Murray avoids Djokovic draw

Andy Murray has avoided world number one Novak Djokovic in the group stages of the ATP World Tour Finals at London’s O2 Arena next week.

Murray avoids Djokovic draw

Andy Murray has avoided world number one Novak Djokovic in the group stages of the ATP World Tour Finals at London’s O2 Arena next week.

The British number one looks to have been given a kind draw as he was matched with Roger Federer, Kei Nishikori and Milos Raonic in Group B, with the latter two competitors playing in the season-ending tournament for the first time.

Djokovic, who has beaten Murray on the four occasions they have played each other this year, will face Stan Wawrinka, Tomas Berdych and Marin Cilic in Group A.

Murray was forced to miss last year's competition as he continued his recovery from back surgery but he had qualified in the previous five years.

Yet he only guaranteed his spot for this year’s event with a superb final few weeks which saw him win titles in Shenzhen, Vienna and Valencia before a run to the Paris Masters quarter-finals, where he was beaten by Djokovic in straight sets which ended an 11-match unbeaten run.

Murray could have been forgiven for wanting to be kept apart from his old rival given the Serbian’s stronghold over him this season although he has lost twice to Federer this year, at the Australian Open in January and the Cincinnati Masters in August.

Their head-to-head is finely poised, currently standing at 11 wins apiece – but Federer has beaten Murray on the three occasions they have met at the O2.

And Murray will face the Swiss 17-time grand slam champion who is hoping to win his seventh World Tour Finals crown as well as regain the number one spot from Djokovic.

Murray has a losing record against the big-hitting Canadian Raonic, who holds a 3-1 advantage which includes a three-set victory in their latest encounter at Indian Wells earlier this year.

The Scot has won all three previous encounters with Nishikori, however, and will face the Japanese in his opening match, with a time and date to be confirmed.

Murray, ranked sixth in the world, must finish in the top two of his group in order to progress to the semi-finals, with the knockout stages scheduled to be played on November 15 and 16.

Djokovic will head into the event as the favourite to win the title for a third year in a row after retaining his Paris Masters crown last week, while the 27-year-old boasts a combined 41-5 record against Wawrinka, Berdych and Cilic

World number three Rafael Nadal misses this year’s event in order to undergo appendix surgery.

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