The first match on Monday will feature Tomas Berdych and Stan Wawrinka, who kicked off the World Tour Finals in 2013. Paired together in the same group once again, Berdych and Wawrinka will meet for the 15th time in their career. Wawrinka has won their last four matches, but comes into London in a dire run of form. 2014 has been an up-and-down year for Stan. He won his first Grand Slam title in Australia, defeating Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal in a magnificent run and also won his first ATP Masters 1000 in Monte-Carlo. However the rest of his season has been largely average. Most notably, Stan’s form has dipped in the second half of the season and he has posted a 2-4 W-L record since the US Open.
Berdych has enjoyed another solid year on tour, reaching the World Tour Finals for the fifth consecutive year. His best result of the year came down under in Australia where he reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open, losing out to Wawrinka in four tight sets. Berdych went missing between Wimbledon and the US Open and will be disappointed with his performance at the Slams this year having had some clear opportunities to go deeper in at least three of the four Slam draws. He has picked up his form post-US Open, winning Stockholm, reaching the final of Beijing and the semi-finals of Paris.
Wawrinka leads the H2H 9-5; Berdych’s last win over Wawrinka came in Davis Cup action in 2013. The H2H is certainly in Wawrinka’s favour, but Berdych will fancy his chances. Stan’s recent performances have shown a lack of belief and / or motivation and unless he can have a rather sudden upturn in form, Berdych has what it takes to snap a four match losing streak and earn a vital win.
Prediction: Berdych d. Wawrinka in 3 sets