After 6 hard-fought days of tennis in London, England, the field of 8 who started the 2012 ATP Tour Finals is now down to 4: Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Murray, and Juan Martin del Potro. Djokovic, who won Group A with a record of 3-0. He took care of both Tomas Berdych and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in straight sets, while he outlasted Murray in a tough three-set match. These two men played their second hardly-fought match in a month, and this one in London played out the exact same way, with Murray opening a one-set lead only to see Djokovic battle back to win. The other player advancing to the semifinals from Group A is Murray, who also took care of Tsonga and Berdych and finished with a 2-1 record in group play. As for Group B, there resided defending champion Roger Federer, who ran past David Ferrer and Janko Tipsarevic only to run into Juan Martin del Potro, who lost a three-set match to Ferrer but dominated Tipsarevic. Del Potro and Federer met Saturday morning, and the first set was about as even as a set can be, with both men holding serve easily. The set would be decided in a tiebreak, which was dominated by the Argentine. Federer battled back in the second set, breaking del Potro in his first service game and holding on to force a third and deciding set. The third set was all del Potro, who served his way past Roger. This result guaranteed spots in the semifinals for both Federer and del Potro. Now that we have looked at the past few days of action, let's take a quick look at the semifinals, which will be played on Sunday in London.
Semifinal #1- Roger Federer vs. Andy Murray
Not much really has to be said about this blockbuster semifinal. 2 of the best players in the world going at it with a spot in the championship match of the ATP Tour Finals at stake. These two men have plkayed great matches throughout thier careers, and this one has a great chance to be another one. Both Federer and Murray have lost a match in London, but I think this will end up helping both men, especially Roger. Federer rarely loses back-to-back matches, so it will be a monumental task for Murray to battle by the defending champion. As for Murray, he will not shy away from the big stage against arguably the greatest player ever to play tennis. He embraces these situations and should be ready to fight to the finish in this match. Having said all of this, I have to pick Roger Federer to survive and advance in three sets. He will be re-focused after losing to del Potro on Saturday, and he will book his spot in the championship match.
Semifinal #2- Novak Djokovic vs. Juan Martin del Potro
It was announced earlier this week that Novak Djokovic would finish 2012 as the No. 1 player in the world and there is nothing he would like better than to put a real exclamation point on the year by winning the ATP Tour Finals. He is just two wins away from accomplishing this, and the next obstacle standing in his way is Juan Martin del Potro. While Djokovic was the only player to go through the group stage undefeated, del Potro had to wait until the last day of group play to punch his ticket to the semifinals with a three-set win over Roger Federer. This semifinal figures to be a great one in which Djokovic has the clear advantage. However, del Potro has shown earlier this year, most notably in the bronze-medal match at the 2012 Olympic Games, that he is capable of knocking off Novak. In order to do this, however, he needs to serve well and battle his way into Novak's service games with some big forehands. As for Djokovic, he just has to do what he does best. He needs to be on top of his return game and make del Potro work hard for every service game. Although I see this match being closer than many people expect, I do think Djokovic will be the one playing in the championship match on Monday. Enjoy the tennis on Sunday!