The group makeup is as follows: Roger Federer, Jack Sock, Marin Cilic, and Alexander Zverev in group Boris Becker, and Rafael Nadal, David Goffin, Grigor Dimitrov, and Dominic Thiem in group Pete Sampras.
I’ll go through group Becker first. Like I said before, Federer already has a win and Sock has a loss, which definitely influences these predictions slightly, but I would’ve said Federer was going to win the group before anyway. I think it’s likely he’ll sweep the group, but Cilic and Zverev are tough, especially Cilic indoors. It’s for that reason (the tournament being indoors) that I have Cilic as the second man making it through from group Becker. After Cilic, I have Zverev as a close third and Sock in last.
As for group Sampras, I think this one is much tougher to predict. If it were a month ago, I’d feel very confident about Nadal making it through, but he’s been dealing with an injury lately and it was unclear if he was even going to play this week until recently (now it seems like he will). I feel very confident saying the Dominic Thiem will not make it out of the group stage. I also think that assuming Nadal is reasonably healthy, he will win the group. Now as for the next guy making it out, I’m gonna go with Grigor Dimitrov. I know that Dimitrov has the firepower to take down any player in the group if he’s on, and I don’t feel the same way about Goffin, so I have Dimitrov as the second place in this group.
The way I picked this, in the semifinals Federer would be playing Dimitrov, and Nadal would be playing Cilic. With the way he’s been playing, I would be shocked if Federer lost to Dimitrov, so I have him moving on. As for the Nadal Cilic match, I actually am going to pick the upset and have Cilic moving on to face Federer in a rematch of this year’s Wimbledon final. I think the surface will help Cilic immensely, and even though he hasn’t been playing great as of late, if he picks it up I think his run here will be deep. It really all depends on his match with Zverev later today, honestly.
Regardless, I have Federer winning this tournament no matter who he ends up playing in the finals. This year, when fully healthy and playing in big tournaments, Federer hasn’t lost. I think he will cap off his astonishing year with a storybook ending, winning his seventh World Tour Finals. Federer on indoor hard-courts is just too much to handle if he’s playing well, and he has been playing incredibly this last month and really for the entire season, so I think he should be (and is) considered the heavy favorite to win.