© Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour

Novak Djokovic and Cameron Norrie will meet for the first time on Friday at the Nitto ATP Finals.

Preview: Djokovic, Norrie Close Out Group Play

Last singles and doubles berths up for grabs Friday

Such has been Novak Djokovic’s season that it’s safe to say his confidence is on a high, but if he wishes to maintain his momentum at the Nitto ATP Finals, the World No. 1 will be hoping to beat Cameron Norrie during Friday’s night session.

Already assured of a place in the semi-finals against Alexander Zverev, the Serbian superstar is bidding to complete Green Group play with a perfect 3-0 record in his first ATP Head2Head meeting against alternate Norrie, who replaced Stefanos Tsitsipas (right elbow) at the Pala Alpitour in Turin.

But Norrie is determined to make an impression. “It is going to be difficult, but I am looking forward to it," said Norrie, ahead of his first meeting with recent Rolex Paris Masters champion Djokovic. "I am going to see if I belong and can compete with a guy like that.”

Djokovic, who has a 50-6 match record and five titles in 2021, said, "I always like playing new players, particularly in one of the greatest tournaments in the world here in Turin. Cameron deserves to be here, it’s not lucky. He worked his way to Turin with great wins in Indian Wells and some other tournaments.”

It's simple on Friday, win and you're into the semi-final at the Nitto ATP Finals. That's what Andrey Rublev and Casper Ruud hope for in the final Green Group matches at the Pala Alpitour in Turin.

For the first time since 1994, three of the four semi-finalists at the season finale will be former champions. Novak Djokovic, the Green Group winner, continues his quest for a record-equalling sixth Nitto ATP Finals crown, and will play 2018 titlist Alexander Zverev on Saturday, while World No. 2 and defending champion Daniil Medvedev, the Red Group winner, awaits Rublev or Ruud.

You May Also Like: Zverev On Djokovic Semi-final: 'I'm Expecting Another Tough One'

So will it be Rublev or Ruud who makes it? History is firmly in favour of Rublev, who holds a 4-0 ATP Head2Head record against first-time qualifier Ruud, and has won eight straight sets against the Norwegian after losing the first set they ever played.

But momentum is on Ruud’s side. While Rublev started strongly in Turin with a win over Stefanos Tsitsipas, he admitted to “rushing, overthinking” in defeat to Djokovic on Wednesday. Ruud, a five-time ATP Tour titlist in a career-best season, opened his campaign by losing to Djokovic, but then secured a confidence-boosting win over alternate Cameron Norrie.


Ruud will be hoping to bring all the impetus from his strong finish against Norrie to Friday’s clash and has already vowed to try to do things differently against Rublev: “I will, of course, try my best to bring something new to the table on Friday and challenge him in a different way than I’ve done before, because previously it hasn’t been working as I’ve wanted,” he said.

FOLLOW THIS WEEK'S ACTION

In doubles action, it’s all to play for in the Red Group on Friday. If Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury beat Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah, the American-British pair win the Red Group with Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut finishing second. But if Cabal and Farah win, the identity of the semi-finalists will be decided by the evening doubles match between Herbert and Mahut, and Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares.

ORDER OF PLAY - FRIDAY, 19 NOVEMBER 2021

CENTRE COURT start 11:30 am

[2] R. Ram (USA) / J. Salisbury (GBR) vs [5] J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL)

Not Before 2:00 pm
[5] A. Rublev (RUS) vs [8] C. Ruud (NOR)

Not Before 6:30 pm
[3] N. Mahut (FRA) / P.-H. Herbert (FRA) vs [7] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA)

Not Before 9:00 pm
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [Alt/10] C. Norrie (GBR)