By Britwatch Team
- Top Seeds: Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka, Milos Raonic
- Defending Champion: Novak Djokovic
- CLICK our featured players for stats from TennisAbstract
LONDON, ENGLAND – It all comes down to this as Novak Djokovic looks to regain the top spot from Andy Murray at the season-ending finale.
Draw & Results
|Order of Play|
 Andy Murray
Yes, don’t adjust your sets – The Paris Masters saw a changing of the guard in perhaps a slightly bizarre manner but it all worked out in the end! As it stood, once Marin Cilic had knocked out four-time Paris champion Novak Djokovic, all Murray had to do was reach the final.
Standing in his way was Milos Raonic – but his withdrawal due to a grade 1 tear in his quad saw Murray not only advance to the final with a walkover, but ascend to the World No. 1 spot. He ably backed it up with edging John Isner in the final in three sets, and won his fourth straight title, his eighth this year and has consolidated a very strong end to the year.
However his track record at the season-ending finale has not been as stellar. Save for two appearances in the semi-finals, his track record has largely ended in the round robin stages. In 2014, he exhausted himself with a similar traipse around the autumnal tournaments just to get there, and then was spent – although he emerged the hero of the hour when Roger Federer pulled out of the final shortly before it was due to start, and Murray stepped in for some exhibition matches.
It is a different story now though. Having played down the importance of the No. 1 ranking this year, he has it now, and Djokovic seems far from in-form at the moment. Even in Paris he was shaking out his arm, and having been troubled with an elbow injury that has hampered his later schedule, it will all come down to this week.
His group though is tough. He is drawn alongside US Open champion Stan Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori and Marin Cilic.
 Novak Djokovic
He has had dominant runs before, and no doubt will again, but right now Djokovic has been a little lost in the wilderness after achieving his aim to gain a career slam, by winning the French Open. The combination of a natural dip and some personal issues saw an unexpected loss at Wimbledon, and to add insult to injury he was bounced out of the Olympics (another target) by eventual finalist Juan-Martin Del Potro.
An irritating touch of tennis elbow has also had an effect. The one Masters that eludes him is the Cincinnati Masters – a tournament he pulled out of along with one of his more dominant battle-grounds in Beijing in a bid to get his limb back to working order.
He looked good at the start of his Paris campaign, but it turns out no-one beats Cilic 15 times in a row as he claimed his first win over the Serbian, and with that also went the top spot.
However, his group might give him some cheer. Drawn in a group with debutants Gael Monfils, Dominic Thiem and (perhaps) Raonic (depending on if he can recover from his injury in time), he has winning records against all of them.
There is no doubt the passion will be there to wrestle the mantle back from Murray in time for the Australian Open seedings. But will his injured elbow allow him to dictate as much on a surface that suits him very well, or is it just a week too far, as he bids to win a fifth title in a row, and a sixth overall.
 Stan Wawrinka
The quiet member of the Big Five, as it should be now – the US Open champion upended Djokovic in the final, and perhaps helped along this latter-year slump. Wawrinka, let’s not forget is just a single slam away from a career slam of his own – something Murray is two short of.
Consistency though can be the enemy of the Swiss No. 1. He can be in devastating form in the big moments though, and can struggle in the most unlikely of lower tournaments. He will fancy his chances of at least giving himself a chance to finish in the top two of the group, only having a losing record against Murray.
 Milos Raonic
It must have been a very frustrating year for the big-serving Canadian. At almost every stage where he looked as though he was pushing to make a big title breakthrough, his body has let him down. In Australia he had Murray on the ropes before injury hampered him to a virtual standstill. He enjoyed some rude health on the grass, falling foul of that man Murray at Queen’s and then in his first Slam final at Wimbledon.
His withdrawal in Paris is worrying though – he is in a desperate fight to try and get fit enough in time to make the opening matches on Sunday evening. He has also had an unhappy time having to withdraw with injury on his debut in 2014 with a leg muscle injury.
The Barclays ATP World Tour Finals start Sunday 13 November.
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