As the tennis season comes to a close, the last big tournament of the year is the special qualification event in London. The ATP Barclays is unique because the draw is limited to the top eight players in the ATP tour rankings for the year. This means that we get to witness an event that exhibits the best players who have been performing well all year long. The draw isn’t like a normal tournament, instead it begins with round robin play that eliminates half the field. The semi finals and finals are played in a more standard fashion, but the quality of tennis always promises to be incredible. Players have direct incentive for each match because the point and prize distribution for the Barclays tennis tournament depends on each individual victory.
Looking Back at the ATP Finals 2010
The tournament last year ended up in a heated final between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Federer had something to prove after having a less than stellar year, and prove it he did. He took down Nadal, who was ranked number one at the time, in three fantastic sets. The Barclays world tour finals is one event that Nadal has never managed to win. One problem is that the indoor hard court surface does not suit his defensive game. Players are able to take advantage by being aggressive and stepping into the Spaniard’s high and looping shots. Federer on the other hand added another tally to his resume, making the ATP Barclays 2010 his 5th year end championship title.
The ATP Barclays 2011 Preview
This years ATP final will have a lot of familiar faces. The “big four” as they’ve been nicknamed consist of Djokovic, Nadal, Federer, and Murray. All of these players were in the event last year, but the dynamic has changed significantly. Djokovic should be a huge favorite for this ATP final crown considering the incredible season he has had–if he plays. The aggressive plays and shot making produced by the Novak Djokovic racquet this year has made the season a competition for second place. The Serbian, however, was sidelined recently by a back injury he suffered in Davis Cup play against the Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro. It’s questionable whether he will make a full recovery in time to see competition at London in November. If he does play at full speed it isn’t likely anyone will be able to touch him. The fast hard courts are so well suited to his game that his main competitor, Nadal, will be at a monstrous disadvantage against him.
Barclays Tennis Comes to London
The final tour event of the year is held in London, home court advantage Murray. Andy Murray still hasn’t broken through to win a grand slam title yet, but he has persevered as the solid number four player the entire year. His main problem though is that he can’t crack any of those top three players. Not a good weakness to have in a tournament where those players make up 37.5% of the field. To win here would be a big boost for Murray and he could really use it. The surface isn’t bad for his game, so there isn’t any reason this can’t be his tournament to make a big move.
- Djokovic Wakes up from 2011 Dream Season (fryingpansports.com)