November 27, 2015

Great Britain Takes On Belgium in Davis Cup Final


(November 26, 2015) In 2013 Andy Murray won Wimbledon to end a 77-year drought for British men at the All England Club. The Scot hopes to help collect the Davis Cup title for Great Britain for the first time since 1936 this weekend against Belgium in Ghent this weekend. In 1936, Fred Perry won the decisive singles rubber to give Great Britain the victory over Australia 3-2.

Belgium was a losing finalist to Great Britain in 1904.

The best-of-five match series final between the two countries begins on Friday in the Flanders Expo on clay, with a pair of singles matches which pits players who have never faced each other in head-to-head competition. Top Belgium player, David Goffin ranked 14th in the world will play Kyle Edmund, ranked No. 100. The 20-year-old Edmund, who was born in South Africa, will be making his Davis Cup debut.

The second match on Friday will feature world No. 2 and British No. 1 Andy Murray against No. 108 Ruben Bemelmans. Bemelmans received the nod over No. 84 Steve Darcis to play the second rubber. Belgium’s Captain Johan van Herck has the option of changing players over the weekend.

Murray is not only seeking his first Davis Cup title, but he is trying to become only the third player to win all eight singles matches in a Davis Cup year since the World Group began in 1981.

Due to the Paris attacks and threats in Brussels, security in Ghent has been intensified.

The International Tennis Federation put out a security statement earlier in the week:

Update for those attending the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Final at Flanders Expo


The ITF and Royal Belgian Tennis Federation (RBTF), in consultation with the relevant officials and our risk assessment and security advisers, are closely monitoring the situation in Belgium and specifically in Ghent. As of today there are no changes to the previously published start times for the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Final between Belgium and Great Britain.


We are taking every necessary step to ensure the safety of the teams, the spectators, the media and all working staff.


As you would expect, a number of specific, additional security measures have been put in place for this weekend’s tie.


In particular please note:


  • This is a sold out event. There will not be any tickets on sale at the venue and anyone without a ticket will not be allowed access to the venue area.


  • Additional security measures will be in place at all entrances to the venue and will apply to all ticket holders, staff members and visitors.


  • Entry into the event will take longer than usual. Please keep this in mind when planning your arrival to the Flanders Expo. The gates will open two hours in advance of each day’s start time.


  • Bags and backpacks will not be permitted in the Flanders Expo. Ticket holders will be asked to check any bags into available off-site storage facilities.


  • No food or drink will be allowed into the arena. A full selection of refreshments will be available in venue.


  • For those travelling into Belgium for the tie we advise that you liaise directly with your flight or train operator for up to date information on any changes to departure times or protocols.


Any additional updates on the tie including any changes to entry procedures for fans with tickets will be made via:


RBTF website:


The ITF president Dave Haggerty said that they want to make sure the Davis Cup players, fans and staff are safe.

For Great Britain, this will be their 18th final as they look to win their 10th Davis Cup title. They lost their last final in 1972 against the United States. Belgium has never won Davis Cup, losing to Great Britain in their only final in 1904 5-0 at Wimbledon.


This is the 12th meeting between Belgium and Great Britain, but only their second since 1963. Britain leads 7-4. Belgium won their last meeting 4-1 in Europe/Africa Zone Group I in Glasgow in 2012, with 3 members of the Belgium team nominated for this year’s Final – Ruben Bemelmans, Steve Darcis and David Goffin – all winning rubbers. Great Britain has not beaten Belgium since 1963, when it won 5-0 on clay in Brussels.





