The Grand Slams are over but men's tennis season still has a premier tournament to be played — ATP World Tour Finals 2018 that will be played between November 11 and 18 at the O2 Arena in London.

ATP Finals 2018 preview

Rafael Nadal has pulled out of the year-ending tournament but London will host a star-studded field headlined by newly-crowned world number Novak Djokovic and world number three Roger Federer.

Much like the WTA Finals, the year-ending world number one has been sealed as Djokovic is guaranteed to finish on top of the ATP charts at the end of the seven-day long tournament. However, there's a lot to play for, considering the firepower in the field.

While Djokovic will be keen on maintaining his dominance over the rest of the pack and finishing what has been a dream year for him on a high, 37-year-old Federer will be chasing his 100th career title over the next few days.

In the absence of Nadal and world number four Juan Martin del Potro, eight other top-ranked men's singles players have arrived in London and have been drawn into two groups — Guga Kuerten and Lleyton Hewitt — of four each.

Groups (Seedings of players in parenthesis)

Kuerten: Novak Djokovic [1], Alexander Zverev [3], Marin Cilic [5], John Isner [8]

Hewitt: Roger Federer [2], Kevin Anderson [4], Dominic Thiem [6], Kei Nishikori [7]

ATP Finals 2018 group draw analysis

Djokovic to dominate Kuerten group

Novak Djokovic
Djokovic Reuters

Given his stunning return to the top of the men's singles charts after being ranked as low as 22 in June, in-form Djokovic starts as the favourite to win the title, let alone the Kuerten group.

The four-time champion, who last won the year-ending title in 2013, will kick-start his campaign against Isner on Monday, November 12. Djokovic is heading into the tournament on the back of a runner-up finish at Paris Masters.

Djokovic will be keen on writing a successful final chapter of his remarkable comeback story this season wherein he has won four titles, including the Wimbledon and US Open. Going by his recent form on hard-courts, it's hard to bet against him.

A close battle between Zverev and Cilic is expected to play out as only two players from each group progress to the semi-finals. The German sensation failed to light up Grand Slams this year but has been the most consistent player on the tour with 54 wins — most by a men's singles player in 2018.

On the other hand, Isner will be making his debut at the ATP World Tour Finals after his title wins in Miami and Atlanta. The big-serving American faces a tough ask but he will be determined to make an impact on his maiden appearance in the season-ending tournament.

Can Federer dominate the Hewitt group?

Roger Federer
Roger Federer Reuters

Federer started the season with a bang by defending the Australian Open in January. However, he has struggled to be as consistent as last year in 2018 but has still managed to win four titles.

The Swiss great is not going to dethrone Djokovic even if he wins the title but a winning-run will be a huge boost to the veteran, who ran the Serb close in a hard-fought semi-final at Paris Masters earlier this month.

The six-time champion's motivation will be fueled by his urge to win the 100th title in London. However, he needs to be at his best, considering the competition he faces in this group.

Fourth seed Anderson is heading into the tournament on the back of a title at Vienna Open and a last 16 appearance at Paris Masters. The world number world number six, who had reached the Wimbledon final this season, will be eager to make it count on his ATP Finals debut.

On the other hand, both Nishikori and Thiem have had strong second halves and are capable of pulling off big upsets in the upcoming week.

ATP Finals 2018: TV Guide

  • UK: Sky Sports, BBC 2
  • US: ESPN, Tennis Channel
  • Canada: TSN, RDS
  • France: beIN sport, Canal+
  • Netherlands: Fox Sports
  • Serbia: RTS
  • Germany: Sky Deutschland
  • Switzerland: SRG
  • Japan: NHK
  • Malaysia: Astro Supersport
  • Singapore: Starhub

Schedule of matches on Day 1 and Day 2

Sunday, November 11

Match one: Kevin Anderson vs Dominic Thiem- Not before 2 pm BST and 9 pm SGT

Match two: Roger Federer vs Kei Nishikori- Not before 8 pm BST and 3 am SGT (Monday)

Monday, November 12

Match one: Alexander Zverev vs Marin Cilic- Not before 2 pm BST and 9 pm SGT

Match two: Novak Djokovic vs John Isner - Not before 8 pm BST and 3 am SGT (Tuesday)