The World Tour Finals groups were drawn yesterday and it was nice to see that Djokovic and Federer got drawn in the same group. It would have been nice if Nadal was drawn in the Stan Smith group with them, but I can’t complain.
Instead, Nadal is with Murray and Stan in the Ilie Nastase group which will be the most interesting group in terms of who will qualify for the semi-finals. You would think that Djokovic and Federer are the favorites to qualify in the first group.
In the second group, there is no telling who will qualify between Murray, Stan, and Nadal. Even Ferrer could surprise as he has before. Some people seem to have already written off Nadal’s chances to qualify and have assumed that it will be Murray and Stan.
I think this is a mistake. The courts are slow and Nadal has made two World Tour Finals finals while neither Murray nor Stan have made the final. Nadal has also been playing consistently better tennis of late. You can be sure he is highly motivated to pass the group stage.
The backhand of doom shaping up to inflict maximum devastation
In the end I think the groups are well-balanced with the exciting Djokerer matchup in the first group while Murray, Stan, and Nadal will battle it out in the second group for a semi-final spot. Berdych and Nishikori don’t have much of a say. They are basically just there to fill up the numbers.
The action starts on Sunday which I like and will feature the defending champion and world #1 Djokovic against Nishikori and Federer against Berdych. I don’t expect Djokovic to have any problems while Berdych did play well against Djokovic in Paris and could perhaps trouble Federer.
I am hoping Djokovic and Federer meet twice in this event and preferably Federer and Nadal as well. Ideally I want to see Djokovic vs Stan and Federer vs Nadal in the semi-finals. But Djokovic vs Nadal and Federer vs Stan in the semis would be just as good.
Let me know what you think about the groups and who you think will pass the group stage. Looking forward to the grand finale!
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The is in your court.