2021 ATP Tour Lookahead
Daniil Medvedev just stole the Nitto ATP Finals away from Dominic Thiem …
… and Novak Djokovic came out and said that he can’t win the ATP Finals every time.
Novak Djokovic had a solid run during the November ATP Finals. He beat Deigo Schwartzman and Alexander Zverev and made it into the semi-finals. However, he took a close loss to Dominic Thiem and missed his chance at repeat appearances in the final.
Despite the way the headlines make it seem like a negative statement about not being able to win every time. Novak said that [paraphrased] you can’t win the ATP Finals every year with such strong competition on the courts.
Regardless of his semi-finals loss in London, Novak Djokovic still finished No. 1 in the ATP standings. Rafa Nadal ended the 2020 season with the second largest accumulation of points, Dominic Thiem at No. 3, just a few hundred points behind Nadal. Medvedev came in 4th in the standings with 8470 points, and the Tom Brady of tennis, Roger Federer, finished the season No. 5 with 6,630 points.
Speaking of Roger Federer. Andy Murray recently came out and said that Federer is the best player to watch. Andy Murray is notoriously active on social media. He recently stated: “Roger Federer is the most beautiful to watch, Novak is also pleasant, while Rafa is the one who always sends the ball back in every exchange, because he is the one who gives the most energy every time he is on the court.”
Of course, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem, and Medvedev will be the favorites all through 2021
2021 Indian Wells | BNP Paribas Open
So, the players get just a short break from the tour … even though they got a bit of a physical break from all of the COVID-19 cancellations. We’ll see the best of the best hit the hard courts from March 8th to March 15th in California.
2020’s interaction was canceled due to coronavirus. But Dominic Thiem and Roger Federer should be top on the odds boards. Thiem won the event in 2019, and Federer came in second. But Roger Federer also came finished as the runner-up in 2018 and won this Masters in 2017. He didn’t make the finals in 2016 but finished as the runner up against Djokovic in 2015 and 2014. He also won in 2012, 2006,2005, and 2004. Djokovic is no stranger to winning at Indian Wells either. The runner-up to Federer in 2007, but then won the event in 2008, 2011, and then three-peated from 2013 through 2015.
The Women’s side of things hasn’t been nearly as dominant. Since 2005, only one athlete has won on these California courts twice: Maria Sharapova back in 2013 and 2006. For the other 13 years, the last woman standing has been different each time.
Since 2019 and counting backward, the last few have been:
- Bianca Andreescu
- Naomi Osaka
- Elena Vesina
- Victoria Azarenka
- Simona Halep
- Flavia Pennetta
We have to think that the young Canadian will be a favorite, along with the ever dominant Ashleigh Barty. Naomi Osaka and Simona Halep should all be at the top of the list as well, due to their current WTA rankings.
We’ll know more after the Australian Open in Melbourne from January 18th to 25 as it’s the first Grand Slam of the year. Of course, in February, there are a handful of tournaments, but big names will either attend the Rotterdam Open (Netherlands ATP 500) or the Rio Open in Brazil in the middle of February, or the Dubai Tennis Championship.
The players will likely be selective in January and February as to which 500s they play and if they even play any 250s at all. My money would be on some top-ranked players playing in Rotterdam or Rio, then resting up for the first Tour Masters 1000 at Indian Wells. Dubai and Mexico would leave them with less rest and training time for the hard courts in California.