'Lucky' Kei Nishikori set for ATP Finals

He fell to Marin Cilic in the final of the 2014 US Open

Anderson opens his account on Sunday against Thiem at London's O2 Arena in a rematch of their fourth-round clash at the 2018 US Open, which Thiem won in straight sets.

ALEX de Minaur has been hailed as ATP World Tour newcomer of the year, sharing year-ending honours with Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Even as the numbers prop them up to stand shoulder to shoulder, it's their complementary styles that enrich the aesthetics of the tie.

Djokovic picked up two awards, while Federer continues to dominate the fan favorite category. The veteran player was awarded as he opened his Foundation and also held the Santi Silvas Open, an worldwide wheelchair tournament, back in 2009.

With Jamie Murray the only British player qualified, in doubles, Federer believes it is still possible that his brother Andy might be able to return while it is still in his own backyard.

"After February's elbow surgery it looked quite improbable that I would be in this position as the year-end number one, not just because of the rankings - I was 22 (in May) - but just because of how I felt on the court, how I was playing". "And, of course, I'm very, very happy and proud about it". It's better than it was in Basel. "I'll play with confidence", he said.

The pair faced off last month in the Paris Masters quarter-finals and Federer won. His rise to the No. 1 spot, after being outside the top 20 as recently as in July, has been meteoric. Can he pick up the biggest title of his year at the ATP Finals in London? His coach, Marian Vajda, was named ATP Coach of the Year.

Does all this mean that the other six men in the fray at the Finals will be reduced to supporting actors or is there a pleasant surprise in store like Grigor Dimitrov's triumph previous year?

He sported a poppy, the symbol the British wear at this time of year to honour those who died in the world wars, and exalted in being a tourist in London, though his hotel room opposite the Houses of Parliament offers a view onto scaffolding and cladding round Big Ben, rather than the clock itself.

Cilic, Anderson, Nishikori and Thiem are all Grand Slam finalists. Thiem and Alexander Zverev makeup the rising stars in this year's field. I expect the match between Zverev and Cilic to be the eventual quarterfinal.

The 19-year-old is all but guaranteed an Australian Open seeding after last year winning his way into the tournament through the wildcard playoff.

Swede Mats Wilander, seven-time Major champion and one of the most serious watchers of modern-day tennis, had an interesting explanation for the lack of breakthrough champions.

His talent in the early stages of his career was on full display. "I just feel the concept of this event should be the one that travels". Pete Sampras holds the record of six.

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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