The BIG FOUR of men’s tennis opened their campaign at the season ending world tour finale at the O2 arena in London in emphatic style with comfortable straight set wins in the opening round of group matches. As we head into the second round of the Round Robin matches, the Big 4 are 1-0 in matches and 2-0 in sets.
Novak Djokovic extended his match winning streak to 23 consecutive matches with a straight forward 6-1,6-1 win over Japan’s Kei Nishikori in the opening match on Sunday and then Roger Federer outclassed Czech Republic’s Tomas Berdych 6-4,6-2 in what is the Swiss Maestros’ 14th consecutive appearance at the season ender. Both the winners in the Stan Smith group will next play on Tuesday in the evening session while Nishikori and Berdych open up on Tuesday hoping to give them a chance to get on the board.
In the Ilie Nastase group Andy Murray continued his recent domination of the Spaniard David Ferrer with an easy 6-4,6-4 win in the first match on Monday while Rafael Nadal avenged his recent loss in Paris to the French Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka 6-3,6-2 in a late evening match. That sets up an interesting clash between the two winners on Wednesday evening while Ferrer and Wawrinka open up in the afternoon hoping to register their first win in the round robin format.
It will be the 43rd meeting between Djokovic and Federer, both are tied at 21 apiece while the Serb has a 4-2 edge this year against the Swiss including the all important wins at Wimbledon and U.S. Open finals. Djokovic also won the Australian Open in January in a record breaking year in which he also won six masters 1000 titles. The four time winner of this title also has an imposing 79-5 record in 2015.
Andy Murray who will spearhead Great Britain next weekend in the Davis Cup final by BNP Paribas, against Belgium is now only within one win from clinching the year ending world number two ranking, his best ever finish. Despite his lop sided 6-15 head to head record against Nadal, the Dunblane native will be favoured to extend his year to date win loss record of 69-12 in front of home support.
Here is the line for second round of matches with my pick mentioned first :-
Stan Smith group:-
Tomas Berdych (6) v. Kei Nishikori (8); Nishikori leads 3-1
Roger Federer (3) v. Novak Djokovic (1); tied at 21-21.
Ilie Nastase group:-
Stanislas Wawrinka (4) v. David Ferrer (7); Ferrer leads 7-6
Andy Murray (2) v. Rafael Nadal (5); Nadal leads Murray 6-15.
– Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy.You can reach him at the email: firstname.lastname@example.org]