Five Former World No. 1s Lead 1980s Finals Club Celebration In London
The ATP World Tour welcomes back old friends to the English capital
Former players from the 1980s involved in the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals were welcomed to The O2, venue of the season finale in London this week. Stefan Edberg, the 1989 champion, and former World No. 1 Mats Wilander took part in this week’s celebrations, while those working on-site: five-time former titlist Ivan Lendl, who reached nine straight year-end finals, and three-time winners John McEnroe and Boris Becker, were also honoured.
More than 30 players, who featured in the year-end singles and doubles championships from the 1980s, travelled to the English capital as part of The Finals Club, an initiative established in 2015 that welcomes some of the game’s former greats from the past 45 years return to the season-ending tournament, where they will be able to reconnect with the sport, their peers, as well as the world’s best players of today.
Those accepting the ATP World Tour’s invitation this year also included Pieter Aldrich, Darren Cahill, Sergio Casal, Pat Cash, Michael Chang, Marty Davis, Steve Denton, Kelly Evernden, John Fitzgerald, Ken Flach, John Fitzgerald, Peter Fleming, Brad Gilbert, Andres Gomez, Heinz Gunthardt, Jakob Hlasek, Anders Jarryd, Carlos Kirmayr, Johan Kriek, Patrick McEnroe, Peter McNamara, Paul McNamee, Cassio Motta, Joakim Nystrom, Hans Simonsson, Tomas Smid, Henrik Sundstrom, Balazs Taroczy and Danie Visser.
Watch & Read: The Greatest Final Ever?: Becker v Lendl, 1988
The group took a boat ride from the London Eye to The O2, then enjoyed a Moët & Chandon toast and were welcomed by Chris Kermode, the ATP Executive Chairman and President. Having been presented with personalised Moët & Chandon bottles, the former players enjoyed a sumptuous lunch, prior to taking their seats courtside for the 2016 singles and doubles title matches at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
While players from the 1990s and 2000s will be celebrated in future years, The Finals Club this year has been highlighted by the renaming of Groups A and B for both the singles and doubles in honour of players that made an indelible mark on the tournament in the 1980s. In singles, Group A was named after McEnroe and Group B after Lendl. The doubles groups were named Fleming/McEnroe and Edberg/Jarryd, after Fleming and John McEnroe - the 1978-84 doubles titlists - and Edberg and Jarryd, who won the year-end championships in 1985 and 1986.