It’s time to bottom line one of the most tense and exciting men’s tennis season. The year 2014 was full of fascinating events. We’ve witnessed two new Grand Slam trophy-holders: Stanislas Wawrinka and Marin Cilic. Rafael Nadal has won his nine title at Roland Garros, Federer keeps his tough race with Djokovic to end the season on top of the rankings. But nevertheless, the most coveted event is still waiting ahead. 15 matches between the strongest players of the world. The end-of-the-season showpiece in London is coming! And now let’s evaluate the odds of those who will compete for the final title.
Stan Wawrinka at World Tour Finals
Stan Wawrinka started this year with a win at the Chennai Open. Then he showed very powerful tennis at the Australian Open where he and managed to dominate over Novak Djokovic in the quarter-final (ending a 14-match losing run against the Serb) and Rafael Nadal in the ensuing final to lift the big trophy. It was widely believed that in the year 2014 Nadal and Djokovic will continue their rivalry to divide all the finals between themselves. Many thought like this, except usJ And what do we see? The first Grand Slam event and a new winner outside the top 4! It was awesome! Then Stan took a short break showing very poor performance at the Miami and Indian-Wells Masters to shoot it again in Monte-Carlo. In doing so, Wawrinka has secured his appearance at the ATP Finals in London. Later on this season the second number of Switzerland hasn’t achieved anything worthwhile. He made it to the Wimbledon quarter-final and reached his fifth Grand Slam quarter-final at the US Open. At Roland Garros his first-round exit shocked all around. Later on he failed all the remained Masters and, what made things worse, showed very poor tennis in Paris. His playing style requires constant practice. All his superb results at the Grand Slam events were attributable to the five-set format matches. So we doubt it that by failing it in Paris Stan would be completely ready for the London Finals. So for us Stan is one of the underdogs. Let’s state it again why. First of all, he missed the chance to set for the big tennis in Paris. Secondly, the surface in London is a bit too fast for him. Thirdly, he has to train for the Davis Cup like mad. So all in all, it’s very unlikely that Wawrinka can claim the title this year. But it’s also worth noting that shall he manage to advance from the group, his chances will get higher with every match. As a rule, if he tunes to his play, he can defeat anyone. But unfortunately the Swiss will have no time to warm up in London, which is very important for him. To put it simply, Stan looks like a pig in a poke. We are not sure what to expect from him. And we think, he is not sure, either.
Tomas Berdych at World Tour Finals
What has Tomas Berdych shown this year? Firstly, he defeated a red-hot Marin Cilic to win a title in Rotterdam. Then he beat the rising star Grigor Dimitrov to clinch the Stockholm Open title. Not too much, but still a bit better than the previous year when the Czech remained with no titles at all. We will never stop repeating that Tomas Berdych has psychological issues that prevent him from boasting great achievements. Whom can he defeat in London? Hardly anyone. The players tend to show their best tennis at the World Tour Finals and we bet it that Berdych won’t stand it out. This year he has only upset Marin Cilic in Rotterdam to lose it to him at the US Open and Wimbledon. He was also beaten by Djokovic, Federer and Raonic in this season. So for us Tomas Berdych is the most definite underdog of the upcoming event. David Ferrer would have been the most comfortable opponent for him, but he is out of draw. All the others: Djokovic, Federer ,Nishikori, Cilic and Murray look more favorable than Tomas. He has some chances against Raonic and Wawrinka, but that’s not enough for success. Frankly speaking, we would be surprised by any win of the Czech at this championship.
Milos Raonic at World Tour Finals
The Canadian has miraculously booked a spot at the year-end finals. If Milos had logically lost it to Roger Federer in Paris, David Ferrer would have got a ticket to London and the Toronto native would be on holidays right now. But history knows no “if”. Winning about 70 percent of points on serve, Raonic toppled Swiss No. 1 and secured his own attendance in London. Does Milos have any chances to hold the trophy? Let’s stick to the realities: it’s next to impossible to upset the strongest players of the world with only one monster service play. We hardly believe it that the Canadian will maintain his serve on such a level all week long. Raonic has already bitten more than he can chew. His play has improved drastically (net play has become much better, backhand elements gained more efficiency). But still it’s not enough to best the best. Milos has done great job this season. But his main achievements are defeat over Federer and Washington title. No Masters titles, no Grand Slam finals. The most he can do is to fuss the main contenders to the title.
