The biggest names in men’s tennis will collide at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals which kicks off today in London, England.
The top eight participants endured months of grueling matches across 62 tournaments, showcasing in 32 countries spread between six continents to make the cut for the coveted championships.
The Super Last 8
This supreme field has won 16 of 20 mid-tier Masters 500 events, eight out of nine Masters 1?000s and all four Grand Slams in the year leading to this year’s championships.
The pride of the pack is World No?1 Rafael Nadal who scooped seven tournaments this season alone including a historic back-to-back win of three majors at the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open to complete his career Grand Slam.
Though the Spaniard dominated mid-season, his form towards the end of the year is always suspect. Nadal has never made it to the final of this tournament, but winning it would help him wrap up an already stellar season on a high.
World No?2 Roger Federer is always the man to beat. The Swiss maestro owns four year-end Masters Titles and a fifth is possibly on the horizon.
While Federer’s season has been dreadful – by his high standards – he usually ends the year with a bang.
Familiar to the taste of year-end glory is World no?3 Novak Djokovic.
The Serbian won the tournament in 2008, but is yet to triumph at a major tournament this season after his run to the US Open final against Nadal.
Robin Soderling continues to rise to stardom. This after he stunned the tennis fraternity during last year’s French Open when he defeated Nadal.
He picked up his first Masters 1?000 last week in Paris, France, shooting to a career high of fourth. The super Swede is the main punters’ pick to bag the World Tour Finals.
In contrast, Andy Murray must be nursing a bruised ego after falling from the second best player in the world to number five. Despite winning two Masters 1?000s, the Brit finds himself in the bottom half which is likely to be compromising.
It went down to the wire for the bottom three in the draw as they barely managed to oust other last- minute contenders.
The lone debutant, Tomas Berdych, has wilted since booting Federer out of Wimbledon this year.
The Czech scraped in at number six by a mere 20 points ahead of Spain’s David Ferrer. Spaniard Ferrer, the “ferocious bulldog”, could prove to be a banana peel for the title contenders given his form and never-say-die attitude. American Andy Roddick completes the top guns equation. The feisty veteran has qualified for the competition for eight years in a row.
No love will be lost as the titans in men’s tennis clash. Let the games begin.