ATP World Tour Finals 2012: Previewing Must-See Singles Matchups at O2 Arena
The eight-man singles field for the Barclay's ATP World Tour Finals has been set. In one of tennis' most celebrated events, the singles field in 2012 features some of the sport's best.
In London at the famous O2 Arena, the eight men will battle it out in a round-robin tournament before proceeding to a semifinal stage. The two groups of four will play each other in pool play once, and the top two seeds in each pool will advance to the next stage.
Here's a look at the two pools:
|GROUP A||GROUP B|
|Novak Djokovic||Roger Federer|
|Jo-Wilfried Tsonga||David Ferrer|
|Andy Murray||Juan Martin Del Potro|
|Tomas Berdych||Janko Tipsarevic|
As you can see, the field is packed with the eight best male tennis players on the planet right now. The only exception is world No. 4 Rafael Nadal, who is still nursing an injury that kept him out of action for most of 2012.
In both groups, there are some exciting matches that will be must-see TV. Sky Sports will have this broadcast in London as it gets underway on Monday and runs all the way to the final match on November 12.
For all the TV information about this year's ATP Final, click here. Below, we'll take a look at some of the matchups you'll want to find a network for. These matches could all go well into the fifth set and have personal history on the line in London.
Andy Murray vs. Novak Djokovic
The two favorites from the Group A pool have had a scintillating 2012 together. After Djokovic was dominating the head-to-head matches with Murray, the British native, Murray, pulled off an improbable upset at the 2012 Olympic games that helped him win the gold medal.
Murray boosted that performance by beating the Djoker for his first ever Grand Slam title at the 2012 US Open. Both men will be gunning for each other in this one, and it's something to keep an eye on, especially since it's just a round-robin match.
Djoker holds a 9-7 advantage over Murray and is coming off a win in the Shanghai Masters final just under a month ago. As evidenced by the record between the two, anything can happen when they hit the court.
Will either man give it his full attention with Roger Federer looming on the other side of the bracket and the need to just get in a prevailing thought?
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. Novak Djokovic
These two have a rich head-to-head history, but it's Djokovic who has dominated since 2009. After going 4-1 to start this rivalry, Tsonga has been on the losing side in eight of the last nine meetings, giving Djokovic an 8-5 lead.
After winning the ATP 1000 Finals in 2008 and coming in second to Federer in 2011, Tsonga is out to prove he can finally win the big match. In a pool with both Djokovic and Murray, heavy favorites, he'll have to knock off at least one to move on to the next phase.
Roger Federer vs. David Ferrer
Federer is already on record as saying that he thinks Spanish No. 2 Ferrer is a major threat without Nadal in attendance, as reported by Sky Sports.
The two men played a match earlier in the season at Madrid, with Federer knocking off Ferrer in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4.
But you can't take anything for granted in a Grand Slam atmosphere like O2 Arena and the ATP Finals, so this pool matchup will feature Ferrer finally trying to assert himself as a major player in what looks to be a loaded field.
Which match would you like to see the most?
Roger Federer vs. Andy Murray
Murray is one of the only men on the planet to have a positive head-to-head record with Federer. He's 10-8 against the world No. 2, and that includes a win in the Olympic games for the gold medal.
Depending on the seeding out of the pools, we wouldn't see these two until the semifinals, possibly even the finals.
If it's the finals, then we will have already seen a Federer-Djoker match, another that could be on this list. However, it's Murray and Federer who are the hot commodity right now, and with the way Murray played this summer and in the U.S. Open, it would be a statement win to knock off the defending champion as the world watches.
Ethan Grant is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report's Breaking News Team. You can follow him on Twitter @DowntownEG.
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