ATP Finals: Dominic Thiem profile

Rex Christensen
November 11, 2018

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have called off their controversial pre-Christmas exhibition match in Saudi Arabia after the ankle injury that has kept the Spaniard out of London's Nitto ATP Finals.

He's in Group Lleyton Hewitt with Kevin Anderson, Dominic Thiem and Kei Nishikori.

"I've just had a really solid season and I stayed injury-free also in particular for most of the year so I'm actually very happy with this season so far", he added.

"But that's never a given because best-of-three-set matches indoors, the margins are slimmer and it can slip fast".

"It is true that we had detected it for a long time and from time to time it bothered me".

"I've played well since 2011 even though I didn't end up winning the World Tour Finals any more but I feel like I've done well and it doesn't feel like it's that long ago".

The ATP Finals, as it is now known, began in Tokyo in 1970 and spent six years on the road before a 13-year stint in NY and a six-year stay in Frankfurt before spells in Hanover, Lisbon, Sydney, Houston and Shanghai. Competent off both wings, a force to be reckoned with on the baseline that allows him to dictate play by manoeuvring his opponent from side to side in order for him to create an opening to ferociously pounce with his shot of choice.

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He talked about having his family, including his dog, in London with him, and about the environmental initiative he has launched that makes this week's tournament much better on plastics than it has been in recent years.

"It's extra special this season because of the whole journey I've been through the past 15 months, particularly the last eight months, after surgery in February". "I just feel the concept of this event should be the one that travels".

"It turned to out to be a ideal five months of the year, with two Grand Slam titles", he added.

Djokovic heads the Gustavo Kuerten group and will begin against big-serving American debutant John Isner on Monday before tackling German wunderkind Alexander Zverev, making his second appearance, and Croatian powerhouse Marin Cilic.

'But it's been great here, I've enjoyed playing here.

'I feel like he's very quickly played a top 30 level, ' said Federer of what he saw from Murray this summer.

Anderson is the other debutant and will become the first South African in 23 years to grace the season-ender.

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