The ATP World Tour Finals is the season ending championship of the ATP World Tour. It is just like the WTA Finals, where the top eight players compete in a round robin format, where the top two players in each group advance to the single elimination stage, and the semi-finals.
The results were as followed:
Sunday round robin with Djokovic beating Nishikori, and Federer beating Berdych
Monday round robin with Murray beating Ferrer, and Nadal beating Wawrinka
Tuesday round robin with Nishikori beating Berdych, and Federer beating Djokovic
Wednesday round robin with Nadal beating Murray, and Wawrinka beating Ferrer
Thursday round robin with Federer beating Nishikori, and Djokovic beating Berdych
Friday round robin with Nadal beating Ferrer, and Wawrinka beating Murray
Saturday semi-finals with Djokovic beating Nadal, and Federer beating Wawrinka
Sunday final with Djokovic beating Federer
From these results, we see a few interesting occurrences. The first one being that Djokovic and Federer split their matches with Federer winning in the round robin, and Djokovic winning the championship match. There was a little bit of controversy after Djokovic said:
“Credit to Roger for mixing up the pace, giving me always a different ball. He used the slice and spin very wisely. He served very efficiently. I made a lot of, lot of unforced errors. Just handed him the win, especially in the second set.”
It was reported that Djokovic said he ‘handed’ the match, and Federer responded by saying:
“Well, he wasn’t as good as in the first set. But I feel, honestly, with the way he’s played this season, you still have to put him away. It’s not an easy thing to do. It’s not like he played terrible. I know he can play better. Why did he play that way? I’d like to give myself credit for that, quite honestly, yeah.”
This was talked about in the media for the next few days until he responded to a question at a press conference two days later after beating Berdych and said:
“Whoever created that story, I don’t know what to say. It’s not fair. There is no need to create any kind of bad blood between Roger and me because I said what I needed to say, that he deserved to win that match, he was a better player. I said that I was disappointed with my level, but that has nothing to do with me handing the victory. This is ridiculous.”
This begs the question why the media was trying to spark to spark a controversy by focusing on the phrasing ‘handed the victory’ in the headlines. If you read the full quote, Djokovic does give Federer credit for the win, and was just saying how disappointed he was in himself for not stepping it up. The media was over zealous when talking about his comments.
The other storyline that struck me was how Murray declined in the event. Murray had previously discussed skipping the finals in favor of preparing for the Davis Cup final the following weekend, but reconsidered this plan when the ATP stated that it was mandatory and a fine would be imposed for missing it. From the results of the matches it seemed like Murray, though participating, did not play at his best with the Davis Cup tie in the back of his mind.
The result being that world number 1 Novak Djokovic retained his ATP World Tour Finals crown for the fourth consecutive year in a row. And that concluded the season. . . except for the Davis Cup final.