Venue: Flanders Expo, Ghent (clay – indoors)

David Goffin (BEL) v Kyle Edmund (GBR)

Ruben Bemelmans (BEL) v Andy Murray (GBR)



Kimmer Coppejans/Steve Darcis (BEL) v Andy Murray/Jamie Murray (GBR)



David Goffin (BEL) v Andy Murray (GBR)

Ruben Bemelmans (BEL) v Kyle Edmund (GBR)


Related Article: Tennis Channel to Air Davis Cup Final


Tennis Channel to Air Davis Cup Final Between Great Britain and Belgium

(November 23, 2015 Tennis Channel will provide exclusive live coverage of Britain’s and Belgium’s Davis Cup final competition in Ghent, Belgium this weekend, beginning Friday, Nov. 27, at 7:30 a.m. ET. Two-time Grand slam champion and Olympic gold medalist Andy Murray will lead Britain as it attempts to capture its first title in 79 years. Murray recently defeated top-ranked David Goffin of Belgium at the ATP Masters 1000 in Paris. However, this was on an indoor hard court while the final will be played on indoor clay.
The championship competition will consist of two singles matches on Friday, Nov. 27, at 7:30 a.m. ET, followed by the doubles match Saturday, Nov. 28,at 9 a.m. ET.  Tennis Channel’s coverage concludes with the remaining singles play Sunday, Nov. 29, at 7 a.m. ET. Each of the five matches is worth one point, with the team that wins at least three points winning the Davis Cup title.
Tennis Channel’s live Davis Cup final coverage is as follows (all time ET):
Friday, Nov. 27:
7:30 a.m.– Live Singles
Saturday, Nov. 28:
9 a.m.– Live Doubles
Sunday, Nov. 29:
7 a.m. – Live Singles
Britain holds a 7-4 advantage over Belgium, but Belgium won the most recent competition in 2012. The Belgian team has not reached the Davis Cup final since 1904, when Britain defeated it 5-0. Belgium is bidding to win its first title.
The British team enters this weekend’s final for the first time in 37 years after a 3-2 semifinal victory over Australia in Glasgow, Scotland. Britain has clinched the Davis Cup trophy on nine occasions, but the most recent was in 1936.  Britain’s captain Leon Smith will lead Murray, Kyle Edmund, Jamie Murray and Dominic Inglot into the finals this weekend.
Belgium earned its spot in this weekend’s championship after a 3-2 win over Argentina in its semifinal.  The Belgian team is captained by Johan Van Herck and features Goffin, Steve Darcis, Ruben Bemelmans and Kimmer Coppejans.

Novak Djokovic Four-peats at ATP World Tour Finals


(November 22, 2015) LONDON, UK – Capping a career season, Novak Djokovic won his fourth straight ATP World Tour Finals title beating Roger Federer 6-3, 6-4 on Sunday.


First blood in the first set went to the three-time defending champion even though at times he looked off kilter as he pounded away in the rallies. Nerves looked to still be with him as he gifted away a set point on Federer’s serve before finally wrapping it up.


There were no SABRs but there were some great rallies, but Federer’s inconsistency tended to lead in and away from moments of brilliance, and that appeared to be the story of his final.


In the second set, even after having to claw his way back from three break points down in a game, he found himself in trouble again and this time, he could not pull off the Houdini act. He saved one match point, but relinquished the other, although he made Djokovic wait for the victory, challenging the line call before conceding the match.


Djokovic now carves out a bit of history for himself – he is the first player to win four titles in a row, and he how equaled his head-to-head records with both Rafael Nadal and Federer in just this week alone.


Speaking on court after his win, he said: “I’m very proud together with my team for the achievements this season,” Djokovic said on court. “It could not have been a better finish. It’s the best season of my life.


“I’d like to congratulate Roger, tough luck today. We’ve played so many matches. I wish you a great next season. Rest well with your family and close ones. I hope we can have many more great matches next season.”

“For some reason or another, I’ve been playing some of my best tennis after the U.S. Open, in Asia and also indoors, both Paris and London.”


Federer could only really concede he had lost to the better player. Also talking during the trophy presentation, he said: “It’s better than not paying at all like last year. I’d just like to say how happy I am that I could play today.


