The 2015 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals kicked off in London’s O2 Arena on Sunday November 15. It is the 46th edition of the year-ending finale for top eight ATP ranked players and the 41st for the doubles. The players/teams have been split into two Groups of 4 each and they are playing in a Round-Robin format on O2’s indoor hard courts. Thus, each singles players will play three matches each and the doubles’ teams will do likewise. The two best players/teams from each Group will progress to the semifinals, where winners from one Group play runners-up of the other. On the first day while the world no.1 Novak Djokovic and no.3 seeded Roger Federer won their matches in style, 8th doubles team of Rohan Bopanna and Florin Mergea created shockwaves by defeating top-seeded and defending champions Bob and Mike Bryan in straight sets. In other doubles matches on first day, Britain’s Jamie Murray and Australia’s John Peers defeated the Italian pair of Simone Bolelli/Fabio Fognini and Netherlands’ Jean-Julien Rojer/Horia Tecau(Romania) beat Marcin Matkowski (Poland)/Nenad Zimonjic(Serbia).
On the first day at London’s O2 Arena, world no.1 Novak Djokovic allowed only two games to Japan’s Kei Nishikori in an emphatic 6-1, 6-1 victory in just 65 minutes to maintain his 15-match unbeaten streak in the ATP World Tour finals dating back to 2011. The Serb broke Nishikori’s serve in the second game and after the Japanese managed to hold his in the fourth, Djokovic ran through by breaking once again to take the first set. In the second set, Djokovic raced to a 2-0 lead before Nishikori held in the third game. Afterwards, it was a one-way traffic as the Serbian broke twice more in the fifth and seventh games to finish a 6-1, 6-1 winner.
Swiss master Roger Federer defeated Czech Republic’s Tomas Berdych in his first match. Berdych realized how costly it was to miss the first service because Federer played his second service with an unexpected ferocity. Federer’s returns of the second service were stinging and irretrievable. And when the Swiss came on to serve; he dictated terms to Berdych, whose first-serve performance was a woeful 44%. But early on, it was Federer, who began surprisingly poorly as he double-faulted twice and dropped his serve. However, Berdych’s own awful poor service allowed the Swiss to nullify his disadvantage. Once Federer got into his rhythm, there was no stopping him. At 4-4 in the first set, Federer broke Berdych and served out for the first set. In the second, however, it was Federer, who ruled with a 4-0 lead. Berdych held his service twice but couldn’t stop Federer from winning at 6-4, 6-2.
While there were no surprises in Djokovic and Federer winning their matches, the victory of 8th seeded doubles team of India’s Rohan Bopanna and Romania’s Florin Mergea over USA’s world no.1 Bob and Mike Bryan became the talk of 02 on Sunday. The Bryans started well and broke the Indo-Romanian pair in the second game of the match. But combining well thereafter, Bopanna/Mergea began a winning run of the next 5 out of the 6 games and served out to take the first set 6-4. Bopanna and Mergea were able to maintain the pressure in the second set as they broke the Bryans early. It was the quality of returns that dictated the second set. The Indo-Romanian duo broke the Bryan brothers 5 times out of 11 chances but the US pair could only do it twice in 5 chances that they got. In the end, Bopanna/Mergea rolled to a 6-4, 6-3 win on first day. In other doubles matches on the opening day, Jamie Murray(Great Britain)/John Peers (Australia) defeated the Italian duo of Simone Bolelli/Fabio Fognini 7-6, 3-6, 11-9 and Jean-Julien Rojer (Netherlands)/Horia Tecau(Romania) scored a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Marcin Matkowski (Poland)/Nenad Zimonjic(Serbia).