INSIDE MEN'S TENNIS 2012
Inside Men's Tennis By Brad Drewett - November Edition
by Brad Drewett, ATP Executive Chairman & President|
After a record breaking year, the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals once again provided a fitting end to a spectacular ATP season and the news that we have decided to extend the tournament’s stay in London through 2015 was certainly met with all-round enthusiasm.
The O2 is an incredible venue to showcase the quality of men's tennis. It provides the perfect platform to create an entertainment-style atmosphere like no other in tennis that energizes the crowds and players alike.. Despite London enjoying more professional tennis events in the last few months than at any other time in history, the tournament welcomed a record 263,229 fans across eight days of action. Each session was truly packed to the rafters and we have now welcomed more than a million fans through the gates of The O2 in our first four years in London.
The Barclays ATP World Tour Finals also drew record television and online audiences. An estimated global cumulative audience of 100.7 million viewers tuned into the event shown by 56 broadcasters in 193 territories. Live match streaming on TennisTV.com, the ATP’s official live streaming site, received more than approximately 3.75 million total streams, an increase of 25% on 2011, whilst ATPWorldTour.com attracted a record 3.4 million unique users for the week.
Freshly-crowned 2012 ATP World Tour No. 1 Novak Djokovic won the last match of the season, a thrilling 7-6 (8-6), 7-5 victory over defending champion Roger Federer in the final. The Serb’s victory capped off a remarkable season in which he finished as No. 1 for the second consecutive season.
And in doubles, Spanish sixth seeds Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez became the second Spanish team in history to win the season-ending championships when they defeated fifth-seeded Indians Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna 7-5, 3-6, 10-3 for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals crown.
Apart from the on-court action, there was a string of off-court highlights. Notably, these include our ATP World Tour award winners for 2012. Novak finished the season as ATP World Tour No. 1, as determined by South African Airways ATP Rankings, while Bob and Mike Bryan took home the No. 1 doubles team honour for the fourth year in a row.
Roger was recognised with his eighth Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award, as voted by ATP players, while 34-year-old Tommy Haas was acclaimed by his peers as the Comeback Player of the Year. Roger was also voted the ATPWorldTour.com Fans' Favourite, presented by Ricoh, as voted by the fans. The Bryan brothers won the doubles vote.
Martin Klizan from Slovakia, was hailed as the Newcomer of the Year after vaulting 88 places in the South African Airways ATP Rankings since the start of the season to hit a career-high World No. 29, whilst Australian Marinko Matosevic claimed the Most Improved Player of the Year award.
Novak received the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian of the Year award after his contributions through the Novak Djokovic Foundation, his role as a UNICEF ambassador and other individual ventures.
Paul Newman, tennis correspondent of The Independent, received the ATP Ron Bookman Media Excellence Award for his significant contribution to tennis.
And crowning a great year for men's tennis, from a business perspective, important partners like Ricoh and HEAD signed new multi-year sponsorship extensions with the ATP, as well as Barclays extending its title sponsorship of our year-ending event in London through 2015. We also plan to announce a couple of exciting, new partnerships in the near future.
These commercial agreements provide further indication of the current strength of ATP men’s professional tennis. Corporate support is at an all-time high thanks to this incredible generation of players, and the strength of our global platform of tournaments.
The ATP is in the strongest position financially in its history, with the organisation and its 62 tournaments now generating in excess of half a billion dollars annually. In terms of attendance, ATP events in 2012 matched record numbers with close to 4.4 million spectators.
At Grand Slam level, discussions initiated by the ATP with each of the Slams have brought about prize money increases for players in 2012, and we remain focused on our active dialogue with these events about player compensation for 2013 and beyond. In particular, we welcome the increase in prize money for the 2013 Australian Open and acknowledge the ongoing efforts of Tennis Australia to recognise the role of the players in the success of their tournament.
On a personal level, I have enjoyed leading the ATP through the various opportunities and challenges during my first year at the helm of the organisation. It’s been a record breaking year, both on the court and commercially and we remain hard at work making to ensure that growth and success of the Tour continues.
As the players now enjoy a well deserved break before the 2013 season starts in the first week of January, I hope you have all enjoyed the 2012 ATP World Tour and the outstanding display of talent and drama it has provided us all.
I have no doubt the 2013 season will bring even more records and pleasure to our millions of fans worldwide.