ATP World Tour Finals: Elite ready for London showdown

Alex Sharp
By Alex Sharp
atp tour finals london
The world's top eight players line up for photographers ahead of the final event of the season

atp tour finals london

With the ATP World Tour Finals set to get underway in London this weekend, The Sport Review caught up with all eight competitors ahead of the season-ending tournament at The O2.

Andy Murray, world No5murray

Describing his experience of playing at The O2 last year, Murray said: “It’s an incredible atmosphere, a huge arena and it’s one of the biggest competitions in tennis behind the Grand Slams, so I’m really looking forward to it.

“I think anybody can beat anybody so you need to be switched on from the first one and try to get yourself off to a good start in the group.”

Despite a recent dip in form, the British number one remains optimistic. “The last couple of weeks weren’t as good as I’d have liked, although I actually won my first doubles competition with my brother, but playing in front of a home crowd is always great.

“It would be a big one psychologically to win, so I’ll give it my best shot.”

All eight players were invited to Downing street on Thursday to meet David Cameron and Murray even had time for a brief rally with the British prime minister, coaching him in his dining room.

The Scot said: “He [Cameron] likes tennis, which we knew beforehand. We spoke about tennis and some of the past players.

“He said he’s had to change his grip as he grew up playing with wooden rackets and is now trying to learn to play with top spin. It was good fun, I really enjoyed it.”

Our Prediction: Group stages

Rafael Nadal, world No1rafael nadal

The Spaniard pulled out of the Paris Masters last week with a shoulder complaint but told The Sport Review: “The body is perfect but I will have to play my best tennis to have any chance winning here.

“Last year I arrived thinking I couldn’t win the matches, I wasn’t playing my best tennis and it was impossible for me to win.”

The world number one has a loyal following in Britain. “It’s a great place to organise and play the Masters cup,” he added. “It’s a nice feeling to come back to play in this city.

“For me personally it is more difficult to win four matches against the top eight players indoors than to win seven matches in a Grand Slam on another surface.”

Our Prediction: Champion

Roger Federer, world No2federer

Discussing his return to Britain, Federer said: “It’s always a pleasure to come back to London. I have incredible memories from playing here at Wimbledon and I thought last year that it was a huge success having the World Tour finals here in London.

“I kind of like it, I like the change. When they put the smoke on and the curtain it’s like a boxing match.”

He added: “This is a huge tournament for me. It’s always been one of the goals I set myself at the beginning of the season so I could take part here and play well. ”

Our Prediction: Runner-up

Novak Djokovic, world no3djokovic

The Serb admitted he has one eye on the Davis Cup Final in December. “It’s a chance of a lifetime for me,” he said. “The team and my country to play the Davis Cup Final at home.

“I’m trying not to focus too much on it but honestly my biggest goal is the Davis Cup. Who knows if I’ll have that opportunity again and yes I’m very aware of the opportunity.

“I will still be motivated here, my team will reflect my focus to this tournament.

“Just being part of this tournament is a great success for me. There is no easy match, no easy draw, and no easy group because you have the best players in the world here.

“Since Wimbledon I have regained my confidence and I feel more comfortable on the court and playing well.”

Our prediction: Semi-finals

Robin Soderling, world No4soderling

Having won 20 of his last 24 indoor matches, the in-form Swede will be a hot contender to triumph this week. “I feel good, I’ve had a good season,” he said. “I think I’ve been very solid throughout the year. Last year I was very tired but this year I feel a lot better.”

He added: “Winning my first Masters title last week in Paris was amazing and has given me belief and momentum.”

Our prediction: Semi-finals

Thomas Berdych, world No6berdych

Berdych has struggled for victories since his explosive grand slam performances this summer. “I think it’s going to be a really different situation for me here because the time after Wimbledon was huge expectation for me,” explained Berdych. “It was a new experience but now I know how to deal with that.”

Our prediction: Group stages

David Ferrer, world No7ferrer

Ferrer arrives in London in superb form after having reached the final in Beijing and winning in Valencia. “I feel good,” he said. “I’m in good physical shape and I have a great motivation to play in the days to come.

“It will be a very difficult match [against Federer]. I’ve never beaten him so I will try to do my best but it is not easy to play the first match against him.”

Our prediction: Group stages

Andy Roddick, world No8roddick

The American has now qualified for the end of season finals for the eighth year in a row. “It’s about winning matches when you’re not at your best,” said Roddick. “It’s what all these guys have done consistently throughout the season.”

Our prediction: Group stages

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