ATP World Tour Finals day 3: Djokovic and Federer face off

Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | November 16, 2015

2015 ATP World Tour Finals

We may be seeing a dress rehearsal of the ATP World Tour final in the Stan Smith Group on Tuesday as world number one and defending champion Novak Djokovic faces Roger Federer.

Britain Tennis ATP Finals

They take centre stage at London’s O2 Arena in the evening, with pool whipping boys Tomas Berdych and Kei Nishikori doing battle before the main event.

Coral tennis writers take a look at two absorbing contests, starting with the race to avoid the wooden spoon.

Tomas Berdych v Kei Nishikori

  • Group Stan Smith
  • Tuesday, November 17th
  • Scheduled for: 14:00 GMT
  • O2 Arena, London
  • Live on Sky Sports 1 and BBC2

Japanese tennis ace Nishikori may be the lowest ranked player contesting the ATP World Tour Finals at number eight in the world, but he holds a 100 per cent head-to-head record over Czech Republic foe Berdych on hard courts.

Britain Tennis ATP Finals

This end of year tournament takes place on such a surface, so it’s well worth siding with Nishikori at 5/4. Berdych, meanwhile, must hope the sustained success of the Czech women in the Fed Cup – a competition in which they won yet another final this weekend – will rub off on him.

Being ranked two places above Nishikori apart, there’s little basis for Berdych being an odds-on favourite. Both players got battered by the heavyweights in this pool and, while Nishikori putting just two games on the board against Djokovic is embarrassing, it’s not much of a surprise.

Berdych did slightly better against Federer, taking six games, but still lost in straight sets. The response, in what is almost certainly the most meaningless match at the 2015 ATP World Tour finals, is most likely to come from Nishikori, and a straight sets victory at 11/4 appeals.

Novak Djokovic v Roger Federer

  • Group Stan Smith
  • Tuesday, November 17th
  • Scheduled for: 20:00 GMT
  • O2 Arena, London
  • Live on Sky Sports 3

How do you choose between these two? Since the 2014 Shanghai Masters, both Djokovic and Federer have won three meetings each on hard surfaces, and that reflects the overall head-to-head record of 21 victories apiece.

US Open - Djokovic Wins Men Final - NYC

Serbian star Djokovic does seem to win the major meetings, though, and that explains why he’s odds-on at 2/7 to win what could be the first of two fights with third seed Federer, who is 11/4.

All-time Grand Slam great Federer has lost four of the last five encounters and, his age-defying ability notwithstanding, it is very bold indeed to back him over Djokovic.

Three sets of tennis would be no surprise here, however, and Djokovic looks decent at 11/4 to come through this match 2-1.


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Coral’s top tip: Nishikori can continue his 100 per cent record on hard courts against Berdych, so back the Japanese at 5/4 with the match betting market looking the wrong way round.