“It was a tough moment last year but this week was great again. I’ve had a fantastic year all round. I tried my best this week, thought I played some great tennis, even in the final. Some of the points were crazy.


“Novak deserved the win today. He’s had a ridiculously good year. This year has been long, grueling, tough. But I loved every moment of it.”

With that loss Federer also loses out on the World No. 2 spot to Andy Murray, who will play in the Davis Cup Final starting Friday November 27 in Belgium.


Djokovic ends 2015 winning 11 tournaments – three out of the four major titles, six Masters Series 1000 trophies in addition to the ATP’s year-end event.


Wawrinka Beats Murray to Reach ATP World Tour Finals Semis, Nadal Rebounds to Defeat Ferrer


(November 20, 2015) LONDON, UK – Is there such a thing as an inconsequential match? On paper, Rafael Nadal had nothing to lose or indeed gain with his final group round robin match, while David Ferrer was playing for sheer pride at the ATP World Tour Finals on Friday


At the start it actually looked like Nadal was on a mission to put his compatriot out of his misery early, but with typical tenaciousness, Ferrer scrapped and scampered his way back into the match, indeed nudging the lead once back on serve. Having reeled off four games in a row, Ferrer kept toe-to-toe with Nadal, forcing a tie-break and running away with it to take the first set off Nadal 7-6(4).


That would get the crowd sitting up, as a highly competitive second set was decided with a late break after Nadal failed to capitalize on an earlier break point.


An epic 14-minute hold at the start of the second set would help maybe speed Ferrer to a face saving win, but once more it was a late break that confirmed Nadal’s resurgence. The world No. 6 went on to win 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-4.


As gritty and as dogged as Ferrer is, it was maybe unfair of him to come away with a 0-3 record, but he is as determined as he is consistent, so do not count out seeing him again this time next year.


Nadal faces three-time defending champion Novak Djokovic next.


“It is very important for me to be finishing the season like this, competing well against the best players,” said Nadal, when he was interviewed on court.


“Novak is playing almost better than impossible. He is achieving almost everything that one player can dream. I have to play to the limit of my best to have a chance.”


The straight shoot-out between Stan Wawrinka and Andy Murray came in the evening session. Prior to the match many felt it would come down to whichever Wawrinka showed up, but in truth while the more aggressive player got the first strike, Murray kept him in check and even built up a solid lead in the resulting first set tie-break which went to the Swiss 7-4.


Therein lay the issue – ahead and looking in control a run of basic errors cost Murray the set, with Wawrinka having to do not very much at all. He continued that streak into the start of the second set with an early break but it was the Swiss’ turn to lose the plot as he served out for the match at 5-2.


Murray looked to be clawing his way back to level terms, but he really had not left enough time, and once some errors swept in giving Wawrinka a 7-6(4), 6-4 win which sets up a rematch of the last year’s prickly semifinal with compatriot Roger Federer.


“It was important to get the first set,” Wawrinka said in his on court interview “It was a tough battle, it’s always tough against Andy. It was an amazing atmosphere, I really enjoyed it tonight.


“It’s going to be an interesting match [against Federer] for sure, we played a crazy match last year, it’s always special against him. I will try to rest and be ready for tomorrow.”


The semifinals start at 12pm GMT on Saturday.


ATP World Tour Finals – Djokovic Reaches Semis While Federer 3-0 in Group Play

(November 20, 2015) LONDON, UK – With Roger Federer installed at the top of the Stan Smith group at the ATP World Tour Finals, and a tight head-to-head with the Japanese No. 1, it would be interesting to see how this match unfurled. Federer was quick to deliver the first blow, only to be pegged right back.


Kei Nishikori may have had a slow start but he was not going to go quietly into the night, taking the initiative to put Federer on the back foot, only to lose the advantage.


It was a tight finish to the first set, with Federer finally taking it, and the momentum stayed with him as he quickly left Nishikori standing with a 4-1 lead. The comeback from the Japanese player was remarkable, winning the next five games.