Kei Nishikori at World Tour Finals
Kei Nishikori is something completely new in men’s tour. He has no giant’s height, no extreme endurance, no athletically built body, but he equally competes with the best players in modern tennis. He has already beaten Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic and obtained the titles in Memphis, Barcelona, Kuala-Lumpur and Tokyo. He laso made it to the US Open final. Kei plays brilliant tennis on all surfaces. Be it hard, indoor court, grass or clay. But there is one but. Poor service play makes Nishikori struggle for every point. He gets no easy ones at all. And it is even more difficult to do indoors, where the opponent’s serve is even tougher to be broken. Can Nishikori win the title? Yes, we think. If the stars favor him. Kei can easily tune to the right mode within the course of the tournament. What’s more, Rafael Nadal, which is the Japanese’s worst nightmare, is out of draw. To play the rest of the contenders is no big deal for Nishikori. The season-final tournament is going to be fast and shall he avoid the exhausting setters, the outcome can be very curious! His play looks very good with nothing to worry about. So this Asian man can make an impression in the year-end showpiece in London.
Andy Murray at World Tour Finals
The Scotsman has almost failed this season. Yes, the luck wasn’t on his side. He was defeated by Federer, Cilic, Raonic, Nadal and Djokovic (the Serb has become a real butcher for the Brit by beating him 4 times this year). Even Grigor Dimitrov has upset Andy twice. Generally, he can play but if you claim for something more than just a spot in the year-end finals, you have to avoid such big losses during the season. Starting with Wimbledon, Andy played without a stop. Nine tournaments. For any human body it’s a big challenge. Very big challenge! In principle, Andy should be exhausted to death. So a weekly break couldn’t have come to a better time. It means that Murray may gain enough strength to advance from the group round. Or even more. What alarms us is the fact that Murray was defeated by almost all his future opponents in draw. So psychologically it would be more challenging for him. We are almost sure that Andy may overcome through some tight matches but with no real chances to the title. He is less consistent than Federer and Djokovic, but let’s live and see. Native courts and home tribunes sometimes may be very inspiring to great things. So maybe even Murray can impress us.
Marin Cilic at World Tour Finals
Marin Cilic is one of the three main contenders to the final title. The Croat looks awesome on courts with a first class service play. He moves well and displays good net play. But we won’t talk long about his technique, we’ve done it before. We’d rather state some facts which look alarming for us. Cilic hasn’t played in Paris, which means that he had missed three weeks of intense practice. That’s too much for the Croat who resembles Stan Wawrinka in this component. At any tournament the first rounds tend to be the most difficult for him. Then he gains speed and improves with every match played. If he doesn’t fail the start of the event and advances to the play-off, his chances will be really high. On the other hand, he is the only player who took a break, got some rest and managed to restore his power before the final competition. So with no doubt, his physical form is brilliant, which is also an important prerequisite for success.
Roger Federer at World Tour Finals
Roger Federer showed an amazing season. He won the Cincinnati Masters and the Shanghai Open for the first time. Yes, he’s been far from holding any of the Grand Slam trophies (except for Wimbledon), but nevertheless he did great job. The Swiss chances at the upcoming event are very high. The current round robin format of two groups is very beneficial as each player will have to play 5 matches of three sets each, instead of 7 matches as at the Grand Slam tournaments. For an ageing Federer it’s very comfortable. Moreover, his serve works and his motivation is as high as never. In case of win, he’ll finish the year ranked first. What more could he desire? And finally, there is no Rafael Nadal in draw, which means that psychological pressure will be as little as possible. All the rest are easy nuts to crack for Roger.
Novak Djokovic at World Tour Finals
The current World No.1 shows his best when his first racquet title is threatened. This is what can happen in case Novak doesn’t lift the title. Yes, Novak is in fit form right now. But there are some nuances. First of them is a probable defeat from Roger Federer. Secondly, Marin Cilic and Kei Nishikori are also capable of beating the Serb. Thirdly, Novak doesn’t possess the most exceptional stamina and endurance in tour, so there are definitely would be some tough matches for him. It’s also worth noting that Djokovic is still far from his peak form. But this is nothing more than details. Title chances of Novak are as high as 50% at least.
We would add for ourselves that there would a lot of thrilling matches to watch. And of course we can’t but miss such a profitable betting opportunity. So be fast to subscribe to our tips. Don’t forget that it will be the last tennis week before a month’s break.
Relevant news:NextGen ATP Finals preview and prediction: Medvedev vs. Coric
Citi Open semifinals previews: Anderson v Sock, Zverev v Nishikori
Wimbledon final preview and prediction: Marin Cilic v Roger Federer
Wimbledon R4 Preview and Prediction: Milos Raonic v Alexander Zverev
Eastbourne final preview and prediction: Novak Djokovic v Gael Monfils
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