Federer: “If the crowds keep coming and flocking to this venue, if the Tour has a good deal, then why not stay here?”
By Raz Mirza at London’s O2 Arena
Last Updated: 09/11/18 4:55pm
Roger Federer has called the ATP Finals at London’s O2 Arena a “winning formula” and doesn’t see any reason why it should move when the deal ends after 2020.
The world No 3 will be competing at the season-ending finale for the 16th year and the ninth time in the capital.
Since the tournament moved to the O2 over 2.3 million people have attended, with 250,000 expected this year, making it the biggest yearly event.
The venue remains a front-runner to continue hosting the finals, although organisers face competition from over 40 cities to keep hold of it after ATP opened the bidding process in August.
Speaking during Friday’s press conference, the six-time champion said: “If it stays, then it’s definitely a good choice. I don’t know what the options are, but they are clearly important to look at. I know this is the biggest yearly event they have here at the O2. If the crowds keep coming and flocking to this venue, if the Tour has a good deal, then why not stay here?
It’s been a winning formula. I’ve enjoyed playing in a city that knows tennis very well and has got a strong media following as well.
Roger Federer on ATP Finals at London’s O2
“There is no reason to change unless there is somebody else that really wants it badly and is willing to come in and support the tour in a major way for many years like we have seen in Shanghai and London in the beginning.
“It’s been a winning formula. I’ve enjoyed playing in a city that knows tennis very well and has got a strong media following as well. It’s been a good place for us players to showcase our talents and after Paris it’s an easy event to come to. I remember when it was in Houston and Shanghai for many years – it wasn’t so simple.
“I’m also curious to find out what is going to happen afterwards because you have to protect the tour and what’s best for the players moving forward.”
World No 1 Novak Djokovic has previously stated that he hopes the venue and city will change by 2021, and he has opposed Federer’s comments, saying: “I just feel like the concept of this event should be the one tournament that travels because this event is the biggest event that the ATP owns and you have the best eight players in the world in a unique format of a round-robin format, so you get to see each player three times over a week.
“I just feel like this is a great opportunity to promote tennis all around the world and I understand that you can’t keep a tournament for three or four years without moving it around but I just feel that 10 years in one place is a bit too much.
“It’s not because of London and not because of anything to do with this event which is a great success here at the O2 Arena. I’ve enjoyed the most success here, so I should be the last one talking about moving it anywhere, but at the same time I feel that this event should be travelling more.”
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We will have coverage of the ATP Finals at London’s O2 in November with every match live on Sky Sports. See TV listings HERE.