Again Federer was the quicker off the blocks in the decider but there is something about that 1-4 score-line that spurred Nishikori into access once more, but this time his three-game run was as far as he would go, with Federer winning 7-5, 4-6, 6-4.


After the match Federer praised his opponent, who last year reached the semi-final on his debut.


Federer said: “It’s amazing what [Nishikori]’s able to produce on the court. Today was another showcase of that. It was impressive. It wasn’t easy, but somehow I got it done.”


Novak Djokovic needed just a single set to advance, having weathered a bearded Federer storm, and put the Czech Tomas Berdych under immediate pressure. While he wasn’t able to hold on to the advantage, there was always a sense that the push would come from the Serbian as he chipped away at Berdych before finally getting a break at the end of the set.


While Djokovic took the early initiative once more, he made pretty hard work for himself, giving Berdych a route back in to the match. Still it was not enough for the Czech, and he blinked first, with Djokovic closing out a 6-3 7-5 win and he will go on to face Rafael Nadal in the semi-final.


“I’ve played him so many times on different surfaces, two or three on this very court,” he said after his victory. “Hopefully I’ll be able to perform my best, that’s what’s needed to compete against him.”


With all eyes on the evening match on Friday, it is a straight shoot out between Stan Wawrinka and Andy Murray for a place to fight Federer.


Play will start for the final day of round robin matches at 12pm.


Rafael Nadal Reaches ATP World Tour Semifinals with Dominant Victory over Andy Murray


(November 18, 2015) LONDON, UK – Despite a promising start for the Andy Murray with an immediate break, any signs of nerves from either player was eradicated once Rafael Nadal broke back, and then proceeded to take charge on Day four of the ATP World Tour Finals.


In a slightly more competitive first set, the pair stayed toe-to-toe with each other, but it was always the Spaniard who was hustling more, while Murray at times looked very bothered about everything.


Not even giving himself a haircut could change Murray’s momentum in the match. The Brit gave himself a little trim during a changeover in the first set.

“I had some hair in my eye, and I just wanted to get rid of it,” said Murray. “That literally took two seconds. That was it.”


The non-stop commentary to himself, his team, and engagement with the umpire all served to distract him from the fact that Nadal was very much in control of the set.


With a poor first serve percentage in the first set, things continued to slip away from the Brit rapidly, as nothing seemed to work. The odd occasions he did try to come forward did yield some hope, but it just was not consistent enough and Nadal rightly punished him royally for it soundly defeating Murray 6-4, 6-1, clinching the second spot in the semifinals.


He admitted: “He was hitting the ball extremely well from the back of the court, but I didn’t really help myself. I served poorly at the end of the first set and all through the second. That’s not going to be good enough against him when he’s playing that well.”


It leaves Murray with a dilemma, as all depends on the outcome of the night match against Stan Wawrinka. The Swiss had been listless against Nadal, barely trying at times, with a shocking amount of errors leaking from every point on his racquet, it could make for an entertaining encounter between Wawrinka and Murray on Friday as they make their last bids for semifinal place.


Wawrinka defeated David Ferrer 7-5, 6-2 in the night session, rallying from 2-5 down in the first set. Nadal qualified for the semifinals when Wawrinka claimed the first set.


In all honestly Nadal would look to be coasting towards a 3-0 lead at the head of Group Ilie Nastase and based on Ferrer’s abilities and his having pushed Murray to two tight sets in the opener, it would look to be a straight fight between the elder Spaniard and Murray for the No. 2 spot in the group, earning most likely a semifinal berth against Roger Federer.


He assessed his performance for the media after the match: “It’s an important victory because it puts me in a good position to try to be in the semi-finals, and at the same time I have a big day against a great player on a tough surface.”


