Monday, June 24The Voice of London

O2 Arena ‘will fight to keep ATP tour finals in London’

The operators of the O2 Arena are confident they will be able to agree a deal to host the ATP Tour Finals once their current deal expires in 2020.

Ahead of the semifinals and final this weekend, AEG Europe’s Alex Hill told Yahoo Sport; “It’s a great tournament. We want to keep it here in London and we will do everything we can to keep it here”.

In August ATP Tour bosses announced they would start the process for new hosts, with over 40 cities expected to have expressed interest in hosting the end-of-season showdown.

That list is expected to be narrowed down to a five-city shortlist next month. London will expect to be on that list, but ahead of this year’s event ATP chief executive Chris Kermode wondered aloud to the Evening Standard; “should we move it to different regions and markets, or do we establish it in one place? We felt after 10 years it was time to ask the question and see what’s out there. ”

London has proved itself to be a popular host with players and fans. Roger Federer, who made the semi-finals again after a win against Kevin Anderson, told the Evening Standard; “I think it’s definitely a good choice … I think this is now the biggest yearly event they have at the O2, if the O2 are happy, if the crowds keep flocking here and the tour has a good deal, why not stay here?”

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While the event has jumped between hosts since the inaugural tournament in Tokyo in 1970, including stints in Houston, Shanghai, and New York, the O2 Arena has become a more stable home in recent years.

Words: Matthew Smith | Subbing: Kristiyan Stefanov

 

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