Saturday, November 19, 2016

2016 ATP YEC: Semifinals are Djokovic vs Nishikori, Murray vs Raonic

The semifinals of the ATP Tour Finals in London are now set with Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Milos Raonic and Kei Nishikori reaching the final four of the year's most prestigious tournament. Surprisingly, 2016 US Open champion Stan Wawrinka did not make the semifinal round for the first time in his five appearances in the year-end championships.

Both Murray and Djokovic won their respective groups by winning all three of their matches in the round-robin portion of the tournament. Murray beat Nishikori, Wawrinka and Marin Cilic while Djokovic beat Raonic, Dominic Thiem and David Goffin (who substituted for Gael Monfils). Murray is now on a 22nd match winning streak, and is now the #1 player in the world. He will face Raonic in the first semifinal (a reprise of the 2016 Wimbledon final won by Murray) and he has won their last 7 meetings and leads the head-to-head 8-3. Djokovic faces Nishikori, whom he has beaten 7 times in a row since losing the 2014 US Open semifinal match, and leads the head-to-head 10-2.

If they both win their semifinal matches the two will face each other for the 35th time, with the year-end #1 ranking going to the winner. Djokovic leads their rivalry 24-10 and has beaten Murray in most of their most crucial meetings (including in 4 major finals) but Murray is playing the best tennis of his life and if there's any time he can turn this rivalry around it is in London while riding a career-high win streak. An exciting end to the tennis year!

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