Play continues with the final group stages for Group Stan Smith with the opening doubles matches starting at 12pm GMT


Roger Federer Stops Novak Djokovic’s Winning Streak at ATP World Tour Finals

(November 17, 2015) LONDON, UK – The World No. 3 Roger Federer became the first player to book his place in the semifinals of the ATP World Tour Finals as he stopped the three-time defending champion and World No. 1 Novak Djokovic 7-5, 6-2 in the evening session at the O2 Arena.


While everyone expected another three-setter, as rallies clocked over 20 shots, there was nothing between them until a lapse from the defending champion to hand Federer the break for the first set.


Surrendering an early break in the second set to the Serbian gave fans hope that a comeback was on the cards, but an immediate break back, and two others to boot, pushed Djokovic down the table, and gave Federer his semi-final berth.


Not even a bold challenge on the second match point could save Djokovic, who now faces Berdych on the verge of a 0-3 drubbing in the group stages when they reconvene on Thursday.


Djokovic said: “The court is playing a little bit slower than maybe US Open or Cincinnati, the last couple times we played against each other. I think that’s where he felt maybe he can spin the ball and wait for a shorter ball from my side and come in, which he did. He tactically played well.”


Even Federer was not expecting the win, even allowing for how competitive he is.


“I wouldn’t have picked it maybe before the tournament, you know, just because of his really good record on the indoors, the year he’s had, especially with the run he’s been on. I focused more on beating (Tomas) Berdych and (Kei) Nishikori and let’s see what happens against Novak.”


The victory by the Swiss halted a number of the Serbian’s streaks – 38 indoor match wins, 23 overall match wins and 15 straight victories at the year-end championships.


Federer has taken back the lead in his head-to-head record against Djokovic at 22-21.


Kei Nishikori

Kei Nishikori

The day session featured the first three-set singles match of the event when No. 8 Kei Nishikori defeated No. 6 Tomas Berdych 7-5, 3-6, 6-3.


Ironically a match with the two players yet to win a round robin match in Group Stan Smith turned out to be one of the most entertaining Singles matches after a couple of says of straight-forward wins.


Both Berdych and Nishikori were searching for their first wins of the tournament, and with the prospect facing them of Novak Djokovic or Roger Federer respectively, a win was absolutely vital.


Certainly the first set was even, with perhaps Nishikori playing a bit more aggressively, nibbling away at the Berdych service game until he was finally rewarded with a timely break at the end of the first set.


It actually looked as though that had broken Berdych’s spirit as he quickly succumbed to another break at the start of the second set, but just as fast picked up momentum after a sloppy game from Nishikori allowed the Czech back in.


Into the first three-set match of the tournament in the Singles, and the pair were evenly matched in the final set, but once more it was Nishikori who was able to make good on his chances for a break point, getting his much needed win on the board.


The Japanese player admitted that everything had been working far better than in his opener against Novak Djokovic.


He said: “It was much better than first match. My serve went in much better than first match. Had a more good percentage for my first serve. Strokes, too. I thought I was being very aggressive. These courts are really slow, have more time to step in. I thought there were many good shots for me. I mean, I had a bad game in second set at 2-1, and after that he started playing better. That was kind of my fault that I give him little bit chance to come back for the match. Third set I tried to stay there all the time, more consistency, less unforced errors for me. Very happy with my game today.”



Play begins on Day 4 at 12pm GMT.


Davis Cup Final Will Still Take Place Next Week


(November 17, 2015) Despite concerns following the Paris attacks, the Davis Cup final between Belgium and Great Britain will go ahead as planned in Ghent, Belgium said the International Tennis Federation.

The Davis Cup final will be held in the Flanders Expo November 27-29.

Great Britain and Belgium named their teams. Great Britain’s team, led by Captain Leon Smith will consist of Andy Murray, Kyle Edmund, Jamie Murray and Dominic Inglot.

