2012 ATP World Tour Finals
Six of the best tennis players in the game have been confirmed for the season ending ATP World Tour Finals, held at the London O2 Arena again, leaving two spaces up for grabs.
Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Murray, David Ferrer, Tomas Berdych and Juan Martin del Potro have all booked their place at London. And the absence of Rafael Nadal through injury means two more players have a chance to dice it as part of the top eight in tennis.
Jo Wilfried Tsonga leads the challengers and only needs a quarter final in the Paris Masters to guarantee his place. The only other player who has his appearance in his own hands, Janko Tipsarevic, needs to make the final in Paris to guarantee his place at the O2.
We’ve previewed the top three here:
Novak Djokovic will finish the season as world number one, after Roger Federer failed to defend his Swiss title and withdrew from Paris, becoming only the 16th player to finish successive years as No 1. Despite losing to Andy Murray in an epic US Open final, the Serb has bounced back, getting the better of Murray in his last competitive outing in China and he starts as 2/1 favourite.
The ‘Djoker’ already has one ATP World Tour Final win under his belt, from Shanghai in 2008, but has struggled since the switch to London only making it to the semi-finals on one occasion. He went six months without losing a game in 2011 and entered last year as the clear favourite, but collapsed to defeats by David Ferrer and Janko Tipsarevic.
Andy Murray is next in the betting, at 5/2 and he will be just be hoping that he can fulfil his quota of three group stage matches after withdrawing through injury after one game in 2011. The 25-year-old is defending his title in Paris this week, with Djokovic a likely opponent in the final.
2012 has been a breakthrough year for Murray; both professionally and as an individual. The tears that followed his Wimbledon final defeat to Roger Federer opened the previously demur Scotsman up to the British public like never before and despite failing on the plinth of greatness, audiences warmed to this vulnerability that he had previously hidden.
The search for a maiden grand slam did not last long and after surviving a typically brilliant Djokovic revival, Murray had enough in the tank to beat his close friend at the US Open. Coupled with a gold medal in the Olympics, Murray has shaken off the grand slam monkey on his back and may even be in contention for SPOTY.
The last of the big three is Roger Federer, who claimed an unprecedented sixth ATP Final title with his victory in the O2 last November. Unlike his two main rivals, the Swiss star has withdrawn from the Paris Masters, giving him an extra week off to prepare for the last ATP event.
Djokovic and Murray are six years younger than the former world number one and this may not hand Federer a sizeable advantage. However, the Swiss is the master of indoor conditions, as his record in the World Finals suggests, and indeed the roof closure in the Wimbledon final was enough to swing the tie decisively in his favour. Making him third favourite is crazy; we’re backing the Fed-express at 10/3.
Here are the full list of odds:
Novak Djokovic – 2/1
Andy Murray – 5/2
Roger Federer – 10/3
Juan Martin del Potro – 10/1
Tomas Berdych – 14/1
Jo Wilfried Tsonga – 20/1
David Ferrer – 33/1
Janko Tipsarevic – 66/1
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