The ATP World Tour Finals are just around the corner. In fact, they begin next week at London’s O2 Arena.
Unfortunately there will be no Andy Murray as he continues his recovery, hopefully in time for the Australian Open in January. However there are plenty of players on show to get excited about as another exuberating tennis season full of thrills and spills draws to a close.
Rafael Nadal (World No 1)
Rafa’s return from a long-term injury lay-off is beyond words and defies the expectations, can he cap it off with victory in London?
2013 marks his sixth appearance. After missing last year’s event and not even surpassing the round robin stage in 2011, the Spaniard’s trophy cabinet lacks a prestigious Tour Finals trophy. 2010 did, on the other hand, see Nadal reach the final; only to be triumphed by Roger Federer.
Novak Djokovic (World No 2)
2013 began with a bang for the current world number two with victory in Melbourne but he has flopped at the final hurdle of slams since, largely down to Nadal’s re-emergence.
The Serb will travel to London to defend his title. Djokovic has one the tournament once in London and once in its previous home in China. It’s evident that his fitness levels are supreme but will he run out of gas under the lights of the O2 Arena?
Juan Martin del Potro (World No 5)
The Argentine has enjoyed a couple of recent scalps over the above players and Roger Federer in his own backyard. Surely that will give him confidence. Delpo has reached both the semi-finals and final in England’s capital.
Without doubt, the one-time major champion is a contender. I see him as the event’s dark horse, I’ll even go as far as baldly saying that he’ll clinch the title!
Roger Federer (World No 7)
For weeks his fans and the tournament officials have been sweating over whether he’ll qualify; luckily for them and the crowd, he is in and ready to go. As a spectator, I’m delighted to see him in there despite the master’s recent deficiencies on court.
Always proving popular with the crowd, even more beloved than home favourite Andy Murray in 2012, the multiple major winner has won the season-ending tournament six times with two coming since the change in venue to the UK.
David Ferrer, Tomas Berdych and Stanislas Wawrinka make it the rest of the available top eight, meanwhile Richard Gasquet is the grateful beneficiary to Andy Murray’s injury.
– Nathan Morley