“Our GB Davis Cup team is proud to be competing in the Final in Ghent this year,” said Smith. “It is an historic ‎moment in British Tennis and I’m delighted to name these five players for the tie against Belgium. Andy has led from the front throughout this campaign, showing time and again what it means to him to pull on the GB jersey. He shows determination, commitment and passion that inspires the other British players on the bench and our fantastic fans in the stands.


The team has had some incredible results this year, and we know that off the back of defeating the three other Grand Slam nations we carry great momentum going into the final, however we will ‎not underestimate the challenge in front of us. The Belgian team is full of top 100 talent and they will push us all the way.


“While our team will be spearheaded by Andy, the other guys give us strong options in both the singles and the doubles positions. Jamie is having an outstanding year and is firmly established as a top 10 world ranked doubles player‎. He has played a key part in our ties this year with vital wins against both France and Australia partnering Andy.


“Dom is playing some of the best tennis of his career having reached the semi-finals of the US Open and recently the semi-finals of the Paris Masters Series. He played an outstanding Davis Cup match earlier in the year with Jamie against the Bryan brothers, narrowly losing the fifth set. In James Ward, we have a player who really gets the Davis Cup and has had several big wins over the last few years against top 100 players in this competition. Kyle Edmund has had a very good year on the tour, breaking top 100 for the first time and qualifying at both Australian and French Open.


“The support from our fans has been unbelievable. There is no other word for it. For those making the trip to Belgium it will be more important than ever that they make as much noise as possible and get behind the team”

Belgium will field David Goffin, Steve Darcis, Ruben Bemelmans and Kimmer Coppejans. Johan van Herck is the captain of the Belgian team.

The Draw for the Final will take place on Thursday 26 November at 14:00 local time (13:00 GMT). Both nations came make up to two nomination changes up until one hour before the draw.


ATP World Tour Finals – Andy Murray a Victory Away From Securing Year-End No. 2

(November 15, 2015) LONDON, UK – On day two of the ATP World Tour Finals, the question was whether Andy Murray would make that transition from his clay court preparations to the indoor hard court against an opponent that can be a large thorn in anyone’s side.


Facing David Ferrer for the second time in as many tournaments, it was clear that the Spaniard was up for making this a grueling encounter, putting Murray under pressure immediately.


Chances came and went for Murray later in the set, as he squandered three opportunities to gain an advantage, instead opting for breaking Ferrer for the set.


It is never as clear cut as that with this pair, as Ferrer took off at a sprint at the start of the second set, breaking the Brit, and consolidating easily. Murray was not easily put away though, breaking the Spaniard before repeating his feat from the first set, breaking to win 6-4, 6-4.


This puts him within a win of securing the year end No. 2 spot for the first time in his career.


He said to media, after the match: “First couple of games my timing was a little bit off. But I got it back pretty quickly, which was pleasing. You know, if you’re looking for a little bit of rhythm, he’s also a guy who makes you hit a lot of balls. The rallies are often quite long, so you can get into a rhythm against him. So that was good.”

Murray who will play the Davis Cup final next week against Belgium, was asked about the Paris attacks and if he had any concerns about going to Belgium. “I think everybody right now is concerned about things,” said the Scotsman. “But I do think the best thing that we can do is to live our normal lives, not change too much, because then the terrorists are the ones that are winning.”

“We need to go out there and do what we always do and try not to change too much. That’s all we can do.”

“I don’t want to live my life in fear each time I step on a tennis court. So that’s what I’ll do.”


There were high hopes that the night session match would deliver the first three set singles match of the tournament. There was disappointed because despite an early break by Stan Wawrinka, it was all about Rafael Nadal.


Having been quite defensive pre-tournament about his year, even going so far to reiterate that his slide down the rankings has not been because of injury but down to ‘playing badly,’ or rather a lack of confidence, Nadal looked to exploit an ill-at-ease Wawrinka, whom many thought to be a real contender.


While the first set was at least competitive, a mammoth hold at the start of the second set marked the tone for the remainder of the match. Nothing Wawrinka could do was right, as he sprayed errors thick and fast from his racquet.


