Roger Federer may be heading into the ATP World Tour Finals as the fourth seed, but he is certainly a worthy favourite to triumph for an unprecedented sixth time in London.
Federer is currently tied with Ivan Lendl and Pete Sampras on five victories in the so-called ‘fifth Grand Slam’ and is 2/1 in the tennis odds to move ahead of the two former legends.
The current form of the Swiss maestro certainly suggests that he will be tough to stop, as he has triumphed in his last two starts ahead of London, which were also both on indoor hard courts.
Federer followed up on a win at home in Basel with some more dominant tennis to win the Paris Masters and a week’s break should now help him recharge his batteries.
Alongside his own good form, another reason for Federer’s present success is the struggles of the world’s top two players.
Novak Djokovic was forced to pull out in the middle of the Paris Masters with a shoulder issue and if he does make it to London, it is highly unlikely that he will be fully fit.
Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal has hardly played in the past three weeks and although this could mean that he is well rested, how sharp he will be in London remains a mystery.
There are added rumours that Nadal is also nursing a shoulder injury, while the speed of the courts at the O2 Arena is unlikely to play to his strengths.
The big two threats to Federer could well be Andy Murray and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, but he beat Frenchman Tsonga in the Paris final, while he beat Murray in London 12 months ago, when arguably his form was far worse than at present.
The draw could have a major bearing on the chances of all players though, but a group involving Djokovic, David Ferrer and Mardy Fish would only boost Federer’s capability of victory.