The world’s top 8 tennis players assemble in London this week all shooting to claim the World Tour Finals.
Novak Djokovic leads Group A with the world number one being joined by Andy Murray, David Ferrer and Tomas Berdych. Djokovic leads Murray 6-4 in their head to head though the Brit won their last match in the final of Cincinnati. The pair has met three times this season with the Serb victorious in the final of the Australian Open and the semis at Rome.
The world number one also leads David Ferrer 6-4 with the Serb winning their only match this season in the quarters of Madrid. The Spaniard last was last victorious in 2009 in the Davis Cup.
Tomas Berdych will be searching for his second victory against Djokovic, the big Czech has only defated the Serb once in their eight career meetings, at Wimbledon last year.
The Serb was been struggling with injury late in the season missing hardly playing since winning the US Open and I’m not sure if he is fit enough or motivated enough to win the tournament but you most definitely couldn’t put it past him given the form he was been in all season.
Ferrer has a 3-5 record against Andy Murray with the Brit winning their last four matches and has not lost to the Spaniard on a hard court. The Spaniard leads Berdych 5-2, though they have only met once since 2007.
The Spaniard could pose a threat but his lack of hard court form could see him struggle to make out of the group stage.
Andy Murray will have the home crowd advantage, but that is not also something that Murray revels in. But without the grand slam expectation it should be easier for the Brit. The world number three is out to cement that ranking but of his round robin opponents only leads Ferrer, 5-3. He trails Djokovic 4-6 and Berdych 1-3 and has not defeated the Czech since 2005. Despite this record I still believe he will progress to the semi finals.
The Czech may be Murray’s biggest threat for that to occur. Breaking a 29 month title drought in October the Czech is high on confidence. But he has only defeated Djokovic once in eight matches, though his was in Britain last year, trails Ferrer 2-5 but does lead Murray 3-1 including breaking Murray’s 17 matching winning streak in Paris last week
Group B has had some very interesting line ups. The Group is led by Rafael Nadal. The world number two has not played since losing to Florian Mayer in Shanghai. But the Spaniard does have a winning record against all of his round robin opponents. He leads Roger Federer 17-8, though the pair have a 4-4 record on hard courts and Federer has not been beaten by Nadal in their three meetings in season ending events. He also leads Jo-Wilfired Tsonga 6-2, though they have split meetings this seasons and has a 7-1 record over Mardy Fish but the American did record his first victory over the former world number one in Cincinnati this season.
Federer also leads his career meetings against both Tsonga and Fish. Federer leads the Frenchman 6-3 winning their last two meetings including in the Paris final last week, though Tsonga did defeat Federer twice this year including coming from two sets to love down at Wimbledon. The world number four leads Fish 6-1 though the pair have met only once since 2008.
Tsonga has won the only meeting against Fish, at this year’s US Open but I believe the two lower ranked players, Tsonga and Fish will not be strong enough to force their way out of the round robin stage.
This very uncontroversially leaves the top four ranked players entering the semi final stage and I am tipping Federer and Murray to fit it out in the final with the recent match experience the pair having a big impact. Andy Murray will win the final to win the biggest title of his career as we still searches for that elusive grand slam title.