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Daily Dispatch: Murray, Djokovic Win World Tour Finals Openers

The 2012 ATP award winners were announced today. Roger Federer continued his ATP award dominance in the Fan Favorite and the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award categories, while Novak Djokovic took home the World No. 1 award and the Humanitarian of the Year award. Tommy Haas took home Comeback Player of the Year honors, and Martin Klizan was selected as Newcomer of the Year. Marinko Matosevic earned the Most Improved Player award.

Quotes of the Day:

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, describing how he got from Paris to London: “I can come by swim, but I choose the train.”

Juan Martin del Potro, on returning to London for the first time since 2009: “Just be here is like a gift after tough works, after my wrist injury.”

Tomas Berdych on Facebook after losing to Andy Murray in three sets: “So, Andy won today…I know …don’t tell me anything.”

I talked to John McEnroe, Jim Courier, and Patrick Rafter about the Big Four era of dominance for Tennis Panorama. McEnroe and Courier backed del Potro as the player most likely to break the Big Four monopoly on Majors in 2013:

“If I had to pick one guy that would win a Major if he remains healthy, it would probably be del Potro,” McEnroe said. “He’s won one, so it wouldn’t be a total shock. He’s put himself back in the position to do that. There’s a handful of guys who could do it, and someone’s going to do it, but he’d be the one guy I’d have to pick over anyone else.”

Courier agreed with McEnroe’s sentiment on the Argentinian.

“I love del Potro’s game,” Courier said. “I think he’s one of the few guys who really has the weaponry to stand up against those top four guys on a consistent basis. He needs some good fortune with his health, that’s been a problem for him. If he can stay healthy, I think he certainly has the tools to be in that conversation.”

Here’s the WTA’s year-end top 10, now that their final event in Sofia has concluded: 1. Azarenka, 2. Sharapova, 3. Williams, 4. Radwanska, 5. Kerber, 6. Errani, 7. Li, 8. Kvitova, 9. Stosur, 10. Wozniacki.

Bernard Tomic resolved his traffic charges in Australia, and hopes to get his tennis career back on track in 2013.

Over at the Changeover, I liveblogged an eventful Day One of the World Tour Finals. As Andy Murray beat Tomas Berdych and Novak Djokovic beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, I couldn’t help but think that today’s matches demonstrated why it’s so hard for the second tier players to beat the Big Four.

Djokovic, badly outplayed in the first set, managed heroics on the big points, and pulled out the set in a tiebreak. Murray was also far from his best, but he stayed calm after dropping the first set to BerdychTsonga and Berdych are now a combined 2-16 against the Big Four in 2012.

After Federer’s comments from yesterday that he feels he hasn’t gotten tested enough under tennis’s anti-doping program, I got a response from the ITF, disputing his claims.

Today’s moment of hilarity from the World Tour Finals, brought to you by Tomas Berdych:

Tweet of the Day: Apparently Federer has little memory of beating Rafael Nadal, 6-3, 6-0 last year in London:

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