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ATP Tour Finals: big three wary of threat from tennis’ young contenders | Kevin Mitchell

Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic face tough competition in London at the end of a gruelling season

When the eight best players in men’s tennis gathered on the southern bank of the Thames on Friday, the three greatest of them – Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic – looked and sounded a little more weary than the young contenders trying to supplant them at the summit of the game. Nadal, who leapfrogged Djokovic to No 1 in the world despite pulling out of the semi-finals in Paris last week with an abdominal injury in a season of many highs and lows, is the most vulnerable.

The 33-year-old has withdrawn seven times in 15 visits to the ATP Tour Finals, the game’s season-ending showcase, and has not played the event for the past three years, although he was obliged to sound upbeat about reaching the starting line against the defending champion, Alexander Zverev, on Monday night.

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