While the competition between Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic is sure to dominate the ATP World Tour Finals next week, there are some who think that the real story will be with Stan Wawrinka.
Over the last three seasons Wawrinka has produced a number of surprises and there are signs that he may do the same at the O2 next week.
At first glance it looks as though Wawrinka is in poor form after exits in the last 16 in Shanghai and the quarter-finals in Basel followed by a loss to the world No 91 Jan-Lennard Struff at the Paris Masters.
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) November 9, 2016
However, in recent years he has shown that he has the capability of turning a string of bad results into victory at subsequent Grand Slams. He went to the 2015 French Open and this year’s US Open on the back of a run of bad performances and defeats yet he won both of them. Furthermore, he wasn’t playing particularly well in the run up to his 2014 Australian Open triumph.
The problem for his opponents is that once he starts playing well he appears to be near-impossible to stop. In fact, he often produces his best performances on the biggest stages and all three of his Grand Slam final appearances have ended in three sets to one victories.
Murray will be aware of the fact that Wawrinka has won all three times that they have met in a final so if they end up competing in next Sunday’s title decider history suggests that Murray may be in trouble.
Therefore both Murray and Djokovic will be hoping that Wawrinka doesn’t progress that far. However, if he does progress then the competition could easily end up with an entirely different focus to that which is expected.