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Several major tennis tournaments like to claim the title of “the fifth Grand Slam”, perhaps wishing to share the glow that sets in over centre courts in Paris, London, Melbourne and New York. Indian Wells in California is one such tournament, while the year’s final Masters event – also in Paris – certainly regards itself on a par with the big four. If one tournament lifts itself above the others, though, it’s the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, held annually in November at London’s 02 Arena. At times akin to a rock concert, the atmosphere at the 02 truly rocks for one week, as the world’s top eight players compete to grab the final major trophy of the year.
The glamour of the ATP World Tour Finals is something to behold. Celebrities from the sporting world and beyond mingle among hardcore tennis fans, packing into the 17,500-capacity stadium, and the noise swells to a deafening crescendo during long-lasting rallies – particularly when a British player is involved. London is guaranteed to be the Finals’ venue at least until 2015, so why not head along to this vibrant city to experience it this year?
2014 ATP World Tour Finals: all you need to know
2014 ATP World Tour Finals: format
If you bag a seat for the 2014 event, you’ll get a chance to sample one of the most raucous atmospheres in the tennis world – perhaps only New York’s Arthur Ashe Stadium can rival it in this respect. You’ll also get to experience a tennis tournament with a difference, as the Finals, played on indoor hard courts, differ from most other ATP events; namely, the format is not a straight knock-out competition, but rather a series of round robin matches. Thus, the winner can experience defeat - even more than once - en route to the final. Games, incidentally, are best-of-three-sets, both in singles and doubles.
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2014 ATP World Tour Finals: the best in the world
The ATP World Tour Finals just loves its individuality. As well as favouring a round-robin format, the event eschews the typical number of competitors, inviting only the world’s top eight singles players, and doubles teams, to do battle. The players’ progress is meticulously monitored throughout the year as part of the Emirates ATP ‘Race to London’, and the Paris Masters represents the final chance to gain those crucial ranking points to snag a London invite. Roger Federer tops the all-time standings, claiming the title six times, while Novak Djokovic lifted the trophy the last two years.
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2014 ATP World Tour Finals: ticketing
Tickets for the 2014 event are already available from Viagogo, the official ticket marketplace of the tournament. Tickets are split evenly between afternoon and night sessions, though the price fluctuates little whatever you choose. A ticket for an afternoon session on the opening day will cost £54.90, and the price doesn’t really increase till you get to the semi final, when it rises to £128. If money is no obstacle, a front row seat at the final can be as much as £5,000.
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2014 ATP World Tour Finals: schedule
The year’s final showpiece event gets under way on November 9, and concludes November 16. Each afternoon session includes a singles match from Group A or B, as well as a doubles match, while the remaining players in each group contest their games under the bright lights in the evening session. The draw, of course, is made just prior to the tournament, but will – barring injury – include the world’s elite. The winner of the 2014 tournament will be presented the new Brad Drewett Trophy, in memory of the late ATP Executive Chairman and President.
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2014 ATP World Tour Finals: London in November
Winter truly takes hold of the city in November, but fear not: a preponderance of decorative festive lights, and the glowing warmth visible through the windows of cosy pubs and restaurants, ensure the Christmas spirit jumps into your bones nice and early. If you’re in town for the ATP World Tour Finals, why not go check out some of the many fireworks displays throughout the city? The Lord Mayor’s Show, on the 8 November, is another fine jamboree, with samba dancing and marching bands part of the colourful procession.
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