The groupings for the ATP London Finals were released a few hours ago and the result was Novak Djokovic is paired with Andy Murray while Rafael Nadal got defending champion Roger Federer.
They breakdown as such:
Group A – Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, David Ferrer, Tomas Berdych
Group B – Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Mardy Fish
I think they are pretty balanced with a slight edge in difficulty in Group B.
Group A does have David Ferrer who of the eight on an indoor surface maybe be the weakest player. Group B arguably has the second weakest in newcomer Mardy Fish.
Both Djokovic and Nadal do have some shoulder concerns which could leave the door open for Murray/Berdych in Group A and Federer/Tsonga in Group B.
Group B is deeper with Tsonga who is a major threat, but A does have the season’s top two title leaders in Djokovic (10) and Murray (5).
The nice thing the way things turned out is we will see Federer play Nadal for the first time since the French Open final.
As for early picks, it’s hard to go against Djokovic and Murray out of A and in order Federer and Nadal from B. The semifinals would then be Djokovic v. Nadal, Murray v. Federer. If Novak’s shoulder in OK he should get through to play Federer in the final. I think Murray again melts in front of his London audience to the Swiss.
And for the title match between Federer and Djokovic – the two only two past champions of the tournament – I like Roger right now over a weary Novak.
“I do believe if Djokovic is fit, and Murray is fit as well, which it seems like he is, they’re also going to be difficult to beat,” said Federer on Sunday. “And Rafa, regardless how he is going to be, he’s always a tough customer. So I think it’s going to be a really good World Championships. I’m really looking forward to it. It’s a strong year, and I’m happy to be part of it.”
No fewer than three of the final eight do have injury issues with Djokovic/Nadal (shoulder) and Fish (hamstring). So unfortunately alternate Janko Tipsarevic best be ready.
The tournament starts on Sunday.
CENTRE COURT start 12:15 pm
 M Mirnyi (BLR) / D Nestor (CAN) vs  R Bopanna (IND) / A Qureshi (PAK)
Not Before 2:00 PM
 R Federer (SUI) vs  J Tsonga (FRA)
Not Before 6:15 PM
 M Llodra (FRA) / N Zimonjic (SRB) vs  M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL)
Not Before 8:00 PM
 R Nadal (ESP) vs  M Fish (USA)
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