Many things can happen in a yearNovember 15, 2016

Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau beat Bob and Mike Bryan in the semifinals of the ATP World Tour Finals one year ago. It would mean that the Dutch-Romanian duo, which won Wimbledon during that year, were guaranteed of the year-end number one. They put an end to the dominance of the Bryan Brothers, who ruled the men's doubles for more than a decade.

"To have it come down to one match to play for the year-end No. 1 spot, it's just a dream scenario," Rojer said.

One year would be a long season, as Rojer and Tecau lost to the American pair of Nicholas Monroe and Jack Sock in the second round of the BNP Paribas Masters last week. It would mean that they won't be able to defend the title they won at the O2 Arena. On the other hand, the partnership of Jamie Murray of Great Britain and John Peers, a Melburnian, came to end after reaching the finals of Wimbledon and US Open last season. Murray teamed up with Bruno Soares of Brazil, winning two major titles this season, while Peers partnered with Henri Kontinen of Finland. Both Peers and Kontinen were assured of playing in London before heading to Paris, but they managed to win their first Masters 1000 title.

"We've just been really building all year, and I believed it was just a matter of time until we really got in sync and started to actually back it up match after match," Peers said.

Who will win in O2?

Five of the eight finalists will be making their first appearance in London. Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut, the top-seeds, will head the Fleming/McEnroe Group. (Peter Fleming and John McEnroe won a record seven titles from 1978-1984). Feliciano López and Marc López, Raven Klaasen and Rajeev Ram, and Peers and Kontinen join the French duo. The other group was named in honour of Stefan Edberg and Anders Jarryd, who won back-to-back titles in 1985 and 1986. (Jarryd won his third in 1991, teaming up with Cummins native John Fitzgerald.) Murray and Soares would headline this group, where they will meet Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo, Max Myrnyi and Treat Huey, and the Bryan Brothers.

Peers and Kontinen have a good chance of advancing to the knockout stage, as the indoor hard courts won't favour López and López, winners at Roland Garros. And they would be too good against Klaasen and Ram. A rematch with Herbert and Mahut could come down to a third-set tiebreak, and they may be lucky again. The other group would be hard to predict, as how Dodig and Melo would perform could influence the round-robin results. If they recapture the form that won them back-to-back Masters 1000 titles (in Toronto and Cincinnati), then would join Murray and Soares in the semifinals. The Bryan Brothers may not be dominant as before, but they can't be ruled out. Luck (in the tie-breaks) would play a part.

Herbert and Mahut have a stellar season, winning five titles that included Wimbledon. They could win their first title in London if things would go their way in the final set. Don't be surprised if Peers and Kontinen will extend their winning streak, which might prompt Murray to wonder if he did the right thing. What do you think?

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