World’s Best Gather at London Landmark to Launch Barclays ATP World Tour Finals
Elite eight board the Cutty Sark
The world’s eight best singles players and doubles teams gathered at London’s historic Cutty Sark Thursday night for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals Official Launch presented by Moët and Chandon. Cutty Sark is the legendary 19th century sailing ship, the fastest of her time, and now an award-winning tourist attraction.
Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic, who will battle at the season-ending tournament to become year-end No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, were joined by Stan Wawrinka, Milos Raonic, Kei Nishikori, Gael Monfils, Marin Cilic and Dominic Thiem.
Also attending were the world’s top eight doubles teams, including Frenchmen Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut, and Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares, who will fight for the year-end No. 1 doubles ranking.
During the evening, Andy Murray was presented with a trophy commemorating his rise last Monday to No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, when he became just the 26th player (since 1973) to hold that mantle.
“It’s the end of a long season and all the players that are here have had great years, all deserve to be here, and everyone enjoys the event,” he said.
The evening featured a performance by loop pedal beatbox artist THePETEBOX, best known for his 'Future Loops' work. The musician enlisted the help of all eight singles players, who contributed their voices to a new loop pedal. THePETEBOX has also written a bespoke track for the ATP – ‘Fly Like Aces’ - that will be used as the players walk out onto the court at The O2.
Guests were also briefed on a new partnership between the ATP and UNICEF, the launch of the Super 8, in which the world’s best eight players come together at the season-ending finale on a mission to help UNICEF raise awareness and vital funds to protect children from danger.
Cilic was among a number of winners of the 2016 ATP World Tour Awards presented by Moët & Chandon to be recognised during the event. Cilic was presented with the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award for his work with the Marin Cilic Foundation, established this year to support educational projects around the world. The foundation has a special emphasis on giving youth in Croatia improved access to school and university education.
Other players to receive awards were Lucas Pouille (Most Improved Player of the Year), Taylor Fritz (ATP Star of Tomorrow presented by Emirates) and Bob and Mike Bryan (ATPWorldTour.com Fans’ Favourite presented by Moët & Chandon).
“It means a lot to be named the Fan Favourite,” said Mike Bryan. “One of the reasons why we love playing the game is to play in front of these fans around the world, and we really appreciate the support. We want to thank them for voting for us. It’s going to be fun to step out on the court at The O2 and finish the year strong in front of a hopefully packed house out there.”
Roger Federer (ATPWorldTour.com Fans’ Favourite presented by Moët & Chandon and Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award) and Juan Martin del Potro (Comeback Player of the Year) did not attend but sent video messages.
The Barclays ATP World Tour Finals begin Sunday at The O2 in London. Djokovic, the four-time defending champion, is chasing a record-equalling sixth season finale title. Murray is looking to reach the final for the first time and is guaranteed to finish the year No. 1 if he wins the title.