The Barclays ATP World Tour Finals kicked off on Monday at The O2 in London. Three-time winner and Barclays tennis ambassador, Boris Becker, is spearheading efforts to bring fans together around one of the world’s biggest tennis tournaments and in this article, he offers his personal take on how the first day of the tournament went, as well as his predictions on who could take home the trophy this year.
With the talents that we have playing in the tournament, it's hard to say but I think Novak Djokovic has a very strong chance with Juan Martin del Potro being the dark horse.Boris Becker, Barclays tennis ambassador
It was 5:15am when my alarm went off but I didn’t mind, I was excited about the week ahead. It was the first day of one of the biggest tennis tournaments in the world – the Barclays , where I get to watch the top eight tennis players battle it out over a week to be crowned tournament champion.
On Monday, I arrived at the BBC’s studios in London at 7.00am with the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals trophy in hand, ready for a very busy morning of interviews.
I made a surprise visit to the Chris Evans Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2 to get listeners excited about the world-class tennis being played all week. Of course, with the UK’s national obsession over Andy Murray, Chris asked me about his absence due to injury and I reminded him that there are a lot of other excellent tennis players. With or without the British sporting hero, the tournament promises some very exciting tennis.
It was then on to BBC Breakfast to show off the trophy and highlight how Barclays is bringing fans even closer to world-class tennis at The O2 in London, with on-site activities like the finals day trophy competition and the Barclays Ball Kids search.
The most popular question I was asked in all my interviews was who I think will win the tournament. With the talents that we have playing in the tournament, it’s hard to say but I think Novak Djokovic has a very strong chance with Juan Martín del Potro being the dark horse.
After the interviews I headed to The O2 where already the atmosphere was electric. Excited fans were gathering and exploring the Barclays Fan Zone. The Barclays ATP arena entrance experience is fantastic, giving everyone the chance to experience the tension and cheers of walking onto centre court. Not quite as nerve-wrecking as the real thing, let me tell you!
It was then time for what we were all here for – the tennis to begin. The opening match saw Stanislas Wawrinka claim an impressive three-set victory over Tomáš Berdych. Wawrinka looked impressive claiming his victory in less than 2.5 hours. You couldn’t ask for more exciting tennis!
The evening game was also very thrilling with former finalist del Potro winning a terrific contest against Richard Gasquet. Like I said, del Potro is a dark horse and I really believe he can go all the way.
I couldn’t ask for a better way to finish off my first day of what promises to be an exciting tournament. I’m lucky enough to be here all week and see all the matches live and I hope you get the chance to keep up with all the action as the week progresses. By Sunday, we’ll know if my predictions came true!