Sure Nadal regained some of his trademark swagger, but it was as much about an apparent self-destruct from Wawrinka that set the Spaniard alongside Murray with a win against his name, 6-3, 6-2.


Wawrinka could do little else but acknowledge that he had played poorly, saying: “Just disappointed in general. I don’t think was great level, was great match. You know, when something goes wrong today, everything went wrong. Just everything went the wrong way.”


Nadal may have settled any nerves he had with that performance. He said: “I had a good week of practice here. I think I played the way that I wanted to play. I played aggressive. I played with not many mistakes. Just the thing I can do a little bit better is serving. For the moment I didn’t serve as good as I was doing in the previous days. But for the rest, all the shots worked well: backhand, forehand, good volleys, good smash, no missing the smashes today. So that’s good.”


Nadal and Murray will play in the next round, with Wawrinka and Ferrer each looking to salvage their chances on Day 4.


Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer Open ATP World Tour Finals with Decisive Victories

(November 15, 2015) Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer secured easy opening round robin match wins on Sunday at London’s O2 Area on the first day of the ATP World Tour Finals.

The event began with a minute’s silence for the victims of Paris attacks before play got underway between Djokovic and Nishikori. More than 129 people are dead and hundreds wounded due to Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris. Security measures have been heightened in the O2 Arena.


In the Stan Smith group, three-time defending champion Djokovic extended his winning streak at the year-ending event to 15 with his easy 6-1, 6-1 win over Kei Nishikori. It’s the world No. 1’s 23rd straight match victory overall.

The Serb lost a mere nine points on his own serve, hit 17 winners with only 14 unforced errors and never faced a break point in the 65-minute win.

“Obviously I didn’t make any first serve today,” Nishikori said. “So that cause lot of pressure that he always have a good return. I thought didn’t play bad. I had great points with groundstrokes. I think my serve was the key. Both sets I lost my first service game.”

“I was feeling very comfortable on the court, feeling like I could get most of the balls back,” Djokovic said. “I served efficiently. I mixed up the second serves as well. Didn’t give him really the same look twice. I always tried to change. The tactics worked very well.”

Djokovic, having a career year, winning three out of the four majors and six Masters Series titles, is seeking to become the first to win four consecutive year-end tournaments.

Djokovic was awarded his ATP No. 1 trophy for 2015 after the match.

In the night match, third seed and six-time ATP World Finals champion Roger Federer rebounded from a slow start to defeat sixth seed Tomas Berdych 6-4, 6-2. Berdych opened the match leading 2-0, but the Swiss regrouped to take control.

Federer, competing in his 14th straight year-end competition, hit 20 aces past the Czech in the 69-minute match.

“I think what I underestimated a little bit in some ways was that it was a first round. I think I was playing very well in practice,” said the Swiss. “I had a very good idea with Severin and Stefan how I should play the match. When I came in, I kind of forgot it was a first round. I do have to be a little bit careful as well at times. I was a bit sluggish coming in. I don’t want to say too overconfident, but I thought it was going to be easier than that. It was a good lesson for me to learn. But now I’m in the second round, so that’s a good thing.”

The 17-time major champion received the ATP Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship award and the Fans’ Favourite trophy after the win.


In the doubles competition, top seed Bob and Mike Bryan lost in their first round robin match in the Arthur Ashe/Stan Smith group to eighth seed Rohan Bopanna and Florin Mergea 6-4, 6-3. The Bopanna/Mergea team broke the Bryans’ usually reliable serves five times during the match.

The victory, which gives them a 1-0 record in group play, places them in a tie with Jamie Murray and John Peers at the top of the Group. Fourth seeds Murray and Peers defeated fifth seeds Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini 7-6(5), 3-6, 11-9 in one hour and 42 minutes, in a match held before the Djokovic – Nishikori contest.