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The Reuters global sports blog

Watch out for Federer in 2012

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By Greg Rusedski

There was a lot going on in the press at The ATP World Tour Finals before the event started. The press asked Roger Federer who was the favorite for the event. The press had implied that Andy Murray was the favorite because of the three tournaments he had won in Asia. Federer answered this question by saying that neither he nor Novak Djokovic had played in Asia so how could he be the favorite? Federer came into this event having won the last two tournaments of the year, this event on five different occasions and also as the defending champion. This set up the tournament in a great way because the only way to settle this discussion would be on the court.

The two groups were Group A; Djokovic, Murray, David Ferrer and Tomas Berdych and Group B; Federer, Rafael Nadal, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Mardy Fish. Group B was the more interesting and stronger group.

Federer cruised through his group and won all three matches. Nadal looked in great shape but unfortunately had stomach problems and had to run off court at 2-0 up on Fish in the third set of his first round match to have a washroom break. He ended up winning the match, but looked drained after the match and did not recover to win another match in his group. Fish was a debutant at only 29 and did not win a match, but played well. On the other hand, Tsonga played great and beat Nadal and Fish to qualify for the semi-finals with Federer.

Murray limped out of the event after his match against Ferrer. He was up a break in both sets, but throughout the match you could see him pulling at his groin. He received treatment after the first set and was moving much better, but still decided that he could not continue with his groin strain. This allowed the alternate Janko Tipsarevic into the tournament which meant there would be two Serbian men in the end of season championships for the first time.

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