By Alexandra Willis
17 November 2010
Some of the most famous names in tennis have predicted who they think will emerge victorious at the end of next week’s Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at London’s O2 Arena. Speaking ahead of the AEGON Masters Tennis at the Royal Albert Hall, which takes place the week following the ATP’s season finale, six Grand Slam champions of the past were invited to punt on which player is in the best condition to come out on top in London.
And, unsurprisingly, the majority sided with the two best players in the world, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. “Nadal is in great shape,” commented Yannick Noah. “He is unbeatable. I would say the same forever.” Goran Ivanisevic also put his money on the swashbuckling Spaniard. “He’s had a great year, he hasn’t played for the last couple of weeks, ut I think he is preparing himself and he wants to do well. He has put a lont of thigns that he has never won before in his basket this year. It doesn’t matter what surface it is as long as he is fit and playing well. You also can’t count out Andy Murray because he can beat anyone, anywhere, anytime.”
Proving the adage that Federer is most dangerous when overlooked, both Mats Wilander and John McEnroe gave their nod to the 16-time Grand Slam champion. “Rafa is the guy to pick in every major, but Roger has more of a chance in a shorter match,” said McEnroe, still competing on the tour at the age of 50. “It would be nice to see one of the other guys – Djokovic or Murray – step up and make an impact.”
But there was one other player that proved a popular choice amongst the game’s greats, the new world No.4 Robin Soderling, who under the tutelage of Magnus Norman has become a real threat to the established top 10. “Soderling could be a winner, he has the potential,” said Stefan Edberg, while Pat Rafter also agreed. “He’s playing really well, he’s coming off a great week in Paris, he’s serving well and winning tighth matches. I like to go for dark horses, I think it’s going to be really tight and he’s playing well.”
The Barclays ATP World Tour Finals kicks off at the O2 Arena on Sunday 21 November, with Murray facing Soderling at 2pm, followed by Federer v David Ferrer at 6pm.
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