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Djokovic handed favorable draw at ATP finals; Federer and Murray placed in same group

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LONDON — Two-time defending champion Novak Djokovic has been handed a favorable draw at the ATP World Tour Finals, while Roger Federer and Andy Murray will meet in the round-robin phase.

The top-seeded Djokovic, who won his 20th Masters title in Paris on Sunday, was placed in the same group with Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka, U.S. Open winner Marin Cilic and Tomas Berdych for the season-ending, eight-man tournament, which starts Sunday in London.

"Two successive titles in London in the last two years gave me reason to believe that I can do well," said Djokovic after winning in Paris, where he did not drop a set during the whole week.

The in-form Federer, meanwhile, is in Group B along with Murray and newcomers Kei Nishikori and Milos Raonic.

PHOTO: Andy Murray of Britain returns the ball to Novak Djokovic of Serbia during their quarterfinal match at the ATP World Tour Masters tennis tournament at Bercy stadium in Paris, France, Friday, Oct. 31, 2014. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
Andy Murray of Britain returns the ball to Novak Djokovic of Serbia during their quarterfinal match at the ATP World Tour Masters tennis tournament at Bercy stadium in Paris, France, Friday, Oct. 31, 2014. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

Djokovic as a combined career record of 41-5 against his group while Federer leads his round-robin opponents 19-14.

Djokovic, this year's Wimbledon champion, is unbeaten on indoors courts the past two years and is vying with Federer for the year-end No. 1 ranking. The Serb extended his lead over the 17-time Grand Slam champion to 1,310 points as he bids to finish the year on top for the third time.

"It helps that I'm playing well, and that I'm feeling good about myself on the court playing indoors," Djokovic said. "Every match that I play, every match that I play and win, gets me closer to holding No. 1 the end of the year."

Federer's quarterfinals loss in Paris against Raonic has hampered his bid to overtake Djokovic in London, where a potential 1,500 points are up for grabs.

Rafael Nadal is skipping the tournament after undergoing appendix surgery on Monday.

Cilic, Raonic and Nishiroki are newcomers at the elite tournament while Berdych is competing for the fifth straight year.

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PHOTO: Roger Federer of Switzerland, returns the ball to Milos Raonic of Canada during their quarterfinal match at the ATP World Tour Masters tennis tournament at Bercy stadium in Paris, France, Friday, Oct. 31, 2014. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
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