After last week’s action at the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris, the final line-up for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals – to be held at London’s O2 arena from 9-16 November – has been confirmed. Paris winner Novak Djokovic will be joined by Roger Federer, Stan Wawrinka, Andy Murray, Tomas Berdych and tournament debutants Marin Cilic, Kei Nishikori and Milos Raonic to battle it out for the prestigious end-of-season prize.
Of the players still in with a chance of making it to London ahead of the Paris event, it was David Ferrer and Grigor Dimitrov who missed out. Ferrer fell short after losing to Nishikori in the Paris quarter-finals and Dimitrov was easily beaten by Murray in the third round.
Milos Raonic still had plenty of work to do to secure his WTF place when he arrived in Paris but an impressive quarter-final victory over Roger Federer – his first against a top-three player – earned his passage to London. His semi-final opponent Tomas Berdych also confirmed his London appearance by beating Kevin Anderson at the quarter-final stage.
After winning the crown in Paris, Djokovic now looks set to end the season as world number one. With a maximum of 1,500 points available to the London winner, his 1,310 point lead over Federer now looks insurmountable.
It was an impressive return to winning ways for Djokovic who appeared to breeze his way to his third Paris title after his brief paternity break. He will now start the London tournament as clear favourite and has arguably had an easier draw than world number two and second favourite Roger Federer.
Since the draw was made, Djokovic’s odds have shortened across the board and a best price of evens can now be found with Betway. Federer has drifted slightly and can be backed at 10/3 with several bookies. Murray has also drifted since the draw and following his Paris defeat to the Serbian. He can now be backed at 13/2 with Coral.
Djokovic looks like a sure bet for the London title but the tournament draw could have an effect on proceedings. Andy Murray has enjoyed a rapid return to form since the US Open and has risen back to number six in the world. His defeat to Djokovic in Paris came after a gruelling run of matches that included the three hour 20 minute battle against Tommy Rebredo in Valencia. By the time Murray faced the world number last week he had achieved his objective of qualifying for London and was desperate for a break.
Having avoided Djokovic in the draw, Murray will fancy his chances of progressing from Group B. If he can negotiate his way out of the group – and with the home crowd behind him – he may just stand a chance of pulling one more huge performance out of the bag before the season break.
Roger Federer had also been in great form until last week when he lost for the first time in 15 matches. Like Murray, Federer may have also had on eye on London when he fell to Raonic.
The win over Federer was Raonic’’s first against a top three player and the Canadian will be appearing at the O2 for the very first time. It will also be a debut for Kei Nishikori and it is hard to see either of those two going all the way. Wawrinka has been out of form for some time and neither Berdych nor WTF debutant Cilic have been consistent enough recently.
It’s hard to see beyond the Serbian at this stage but at current prices, Murray is worth an each-way punt.