Novak Djokovic, the reigning Wimbledon champion, has a shot to equal Roger Federer’s record of six season-end finale titles when the ATP Tour signs off in Turin next month.

The 35-year-old Serb, who secured qualification for the ATP Tour’s prestigious end-of-year event tournament for the 15th time on the spin, will no longer have to fear recently retired Swiss maestro Federer.

The world’s top eight singles players, and leading eight doubles teams, will descend in Italy to compete for rich rewards in the most lucrative ATP Tour event outside the majors.

Djokovic is the fifth player to qualify for these ATP Finals, to be held on the hard courts at the Palasport Olimpico stadium in Turin from November 13-20. He remains a force on the pro circuit, although last lifted the season-ending title seven years ago.

Spaniards Carlos Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal, as well as Norway’s Casper Ruud and Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas, are the only confirmed players to be joining Djokovic in Northern Italy before Christmas. They all pose a serious threat to Djokovic equalling the record of six crowns.

The race for the final trio of places has hotted up. There’s a closely-fought contest between Russian duo Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev, Felix Auger-Aliassime (Canada), Taylor Fritz (USA) and Hubert Hurkacz (Poland).

Fritz’s recent triumph in Tokyo, to capture the Japan Open Tennis Championships, has catapulted him up the rankings and taken the 24-year-old a step closer to competing at the Turin tournament.

Yet all eyes at the event will be focused on veteran Djokovic, who has won an astonishing 21 Grand Slam titles, and how he fares in Italy. It will be the 15th occasion that he has qualified for the coveted year-end event, which equals the number of appearances for American icon Andre Agassi. Yet he trails by one tournament to Nadal and the legendary American ace Jimmy Connors. Federer holds the record, having competed 18 times at the ATP Finals.

Djokovic, whose style of play suits the indoor hard court season, faces the biggest competition to win the ATP Finals event from his long-term rival Nadal. Although a long-term foot injury has made the Spanish star less of a threat.

Nadal is only world no.2 behind compatriot and US Open champion Alcaraz. The pair recently became the first top two players from the same country for the first time since American duo Agassi and Pete Sampras were world ranked no.1 and no.2 respectively.

Alcaraz, who has become the youngest men’s world no.1 in the Open era at the age of 19, provides thrills and spills wherever he competes and should prove a tricky opponent on Turin’s fast courts.

The tennis spectacle, more traditionally played in London but this year having moved to Italy, will see two groups of four with round-robin matches to determine the semi-finalists. The final is set to take place on November 20.

As the overall line-up of players are yet to be finalised for the ATP Finals, the bookmakers have yet to include their odds. Tennis fans can check out nearer the time at top Colorado sportsbooks like bet365 for the outright tournament winner, match winners, the number of sets a match winner may win or collect in total as well as the number of aces served in a match. 

Djokovic supporters will have witnessed so few defeats for him this term, partly because he controversially skipped two Grand Slams because of his stance against COVID-19 vaccines. He missed out on 2,000 ranking points at the All England Club, despite successfully defending his Wimbledon crown, so has languished down the world rankings this season.

Should the Serb find his usual rhythm then he could produce the sort of fireworks to turn back time with another vintage display to grab the glory and bank the big bucks at this season-ending tournament.