This summer may have been one of the greatest for British sport in the past century but that doesn’t mean the UK will be entering sporting hibernation this winter. Instead two of the most entertaining and enthralling tennis competitions will be staged in London this November and December. The ATP World Tour Finals sees the top 8 ranked players in the world battle it out for end of year supremacy at the O2, whilst old rivalries come to life once more at the AEGON Masters which features past legends of the game playing at the Royal Albert Hall. Both the ATP Tour Finals and Statoil Masters offer a totally unique tennis corporate hospitality experience. Both are set within stunning venues – The O2 and The Royal Albert Hall. Both feature a special format that guarantees spectators will witness tennis at it’s finest.
The ATP World Tour Finals has been held in some of the world’s biggest cities since 1970, where it was won in Tokyo by Stan Smith. The Finals (then known as the Masters just to confuse things) then toured Paris, Barcelona, Boston, Melbourne and Stockholm over the next 5 years, 4 of which were won by the iconic Ilie Năstase of Romania. However it was Andy Murray’s coach Ivan Lendl who would go onto dominate the Finals like no other. Nicknamed the ‘King of New York’, Lendl reached an incredible 9 consecutive finals at Madison Square Gardens between 1980-88. He was finally beaten in a five-set thriller by Boris Becker, who gained revenge for losses against Lendl in both the 1985 and ’86 finals.
In recent years Federer has dominated the ATP World Tour Finals, winning a record 6 and will be defending his title this year too. Federer recaptured the Wimbledon title as well as his Number One ranking earlier in the year but lost to Andy Murray in the Olympic tennis finals. It’ll certainly be an interesting contest between the two who’ll face each other in England for a third time this winter. As well as Federer and Murray, Nadal and Djokovic will certainly also be ranked within the top 8. David Ferrer, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Tomáš Berdych, Janko Tipsarević and Juan Martin del Potro and John Isner are all in with a chance of facing the mighty top 4.
The AEGON Masters (now Statoil Masters) was won by Tim Henman last year when he beat Thomas Enqvist 6-3, 7-6. Last year also saw legends Pat Cash and John McEnroe battle it twice with both players beating each other once each! As the season ending event of the ATP Champions Tour, the Masters always attracts some of the biggest names on the tour to play within the entertaining but competitive singles and doubles matches.
The Royal Albert Hall is one of the most impressive venues you’re able to watch tennis being played in. The breathtaking venue only adds to the magic of watching past legends of the game take each other on. This isn’t tennis of the normal kind however. You can expect the usual mix of power and passion but expect to see some of the game’s biggest personalities add plenty of humour and excitement as well. This is tennis and hospitality at it’s best!