Novak Djokovic sealed his eighth ATP Year-End No. 1 presented by Pepperstone award on Sunday. However, the Year-End ATP Doubles No. 1 presented by Pepperstone remains up in the air with just four days left in the season.
Five couples can achieve that milestone: Ivan Dodig/Austin Krajicek, Wesley Koolhof/Neal Skupski, Rohan Bopanna/Matthew Ebden, Santiago González/Edouard Roger-Vasselin and Marcel Granollers/Horacio Zeballos.
A year ago, Koolhof and Skupski took the throne. Both have the option of repeating the feat, but they remain focused on overcoming the Red Group at the Nitto ATP Finals according to the Briton.
“It’s unique that five couples can still finish the year at World No. 1,” Skupski said. “We’re focused on our next game and we’re not looking any further. If we can do our job and stay in the present, No. 1 at the end of the season won’t be that far away.”
Dodig and Krajicek currently occupy first position in the battle to be the No. 1 couple at the end of the year. However, they were eliminated from the Nitto ATP Finals this Thursday after finishing 1-2 in the group stage. The rest of the couples will now have the opportunity to exceed their 6,530 points.
Koolhof/Skupski and Bopanna/Ebden must reach the final to beat Dodid/Krajicek. González/Roger/Vasselin need to win the title, while Granollers/Zeballos should be champions without losing a game in the group stage.
For Bopanna, who on Wednesday became the oldest player to win a match in the history of the Nitto ATP Finals at 43, the challenge of seeking No. 1 at the end of the year is exciting.
“It’s amazing to be a part of so many good teams this year,” Bopanna said. “We are at the end of the season, it is the last tournament of the year, and we have the opportunity to become world No. 1 at the end of this week. With all the difficulties we have had, we have the option of reaching No. 1. “It is the moment where players become icons. We are prepared for this challenge.”
Koolhof/Skupski will face Bopanna/Ebden this Friday to decide the second pairing from the Red Group that advances to the semifinals, with Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury already qualified.