But if recent matches are anything to go by, it looks increasingly likely Alcaraz will get his first win on the board. But can he go all the way? Here are five reasons why he might.
5. Alcaraz Adapts Better Than Almost Everyone
Apart from Novak Djokovic, Alcaraz's adaptive powers are unmatched. He has played one indoor hardcourt match this season, heading to Turin.
For any other player, this is bad timing and hardly the kind of tonic you need to win a tournament as prestigious and as tough as the ATP Finals, given the quality of opponents.
But in his young career, Alcaraz has shown he can adjust and adapt on any surface without necessarily needing too many matches under his belt.
Because of his vast skillset, the 20-year-old will patrol the Pala Alpitour with the swagger that has already taken him to two Grand Slam wins.
4. Alcaraz Has Previous Experience Of Winning A Year-End Tournament
Alcaraz qualified for the ATP Finals last year but didn't play it because of injury. But he got a taste of the year-end championships at the Next Gen ATP Finals in 2021, which incidentally, was also held in Italy. Alcaraz won that title in Milan for the 21 and under club.
This is not unchartered waters for him and knows what to expect in terms of court speed, conditions, and his usual routine at a tournament of this magnitude.
Because he won the Next Gen tournament that doesn't mean he'll also win the ATP Finals, but the experience enhances his chances of doing well in Turin.
3. Winning Head-To-Head Record Against Players In Red Group In 2023
Alcaraz has been drawn in the same group as Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev, and Andrey Rublev. Aside from Rublev whom he will face for the first time on tour, Alcaraz has a positive head-to-head record against Medvedev and Zverev this season. He has a high chance of topping this group and potentially avoiding an early date with Djokovic in the knockout phase.
2. Second-Highest Winning Record In 2023
Carlos Alcaraz has an extraordinary record this season. A lot of people don't hold too much hope for him at the ATP Finals based on his last two defeats.
But prior to that, he had reached the semifinal or better in 12 of 14 tournaments - a run that included six title wins (joint top with Novak Djokovic).
Alcaraz has the second-highest winning percentage in 2023 behind the immaculate Serbian, winning 63 of 73 matches on tour. The sobering reality for his rivals is that he has more wins and fewer defeats this season than in 2022. So, clearly, this is a more dangerous version of Alcaraz going to Turin.
1. Pressure Of Year-End No. 1 Is Now Off
Carlos Alcaraz hasn't been himself in his last two tournaments. Maybe he was encumbered by the heavy baggage of chasing Novak Djokovic at the top of the rankings. Alcaraz revealed that it was playing on his mind until a crushing defeat to Roman Safiullin pretty much ended his hopes.
He'll now need a miracle to get it back after the ATP Finals. But in hindsight, he'll return to court with renewed zeal now that the shackles are cast off. Does this help Alcaraz and potentially his chances of winning the ATP Finals? You would have to think so.