World Tour Finals could remain in London; Federer, Djokovic weigh in

Monday, November 04, 2013 /by
AP Photo
AP Photo

LONDON—The ATP World Tour Finals could remain in London beyond 2015, even though by then it will have been played at the O2 Arena for six years, and many people in the industry believe the event should be moved around the world to showcase the sport.

New York and Rio de Janeiro were in the running to host the tournament the last time London was given an extension.

“My personality isn’t much for a change,” tournament director Andre Silva told CNN. “This is a different animal to the World Cup in that it’s year to year, and you do want to expose fans around the world to this type of tennis.

“But the tournament is a very important part of the business of the ATP. More important than exposing everyone around the world to it is making sure it’s healthy and not an experiment. I know a lot of people talked about Rio and New York. It’s obviously great to be wanted. At the same time you need to be sure it makes sense—and right now London makes a lot of sense.”

Silva is Brazilian. Roger Federer, who is president of the ATP Players Council, agreed with Silva.

“I must agree with Andre in many ways because I think it’s important that this event is played in a place that knows tennis,” Federer said. “I think it’s good sometimes to play Shanghai, or maybe Lisbon or Sydney for a year, but I think it’s not long enough in one place to put its roots down.”

More than one million fans have attended the tournament in its first four years in London. The O2 arena has a 17,800-seat capacity.

However, Novak Djokovic would like to see the event moved around.

“Because of the promotion of tennis,” Djokovic said. “Just having the popularization of this sport in places where tennis isn’t as popular. I think that if we are looking forward to expand the success and the consciousness of our sport, which is very global, then we should look into that.”

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