The draws for the ATP World Tour Finals have been made a few moments ago and we’d be hard put to say that one of the groups is stronger than the other, as it’s really, very even.
For the first time, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will have the chance to square off in a Round Robin match, which should make things very interesting from the start. But truth be told, all matchups will end up being very interesting.
Here are the groups for the singles:
Novak Djokovic (1)
Andy Murray (3)
David Ferrer (5)
Tomas Berdych (7)
Rafael Nadal (2)
Roger Federer (4)
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (6)
Mardy Fish (8)
What’s interesting is that in both groups, everyone has beaten everyone at least once and, in some cases, quite recently. This makes up for highly interesting matches, even more interesting than, I think, in the past years, as even though, for example, Roger Federer comes out of a 12-match winning streak, we cannot say for sure he will win all his Round Robin matches. I personally think he will, given how much in shape he was over the last two weeks, but with Rafa Nadal in the same group, we’re in for what I strongly suspect will be high voltage Round Robin drama.
The great unknowns
There are some players whose health is very questionable, namely Novak Djokovic (shoulder) who, it is rumoured, could withdraw midway through the Round Robin stage if he’s not fit enough, in favour of one of the two alternates, either Janko Tipsarevic (9) or Nicolás Almagro (10). This would be a huge disappointment for the World no 1, and a very sad end to his phenomenal year, so I am quite hoping for the better in his case.
The other one whose health is the most case for concern is American Mardy Fish, who had to retire in both his Basel first round match and his Paris Round-of-16 match due to a left hamstring injury. Which is why I stated either Tipsarevic and Almagro to replace Djokovic. Will Mardy be fit enough to compete? I certainly hope and wish so. Fish has worked so hard for this first ever Masters appearance! It would really be the saddest thing if, come to the big stage, an injury would force him not to compete.
Also a little questionable are Rafa Nadal’s and Tomas Berdych’s shoulders. But so far, in both cases, it is nothing to worry about as much, not as it is in the cases of Fish and Djokovic.
One thing is almost certain: one alternate should see some action.
Who can come through?
That is a very tough question. The groups, as I mentioned, are very even and both count one very questionable case where injuries are concerned and this makes any kind of predicting rather difficult.
However, given their recent good form or the rest factor in one case, I will go with, in Group A, Andy Murray and Tomas Berdych making the semis and, in Group B. Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, although, as I said, it’s quite open, except perhaps in the case of Federer, who really has been smoking hot of late.
The doubles groups
In doubles, it is even more even so I will not risk any predictions, but here are the groups:
Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan
Mahesh Bhupathi/Leander Paes
Robert Lindstedt/Horia Tecau
Jürgen Melzer/Philipp Petzschner
Michaël Llodra/Nenad Zimonjic
Max Mirnyi/Daniel Nestor
Rohan Bopanna/Aisem Qureshi
Mariusz Fyrstenberg/Marcin Matkowski
The ATP World Tour Finals begin on Sunday, November 20, and it promises to be, as always, a great tournament. The tournament will start with defending champion Roger Federer launching the battle vs Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Then, in the evening, Rafael Nadal will face Mardy Fish. Monday, Andy Murray will meet David Ferrer in the afternoon and, in the evening, Novak Djokovic will face Tomas Berdych. All with great doubles matches in between!