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Top guns ready to bring curtain down on thrilling season

Gulf News 2018-11-08 14:44:00

Dubai: Another exciting and drama-filled ATP World Tour season reaches its climax this month with the best of the best facing off to battle it out for season-ending titles at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan and the Nitto ATP Finals in London.

The ATP’s best 21-and-under players assemble for their year-end championship at the Fiera Milano (from November 6 to 10) and the elite eight heavyweights meet at The O2 in London (from November 11—18) to battle for the last title of the season in the biggest indoor tennis tournament in the world.

It’s the future stars of the sport who are first on stage at the innovative Next Gen ATP Finals with Stefanos Tsitsipas, Frances Tiafoe, Hubert Hurkacz, Jaume Munar and Alex de Minaur, Taylor Fritz, Andrey Rublev and Liam Carauana all securing their positions in the eight-man field.

The fast-rising Greek star Tsitsipas, at No. 15 in the world, is the highest ranked player in the field after a stunning season that saw him defeat four Top 10 opponents on his way to the Toronto Masters 1000 final and claim his first ATP World Tour trophy in Stockholm.

In only its second edition, the Next Gen ATP Finals has already earned a great reputation as a tournament that not only produces high-paced and intense action, but also introduces many exciting innovations to its format. This was confirmed when the tournament won the Innovation category at the Leaders Sports Awards in London in October this year, a great recognition within the sports industry of the bold and ambitious vision we have set out with this event.


The Next Gen ATP Finals provide a global platform for the future stars of the sport. A look at the ATP Rankings today shows that no fewer than five of the players who were in Milan last year now feature in the top 16 of the ATP Rankings (Alexander Zverev, Borna Coric, Karen Khachanov, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Daniil Medvedev). This generation is rising quickly, and special praise goes to Khachanov who captured his first career ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title last Sunday in Paris — what a 12 months it’s been for him.

Once the rising stars leave their stage in Milan it will be the turn of the established superstars to once again perform in the spotlight at the Nitto ATP Finals.

The elite eight-man field will feature Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Alexander Zverev, Kevin Anderson, Marin Cilic, Dominic Thiem and Kei Nishikori at The O2. Unfortunately, both Juan Martin del Potro and Rafael Nadal miss the season finale due to injury, and we wish them both the very best for a speedy recovery.

Djokovic, after reaching the final of the Rolex Paris Masters, edged Nadal from the No. 1 ranking and clinches the year-end No. 1 ranking following Rafa’s withdrawal from London. There’s plenty on the line for Djokovic in London however, as he tries to equal Federer’s record six crowns at the season finale. Federer of course, could have something to say about all of that, as he chases a 100th career title and a seventh win at the season-ending showdown.

But with the Tour’s hottest eight players squaring off in London, predicting any outcome is very difficult and once again the season-ending event promises to close out the season in spectacular fashion.


— Chris Kermode is Executive Chairman and President of ATP