05:00 AM GMT July 14, 2014
Rafael Nadal will return to London this November in an attempt to capture his first career season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals title. Nadal joins three-time champion Novak Djokovic as the first two singles players to qualify for this year’s season finale, to be held at The O2 from 9-16 November.
Nadal has qualified for the elite eight-player tournament for the 10th straight year. The Spaniard has finished runner-up on two occasions, in 2010 (l. to Federer) and 2013 (l. to Djokovic). The Barclays ATP World Tour Finals title is one of the few major prizes in the sport still to elude the Spanish superstar.
ATP Executive Chairman and President, Chris Kermode, said, “Rafa’s qualification for this year’s Barclays ATP World Tour Finals is terrific news for tennis fans in the UK. They now have another chance to see a true sporting icon battle it out for the last title of the season. Rafa has previously come close to winning the title in London a number of times. This year, once again, many will consider him to be a leading contender as he looks to add this prestigious title to his long list of career achievements."
The 28-year-old Nadal has lifted four trophies this year, including the Qatar ExxonMobil Open (d. Monfils) in January; the Rio Open presented by Claro hdtv (d. Dolgopolov) in February; an all-time record 27th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title at the Mutua Madrid Open (d. Nishikori) in May and his ninth Roland Garros (d. Djokovic). Roger Federer, currently at No. 3 in the Emirates ATP Race To London, is the next in line to qualify for the 2014 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, where he is a record six-time former winner.
Last week Nadal relinquished No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings to Djokovic following the Serb’s triumph at Wimbledon. Nadal, who has been No. 1 for a total of 143 weeks, was crowned the year-end ATP World Tour No. 1 in 2008, 2010 and 2013. Nadal and Djokovic have dominated the year-end No. 1 position for the past four years and the battle for top spot should not be an exception this year.
Bob and Mike Bryan will also be bidding to crown their 2014 season by winning the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals for a fourth time, adding to titles in 2003-04 and 2009. They have qualified for the eight-team season finale for the 13th consecutive time (2001, 2003-2014). No doubles event was held in 2002.
The American brothers have captured five team titles in eight finals this year. In 2013, the American brothers clinched the year-end No. 1 Emirates ATP Doubles Team Ranking for a record ninth time and for a fifth consecutive season.
The Barclays ATP World Tour Finals has welcomed more than 1.25 million fans to The O2 arena over the past five years, establishing itself as the biggest indoor tennis tournament in the world since moving to London in 2009. Tickets can be purchased at: www.BarclaysATPWorldTourFinals.com.