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2013 In Review: ATP Heritage Programme

Best Of 2013

Gala© Getty ImagesPast and present champions shared the stage in New York at the No. 1 Celebration.

Thanks to the vision of the late ATP Executive Chairman & President, Brad Drewett, the ATP Heritage Programme was born in February 2013. Marking 40 years of the Emirates ATP Rankings, the ATP Heritage Programme celebrates a remarkable journey taken by players, tournaments and fans since 1973.

A special commemorative coffee table book was published by the ATP during Wimbledon, celebrating all the year-end ATP World Tour No. 1s over the past 40 years. The unique celebratory book, entitled ‘No. 1’, featured exclusive interviews with No. 1s past and present, as well as never-seen-before photography over the past 40 years.

‘No. 1’ is available for purchase at UK book stores, and online through Tennis Warehouse: Europe | Outside Europe

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The protagonists then shared the same stage in New York at the No. 1 Celebration gala on the eve of the US Open. Champions paid tribute to generations past and present as an unprecedented gathering of No. 1s took place. 

Ilie Nastase, who became the first ATP World No. 1 on 23 August 1973, was present to be honoured on the night, along with successors John Newcombe, Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, Ivan Lendl, Mats Wilander, Stefan Edberg, Jim Courier, Marcelo Rios, Carlos Moya, Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Gustavo Kuerten, Lleyton Hewitt, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Andy Roddick, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. The four decades' worth of No. 1s shared a stage - and some fond memories as well.

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The evening also included a tribute to Drewett, who had passed away in May following a battle with Motor Neurone Disease.

Federer thanked those that came before him, like childhood idol Edberg. "It was important for me to have someone to look up to," said Federer, the record-holder for most weeks at No. 1. ''I know there's been a huge sacrifice at the players' level, just this generation and the players sitting here tonight, and even before that. We've put such huge effort in the game, and that's a platform we can enjoy today.''

As part of the ATP Heritage Programme, ATP marked historic anniversaries throughout the 2013 season.

The Rankings That Changed Tennis
The 23rd August marked the 40th anniversary of the Emirates ATP Rankings. After quickly earning legitimacy and credibility, the rankings have become an indispensable part of tennis accepted universally by players, tournaments and fans. 

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The Tour Born In A Parking Lot
Few tennis media conferences have resonated like 'The Parking Lot Press Conference', held 25 years ago on 30 August 1988, a seminal moment in ATP history. With the ATP logo hastily duct-taped to the podium, a rented PA system and a parking lot for a venue, the 1988 press conference that crystalised momentum for the birth of the ATP Tour could be called 'no frills' at best.

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