Great Britain's Andy Murray has been handed a challenging draw as he defends his world number one ranking for the first time at the ATP World Tour Finals in London. The new king of men's tennis will face Stanislas Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori and Marin Cilic in the round-robin stage at The O2 Arena, knowing he must match the performance of Novak Djokovic to ensure he ends 2016 top of the standings.
Djokovic has a more favourable draw after being paired with injury-doubt Milos Raonic, and debutants Gael Monfils and Dominic Thiem – possessing a combined 23-0 record against the trio. The Serbian had his 122-week run as world number one ended at the Paris Masters, after he crashed out at the quarter-final stage to Marin Cilic in the French capital but is chasing a fifth straight title at the season-ending tour finals.
The Australian and French Open champion will kick-off proceedings on Sunday [13 November] against Thiem, while Monfils and Raonic will face-off in the opening evening match. British fans will have to wait until Monday [14 November] night to see the newly crowned world number one when Murray – fresh from victory in the French capital – takes on Cilic, after the afternoon clash between Wawrinka and Nishikori.
Players finishing in the top two in each group, named after former players John McEnroe and Ivan lendl, qualify directly for the semi-final where the tournament assumes a regular knock-out format. Murray has rarely fared well at the traditional end of season event, never reaching the final in seven appearances. Last year, the Briton won just one of his three group matches, losing to Wawrinka and Rafael Nadal before beating David Ferrer.