After being defeated by Serbian World Number one Novak Djokovic on three occasions in the last two months, albeit on the back of a heavy workload of matches as he attempted to improve his world ranking, Andy Murray must have felt a slight sense of optimism about his chances of reaching the later stages of the end of season ATP World Tour Finals after the groups were drawn. He avoided Djokovic's group and instead is scheduled to face Roger Federer, Kei Nishikori and Milos Raonic in the round-robin stages, the top two progressing to the semi finals. The other group will include Stan Wawrinka, Marin Cilic and Tomas Berdych, in addition to the Serb. Djokovic will be seeking his third win in a row at the event and only requires one win during the week to retain his top ranking this season.
The event begins next weekend at the O2 Arena in London (and runs until the 16th November), with Djokovic once again the big favourite to take the prestigious title, but Murray will fancy his chances of at least making the semi- finals as both Nishikori and Raonic will be playing the tournament for the very first time.
Added to that he should have the backing of the majority of the partisan crowd and will hope for similar success to Wimbledon 2013 and the heady days of London 2012, where he prospered in the English capital. It will not be easy though as the event brings together the cream of the #Tennis world in a compact format, where one loss puts the losing player under extreme pressure from the off.
The match- ups look interesting, with Federer playing Raonic in his opening game. Raonic recently demolished Federer in straight sets in the Paris Masters on his way to the final (where he lost at the hands of Djokovic), so the Swiss maestro will be keen to avenge that loss and hopeful of regaining a title he took in both 2010 and 2011. Murray will be hopeful of maintaining his 100% winning record against Nishikori in the other opening match of the group, although they last played in 2013 and the Japanese player has been in improving form this season.
Spanish World Number three, Rafael Nadal will not be in London as he has recently had his appendix removed, after it had been troubling him for some time.