Ruud has enjoyed a successful year, reaching two Grand Slam finals and reaching a career-high of world No 2, but has been out of form lately and has lost either his first or second match at every tournament since becoming the US Open runner-up. Meanwhile, top seed Nadal is arguably the most out of practice after spending more than two months on the sidelines.
The world No 2 made his return at last week’s Paris Masters where he crashed out in his opening round to Tommy Paul after leading by a set and a break. But the Spaniard has been in Turin since Monday and is getting in plenty of practice. The ATP Finals is one of the big titles that Nadal has never been able to capture, while there are three former champions in the draw in Tsitsipas, Medvedev and Djokovic who are all in the Red Group.
The doubles groups – including Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis – have also been drawn. The Aussies are in the Green Group with Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski, Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic, and Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek. In the Red Group are Rajeev Ram and Joe Salibury, Marcelo Arevalo and Jean-Julien Rojer, Lloyd Glasspool and Harri Heliovaara, and Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos.