The opening day of action at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London features a fantastic contest between first-time attendee Stanislas Wawrinka (Player Profile) and former semi-finalist Tomas Berdych (Player Profile). This is the 13th time they meet on the tour, including three times in 2013, with the Swiss leading the H2H series 7-5. Check out the Berdych v Wawrinka Head to Head.
Wawrinka is the only first-time Tour finalist amongst the eight competitors in London. The feat is a fantastic achievement for the World No. 8 and is the culmination of arguably his career-best season on the tour. While that may be the case, the last few weeks have been riddled with disappointing losses such as his first round exit on home soil in Basel. He is coming off a quarter-final dismissal by World No. 2 Novak Djokovic in a match that was far from their usual competitive endeavours.
It will be interesting to see if the Swiss No. 2 is able to perform at full strength or if the tail-end the tour has simply tired him out too much. His recent performances would argue the latter but he is nothing if not resilient and generally holds the advantage over Berdych on hard court competition.
For the Czech No. 1 , the 2013 season has not been the best. He is the only player amongst the tour finalists that is yet to win a tour title this season. He lost in the Bangkok Open final to Milos Raonic and since then, has lost to Nadal in the semi-finals in Beijing, reached the second round in Shanghai and lost in disappointing fashion in the opening round in Basel. His best performance at the year-end championships came in 2011, going out in the semi-finals to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. The Czech player has compiled a 50-21 record this season.
The head-to-head record between the two competitors stands at 7-5 in favour of Wawrinka. This marks their fourth meeting in 2013, following their matches at the US Open, the Madrid Masters and in the Davis Cup. Wawrinka holds a 2-1 lead in the series this year and will be looking to extend that to 3-1 with a victory in his maiden Tour Finals match.