Novak Djokovic is almost always in control. Now he’ll experience how the other half lives.

Djokovic, 1-1 coming into his final round-robin match at the ATP Finals on Thursday, won the first set over Green Group alternate Hubert Hurkacz, 7-6 (1). But when Hurkacz turned the tables and won the second set 6-4, it triggered something substantial in Turin:

Should Sinner (2-0) defeat Holger Rune (1-1) later today, the Italian will win the group and Djokovic will finish second. But if Rune wins, the Dane will win the group, Sinner will finish second—and Djokovic will be eliminated.

Sinner put himself in this position, in part, with his marathon victory over Djokovic on Tuesday. He would surely feel confident in a rematch, especially with the home crowd behind him.

But would he really want to give the Serbian another shot?

Novak Djokovic's time in Turin may soon be up.

Novak Djokovic's time in Turin may soon be up.


Given the money at stake—each round-robin victory nets a player $390,000—the 200 ranking points on offer per win, and a capacity crowd of Sinner supporters watching, it’s hard to envision the 22-year-old actually throwing the match to send Djokovic packing.

But it is an option.

Asked by Tennis Channel's Prakash Amritraj if he would send some "inspriational texts" to Sinner, Djokovic said everything was out of his hands right now.

"No, I really don’t care. I did my job, so let’s see what happens," said the world No. 1 "If I qualify for semis, I’ll think about it tomorrow."

As for the third set of this match—normally the most critical—Djokovic won it 6-1. In any other ATP tour event, you aren’t eliminated until you lose. It was Djokovic’s 54th victory of the season, but it remains to be seen if he’ll have an opportunity to play for 55.