November 15-22, 2015

O2 Arena, London

This week, the eight best men’s tennis players in the world will gather at the O2 Arena in London for the end of season ATP World Tour Finals event. With a total prize fund of over $7m at stake, the tournament represents one of the biggest events in world tennis and is often referred to as the fifth Grand Slam event.

This year, the ATP have taken the step of renaming the groups in honour of two former winners. Stan Smith and Ilie Nastase won the first two editions of the tournament held back in 1970 and 1971. So, rather than group A and Group B, we now have the Stan Smith Group and the Ilie Nastase Group.

The draw for the event has taken place and the players will line up as follows.

Stan Smith Group:

  • Novak Djokovic
  • Roger Federer
  • Kei Nishikori
  • Tomas Berdych

Ilie Nastase Group:

  • Andy Murray
  • Stan Wawrinka
  • Rafa Nadal
  • David Ferrer

Stan Smith Group

The Stan Smith Group looks like the tougher of the two, however World No. 1 Novak Djokovic should have no problem qualifying as one the top two. Roger Federer can be expected to join him; however, if Kei Nishikori or Tomas Berdych can find their best form, they may just have a chance of edging out the six-time former champion.

Berdych enjoys playing on hard courts and has beaten Federer six times in his career. However, the Czech player’s last win against his group rival came back in 2013 when Federer was suffering from a dip in form that saw him drop to No. 7 in the world.

Nishikori made it to the semi-finals last year and took Djokovic to three sets, but he has failed to push on since his impressive displays of 2014. He would need to produce something special to progress from this group. Unfortunately, a back injury picked up in Paris may hinder his chances even further.

Ilie Nastase Group

In the other Group, British No. 1 Andy Murray has been handed perhaps the best draw he could have asked for. Obviously, all three of his opponents are dangerous, but he will be confident of progressing ahead of David Ferrer and Rafa Nadal.

The Spanish duo may find it tough going on the indoor hard courts in London. Both players have a fondness for clay and rarely perform at their peak on the indoor scene. Ferrer can pull out the odd big performance but he has not beaten any of the big guns since he defeated Nishikori back in February. His last win over a top four opponent came in Shanghai against Murray in October 2014.

After pulling out of last year’s event through injury, Rafa Nadal may just be thankful to be involved, despite his disdain for the surface. The Spaniard has won three tour titles so far this season but has to beat any of the current top three (in five meetings) in 2015.

Early betting predictions

Djokovic will be favourite and rightly so – the Serbian has been far the best player of 2015. If he is going to get beaten this year, Andy Murray in unlikely to be the man to defeat him. The Scot has had little success when facing the Serbian in recent times and has beaten him just once in 11 meetings since his 2013 Wimbledon triumph.

The best hope of a Djokovic defeat will come from the Swiss camp. Wawrinka has beaten Djokovic in two of their last three Grand Slam meetings, although he was defeated by the Serbian in the Round Robin stage of this event last year.

Federer has beaten Djokovic in five of their last 12 meetings and had to withdraw from last year’s final due to injury. Some bookies will offer you odds on a Swiss Winner with a price of 7/2 available. However, we like the look of Stan Wawrinka each-way at 12/1 with Bet365.

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