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Djokovic has motivation to claim record sixth title, says Rusedski

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Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

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Novak Djokovic

Rafael Nadal and Stefanos Tsitsipas were drawn in the same group as London prepared to host its last and very different Nitto ATP Finals.

The ATP had hoped to go out with a bang after 12 hugely successful years at The O2 Arena, with the tournament also celebrating its 50th anniversary.

But the coronavirus pandemic means the event will take place behind closed doors before it moves to Turin next year.

The groups are named Tokyo 1970 and London 2020 to mark the half-century, and it was the latter group in which Nadal, still chasing his first win at the season-ending event, and Tsitsipas were placed at yesterday's draw.

Joining Nadal and Tsitsipas will be US Open champion Dominic Thiem, who has recovered from a foot problem, and Russian debutant Andrey Rublev.

Novak Djokovic heads the Tokyo group and will take on in-form duo Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev, who contested the Paris Masters final last weekend, and the second debutant, Argentinian Diego Schwartzman.

Djokovic recently tied Pete Sampras' record of being the year-end World No.1 on six occasions, and victory in the capital from November 15-22 would see him equal Roger Federer's tally of six ATP Finals victories.

The Serb, who opted not to play at the Paris Masters, won four titles in a row between 2012 and 2015, when Andy Murray stopped his winning streak, but has not lifted the trophy since.

But Rusedski is backing him to come good at the O2 farewell.

"I think Novak Djokovic is going to want to re-establish and tie the record of six with Federer," the former British No.1 said.

"I think he is fresh now. His main goal was to get to No.1 - he did that. He had that little dip in Vienna and didn't play in Paris.

"But I think he is going to be motivated because he hasn't won it in a long time and, whether you like it or not, these guys want records.

"Federer, Djokovic and (Rafael) Nadal want to go down with the most Slams, the most ATP Finals wins, the most Masters wins, that is what drives these three incredible legends."

Belfast Telegraph


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