Andy Murray has avoided world number one and tournament favourite Novak Djokovic in the round robin stage of the forthcoming ATP World Tour Finals. He will instead come up against Roger Federer, Kei Nishikori and Milos Raonic in Group A.
Djokovic, who begins his quest for a third-consecutive title in the competition in Group B alongside Stan Wawrinka, Tomas Berdych and reigning Wimbledon champion Marin Cilic.
Rafael Nadal, who has never won the competition, withdrew to undergo appendix surgery today.
Murray sealed his place at the season-ending event with victory over Grigor Dimitrov in the third round of the Paris Masters last week. His qualification was left to the last minute after the Scot dropped out of the top 10 ranked players in the world in September.
However, since losing to Novak Djokovic in the US Open quarter-finals, Murray has won three titles (his first since victory at Wimbledon) at the Shenzhen, Vienna and Valencia masters. The remarkable run of form since has seen the 27-year-old climb up to sixth in the ATP World Rankings in just under two months.
Murray now faces three opponents in Group A against whom he has mixed records. He has taken on the legendary Federer, the world number two, a total of 22 times, winning half. However, he has not beaten the Swiss maestro in 22 months, losing his last two attempts.
Japan’s Kei Nishikori, who is the first Asian man to qualify for the tournament, is ranked one place above Murray, but has lost to the Scot in all three of their meetings.
If history is anything to go by, Canadian Milos Raonic could present Murray with his toughest challenge in the group. Raonic has four wins to Murray’s two in their head-to-head record.
The tournament begins next Sunday at the O2 Arena in Greenwich.
After the round-robin stage, the first placed player in one group plays the second placed player from the other in the semi-final. The semi-finals take place on Saturday 15 November, with final a day later. Games will be broadcast on the BBC.