Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are both through to the semifinals of the 2015 ATP World Tour Finals. Federer completed his sweep of Group Stan Smith on Thursday when he defeated Kei Nishikori in three sets 7-5, 4-6, 6-4. Djokovic finished second in the group with victories over Nishikori earlier in the week and Tomas Berdych more recently. The latter match ended with a 6-3, 7-5 line score, one that saw Berdych finish the event winless.
Federer will enter the semifinals top-seeded, and he will play the second place player in Group Ilie Nastase. That group has not yet been decided. However, it will be by the end of play on Friday. Upcoming matches will see Rafael Nadal face David Ferrer and Andy Murray face Stan Wawrinka.
These four players enter the final day of round robin play with the following records:
If Nadal should fall to Ferrer, a result that would be a large upset, it would not matter from any point of view. It’s true that Nadal could end up 2-1 and be tied with the winner of Wawrinka vs. Murray. However, the tiebreaking procedure looks at who beat who in round robin play and Nadal has already defeated both Wawrinka and Murray in London. Accordingly, Nadal has already clinched top spot in the group and he will crossover to face the second place finisher in Group Stan Smith (i.e.,. Djokovic),
Friday’s Wawrinka vs. Murray match, though part of round robin play, actually functions as a de facto quarterfinal in the sense that the winner will move on, and the loser will be sent packing. The tournament’s complexion thus looks like this:
Djokovic vs. Nadal
Federer vs. Winner of Wawrinka/Murray
In many ways, the 2015 World Tour Finals appears to be shaping up as a Djokovic vs. Federer final. While the former would likely be the favorite of such a tour finale, the match would be interesting since Federer has the recent victory over the World No. 1. The semifinals will be played on Saturday with the final on Sunday.
Following that final, the next major event that will feature all of the best players on tour will be the 2016 Australian Open. Lesser events ahead of that tournament include the 2015 Davis Cup final later this month and a host of 250-level events from the South Pacific in early January.