ATP World Tour Finals 2014: Novak Djokovic vs Tomas Berdych match preview

A look ahead to the Group A match in the men’s singles

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The Independent Online

Novak Djokovic is only a step away from claiming top spot in Group A and defending his season-ending number 1 ranking. It seems like all he has to do is change nothing about the way he plays.

In the first two matches of the competition Djokovic dropped only five games, breezing past his opponents like they were early-round match-ups at a Grand Slam, and not clashes with some of the best players in the world.

Theoretically all four players could still qualify for the semi-final, however Djokovic would have to get pummelled by his next opponent Tomas Berdych in order to lose his berth in the knock-our round.

Berdych has had a hit and miss tournament so far, getting cleaned out by Stan Wawrinka in his first match losing 1-6, 1-6, before returning the favour to Marin Cilic in his second winning 6-3, 6-1.

Whoever finishes second in Group A will have to face a clinical Roger Federer who needed just 56 minutes to send Andy Murray packing. The leader will face the Japanese prodigy, Kei Nishikori, in the semi-finals. Nishikori who qualified with two victories, needed three sets to outplay David Ferrer in his last match.

Djokovic and Berdych crossed paths 18 times before and the Czech was victorious on two occasions, none of which was on the hard surface. Their most recent encounter came in the China Open final which Djokovic dominated 6-2,6-0.

START: Friday (not before 2pm)

STATS:

Berdych has qualified for the season ending event for the fifth straight year; however, he has never made it to the final.

Djokovic has dropped five games so far in the competition compared to Berdych’s 16.

Djokovic is on a 29-match indoor winning streak, as he hasn’t lost indoor since Paris in 2012.

Djokovic aims to finish the season atop the ATP rankings for the sixth time in his career, a result that would equal Pete Sampras’ record.

Djokovic has won the ATP Tour Final three times before in 2008, 2012 and 2013.

PAST MEETINGS:

2014 Beijing (Hard) Djokovic won 6-0, 6-2

2013 Davis Cup Final, Serbia (Hard) Djokovic won 6-4, 7-6, 6-2

2013 Wimbledon (Grass) Djokovic won 7-6, 6-4, 6-3

ODDS:

Djokovic to win 1.11

Berdych to win 9.4

TV: BBC Two

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