Ferrer replaces injured Raonic

Published: Thursday 13th November 2014 by The News Editor

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Milos Raonic has pulled out of the ATP World Tour Finals in London because of a thigh injury and will be replaced by David Ferrer.

Ferrer, who has been practising at the O2 Arena all week as the first alternate, will take on Kei Nishikori on Thursday afternoon in the final round of matches in Group B.

The Spaniard only missed out on a place in the top eight at the very last minute after Raonic defeated Roger Federer on his way to the final at the Paris Masters a fortnight ago.

Raonic lost both of his matches on his debut at the tournament and revealed he suffered the injury in Tuesday’s defeat to Andy Murray

“I have a slight tear in my quad and a large area of swelling,” he said.

“It would be unfair to fans if I was to go out and play a mediocre match. If I was to step out on court I could lose up to six to eight weeks. That was a significant factor in my decision.”

Raonic’s decision potentially has a significant impact on the qualification hopes of both Nishikori and Murray, who meets Federer later on Thursday.

There had been a scenario whereby Murray could lose to Federer and still make the semi-finals if Nishikori had also lost to Raonic.

But, instead of a three-way tie being decided by sets or games percentage, as would have been the case, a player playing fewer matches is automatically eliminated from the race leaving the remaining two players to be split by head-to-head.

Because Murray lost his opening match to Nishikori, he must now beat Federer to stand a chance of going through.

Should Nishikori lose, any win for Murray would be enough, but victory for the Japanese player would mean the Scot must win in straight sets and hope his games percentage is better than either Nishikori or Federer.

There is no way Ferrer can progress but the Spaniard is a player no one likes facing because of his resemblance to a human wall, and Nishikori will certainly not be expecting anything less than a stern test.

Ferrer may also have extra motivation from the fact it was his loss to Nishikori in Paris that secured Raonic’s place in London ahead of him.

The Japanese player, who has his own injury worries after receiving treatment to his right wrist against Federer, has won five of their previous eight meetings, including all three this season, but every one has been extremely close.

Published: Thursday 13th November 2014 by The News Editor

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