’t quite been at home at the Wiener Stadthalle so far. Thiem hasn’t made it past the last eight in Vienna so he’s not the strongest favourite you’ll see.
That said, the 26-year-old has enjoyed another fine year on the circuit and picked up a 15th title earlier this month in Beijing. The first match may prove hardest for Thiem as he faces a two-time former finalist in Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. If the world no.5 passes his French test, there’s a reasonable route to the final waiting.
It’s a very open draw in Vienna this year and the winner could be one of several names – so why not the big-hitting Italian? Berrettini has had a fabulous season so far with two titles (Budapest, Stuttgart) and almost 40 match wins.
The 23-year-old just enjoyed an excellent run to the last four of Shanghai and has a great chance to make his first ATP Finals. Definitely one to watch.
The flamboyant Canadian will arrive in Vienna fresh from a confidence-building run in Stockholm. The 20-year-old seems to have rediscovered that outrageous talent that sets him apart from most tour players.
Shapovalov is in the same section as Thiem and could take advantage if the Austrian flatters to deceive this week.
*Prices correct at time of publishing pre-tournament