The ATP World Tour Finals takes place from the 21st-28th of November at the O2 arena in London. It’s the season-ending competition between the World’s top 8 ranked players and with 1500 ranking points up for grabs, it’s sure to be a thrilling tournament both for the players and fans alike.
With the eagerly anticipated event fast approaching, who are the main protagonists that could claim the coveted title?
Having equalled Pete Sampras’ record of 64 ATP titles at Stockholm at the end of October, surely Roger Federer is one of the main contenders. Obviously, such a feat cannot be achieved without consistency over a long period of time and having the ability to outplay almost everybody. However, a year of mixed fortunes has shown that Federer is beatable, after dropping to No.2 in the World rankings. Yet, with a record in this tournament of 4 wins in 7 years, who would dare bet against The Great Man?
Regarded as one of the most frustrating players in the game, Rafa’s immense power and top spin mean that few in the world can handle such pressure. Having won 7 titles this year, including a haul of 3 grand slams (French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open), with his latest being on the hard courts of Tokyo in the early part of October, this just emphasises the talent that he exuberates. With the only missing trophy from his cabinet being the World Tour Finals, Nadal will give 110% effort to ensure that this empty space is filled!
Djokovic, or Nole as he’s better known, is a player who consistently manages to advance into the latter stages of most tournaments. However, only winning 2 tournaments this year demonstrates his problems with beating the likes of Nadal and Federer when it matters the most. Most interestingly, every Masters 1000 tournaments that Djokovic has lost have been at the hands of Nadal (3 times), Federer (once) and Murray (twice). Will this be the year that such statistics will be conquered?
For a man who has only participated in the ATP World Tour Finals once before, in reaching the semi-finals, the Swede has proven that this is where he belongs. He will seek to emulate his compatriots, the great Bjorn Borg, who won it in 1979 and 1980, along with Stefan Edberg, a winner in 1989. What Soderling has proven over the years is that he can compete with the greats and has a reputation for being a hard hitter with great accuracy as well as the ability to muster a result when most needed. Be sure that he will bring a sense of arrogance to the courts in London.
Nicknamed ‘The nearly man’, Murray has perhaps had the best year to date. He reached the final of the Australian Open and competed in a memorable semi-final at Wimbledon. Murray’s playing style has seen a significant improvement and he’s now well recognised for his anticipation and agility, not to mention being know for injecting pace to his play during a long rally. Furthermore, his fitness has vastly improved and he is more than capable of taking his opponent to their absolute limit. It’s up to the Scott to write his own fate and make sure that 2010 is his year.
With these top players all competing at the O2 arena, the stage is set for one of the greatest tournaments in the tennis calendar.