LONDON, UK – World No. 2 and British No. 1 Andy Murray starts his campaign at the World Tour Finals, while Stan Wawrinka bids to get past the semi-finals for the first time this year.
Andy Murray  v David Ferrer  – H2H: 11-6
It is the start of a long and very important two week stint for Murray has he makes the switch from having practiced on the clay courts at Queen’s Club for the indoor hard court in the O2 Arena. He seemed confident that he could make the transition, and certainly his form against the perennially gritty Ferrer was impressive at the Paris Masters.
But a Ferrer in tenacious form is probably not the best start for Murray who admitted it may take him a while to adjust to the surface again. But the beauty of the Round Robin format is that you can somehow survive even with two losses, not that we are expecting him not to give his best here.
Murray came in for some harsh words of what the ATP expected of him after admitted quite rightly that the chance to claim a Davis Cup title was his priority. Harsh, because it was Murray who dug them out of the clag when Roger Federer withdrew just before the final, with his own Davis Cup target looming.
Still, Ferrer is often just disregarded and perhaps unfairly. What he lacks in perhaps power and cheap points, he more than makes up for with just dogged determination to track absolutely everything down. The thing is Murray is every bit as good if not better at moving people round the court.
This has all the hallmarks of being a bit of a bruiser of an opener for the Brit, but he should weather the storm for the win.
Stan Wawrinka  v Rafael Nadal  – H2H: 6-13
For so long Nadal had been dominate over the Swiss until it came to a landmark end in the Australian Open final 2014, as the Swiss No. 2 picked up his first Slam title. Since then he has fast established himself firmly as big names and surely will be the one to usurp someone in the Big Four to take his place there. In fact, some may argue he already is there, with Nadal dropping down the ranks somewhat.
Nadal was at pains to point out that his issues this year were down to confidence and not injuries, but the time for chat is over. It was a tough battle in the Paris Masters quarter-final, and Nadal’s form post US Open has been pretty good as he gallops towards admittedly his least favourite surface.
The Spaniard has racked together some solid performances since the US Open, and Wawrinka picked up the Tokyo final on the way to a shaky start to the indoor hard season with a first round loss at home in Basel, but with his run to the semi-finals of Paris, and that win over Nadal in Paris.
We can expect this to be as tight as their previous meeting, but the momentum does seem to be with the Swiss and if anyone is likely to be the main challenger to Djokovic, it is Wawrinka.
Murray and Ferrer are scheduled not before 2pm, Wawrinka and Nadal, not before 8pm.
Main Image Credit: Julian Finney/Getty
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