ATP Finals Contenders Meet The Media In London

Nitto ATP Finals Media Day

LONDON, November 9, 2018

Even though the first rally has not yet been played, the eight participants of this year’s Nitto ATP Final faced questions from the journalists at Media Day in the run-up to the season finale.

Friday. Two more days until the official start of the biggest indoor tennis tournament in the world. The restaurants and shops are open, but much seems a little bare inside the O2 Arena in south east London, as the fans are still missing. The final set-up work will be done here and there, so that the big stage will be prepared for the tournament’s start on Sunday.

And the players? They seem to be ready for a spectacular finish to the season. Here are some of the quotes from the eight singles players, who will battle for the last title of the season.

Group Guga Kuerten


Alexander Zverev

Alexander Zverev
on his goals and chances:
“I had the chance to get to the semi-finals last year. Now I had another year on the tour, another year of experience. Hopefully, it is going to happen this year…but there are a lot of top guys in the group. I am just looking forward to playing some good tennis. Let’s see how far I can get.”

… on new towel rule at Next Gen Finals:
“I took the towel only twice this year, in Washington and Acapulco. So I am actually the wrong person to ask. You need to ask the Next Gen guys. Frances Tiafoe, who takes the towel after every point. Or Tsitsipas, who takes the towel after an ace or a double fault as well. I heard Tsitsipas’ saying, it’s the ball boys’ job (to hand the towel) … I think their work is about the balls.”

John Isner

… on making his ATP Finals debut:
“I had a very good year to make this event. Competing at my first ATP Finals at the age of 33 is very satisfying for me personally. My family is here, which makes it even more special.”

… on his season:
“I have played very consistent over the last nine, ten years. This year I had three or four big results.”

… on playing Novak Djokovic:
“I think it will be really easy (laughter). He is the No. 1 player in the world and has won this event five times. He is the player to beat this week, for sure. He had an incredible second half of the year. I am definitely the underdog. I have nothing to lose. Physically I’m fit. I just get out there and let’s see what’s happening. I am looking forward to it. The atmosphere will be amazing.”


Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

… on meeting the Spice Girls:
“It was spicy (laughter). It was great, a lot of fun. It was an honour to be on the show with Jonathan (Ross). I felt he was a great host and we played some great tennis at the end. You will see that.”

… on being No. 1 again and making the ATP Finals:
“The tournament is the pinnacle of the season. I understand that it is extra special this year due to the whole process this season. After February’s elbow surgery it looked quite doubtful to be in this position, finishing the year at World No. 1. But I never thought it was impossible. The last five months turned out to be perfect. Unfortunately Nadal had to withdraw from all of the tournaments since the US Open.”

… on moving the ATP Finals to another venue:
“I feel like that the concept of this event should be the one that travels. This event is the biggest that the ATP owns. You have the best eigtht players in an unique round-robin format and you see a certain player at least three times. This is a great opportunity to promote tennis all around the world. 10 years in one place is maybe a bit too much, not because of London. I had a lot of success here and I enjoy playing here.”

Group Lleyton Hewitt

Kevin Anderson

… on making his ATP Finals debut:
“This means a lot to me, competing with the best eight players of the season. It feels good and I hope for a successful week.”

… on playing Dominic Thiem:
“He beat me twice this year but we had very close matches. It’s going to be another tough one. He is such an amazing ball striker.”

… on green, environmental policy at the ATP Finals:
“It is good platform to discuss things like reducing plastic or carbon emissions, as players travel a lot. Those are two areas I am very passionate about.”


Roger Federer

Roger Federer

… on winning his 100th tournament here in London:
“I think it doesn’t really matters where, as long as it is going to happen at one point. That’s going to be exciting. Here it’s more about winning the World Tour Finals. I love playing this event. 2002 was a massive highlight in my career. The focus is on playing at The O2 in front of a great crowd at a beautiful venue.”

… on his season:
“I am very happy with this year. I won a Slam. I played well throughout the season. Wimbledon and the US Open were the only two disappointments of the season but I am very happy with it overall and I also stayed injury free.”

… on the ATP Finals staying in London:
“If the tournament stays, it’s definitely a good choice. I don’t know what the options are. They are also important to look at, but I don’t see a reason to change anything unless there is somebody else, who really wants it badly and is willing to support the tour in a major way over many years to come.”

… on playing tennis with his kids:
“We play together from time to time. All four play tennis. However, it’s not that easy when I am on tour in Shanghai or Tokyo.”

Kei Nishikori

… on making it to London:
“I am really happy to be here. I was a bit lucky, as Delpo and Rafa couldn’t compete. After the US Open I played some good tennis and I hope to keep it up this week.”

Dominic Thiem

… on the ATP Finals:
“It’s a very unique tournament. You face such a strong field. It is really difficult against any player. You need to be at 100 per cent right from the beginning.”