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Nic Ladds 18th Nov 2009 - 15:25

Time for an ATP showdown at London's O2

It's simple really... if you manage to finish the season within the top eight players, you have confirmed your place in the grueling Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London.

The ‘best-of-the-best' take to London's The O2 arena from the 22 to 29 November for this season ending finale, where the official ATP World Tour Champion Player of the year will be crowned.

Using the ‘round-robin' format, the top eight will compete in a minimum of three matches each during the group stages as they battle for a place in the knockout semi-finals and final over the weekend.

World ranked No.3 Novak Djokovic, who defeated Gael Monfils 6-2, 5-7, 7-6 (7-3) in last week's BNP Paribas Masters, heads the field as favourite in William Hill's outright market (11/4 fav) ahead of Swiss supremo Roger Federer (3/1).

The Serb beat Federer a week ago in Basel, then in Paris defeated second-ranked Rafael Nadal of Spain in straight sets in the semi-finals, without facing a single breakpoint.

Although a 'pumped' Djokovic has produced some giant killing performances recently and has a week of rest before London, the smart money has to follow Federer at 3/1 for victory at the O2 (5/1 to win the title without losing a match).

Hot on Fed's heals however is Scotland's Andy Murray (7/2) with Spanish favourite Rafael Nadal fourth favourite at 7/1 for the London victory.

For the second year in succession, Murray and Federer have been put together in the same group at the eight-man event as last season, when the tournament was held in Shanghai, the Scot beat the Swiss to prevent him from qualifying for the semis.

The remaining four hopefuls are Juan Martin del Potro (8/1), Nikolay Davydenko (8/1), Robin Soderling (12/1) and Fernando Verdasco (33/1), with all eight selections available to back in our "to reach the final" market.

If the winner of the final has managed to get through the round robin stages undefeated (betting available on this market), he'll collect £1million in prize money - significantly more than the £850,000 prize Federer received for his 15th Grand Slam at Wimbledon.

The bosses down at the ATP are also hiring two boats to transport the ATP's top eight 'to and from' London's Greenwich arena along the Thames.

"This is one of the most important events and one of the most difficult to win since from day one you face a Top 10 player. No mistakes are allowed." Rafael Nadal

The group matches will take place from Sunday to Friday, the semi-finals to be played on Saturday and the final on the following Sunday.

Roger Federer

Andy Murray

Juan Martin Del Porto

Fernando Verdasco


Rafael Nadal

Novak Djokovic

NiKolay Davydenko

Robin Soderling


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