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Nadal Qualifies for Barclays ATP World Tour Finals

London, United Kingdom — Tickets to the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals have gone on public sale today as reigning ATP World Tour Champion Rafael Nadal becomes the first player to qualify for the season finale. Starting November 22 at The O2 arena in London, the prestigious tournament is the climax of the men’s professional tennis season and will feature the world’s top eight singles players and eight doubles teams competing to be officially crowned as the 2009 ATP World Tour Champions.

Nadal, the reigning ATP World Tour Champion, has qualified for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals for the fifth consecutive year after a brilliant start to the season. The 22-year-old Spaniard won his sixth Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in January and three ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles in Indian Wells, Monte-Carlo and Rome, as well as reaching the final in Madrid. Nadal also won a fifth consecutive title inBarcelona and will enter Roland Garros as the overwhelming favourite, where he will attempt to win a record fifth straight crown.

“I am very happy to have officially qualified for the ATP World Tour Finals. To qualify for the event inLondon is great as it was one of my goals of the season and clearly something important that shows that this season has already been a great success for me. London is a city that brings me great memories since last year I won Wimbledon and Queen’s and the fans have really supported me each year that I’ve played there. I am really looking forward to this fantastic event that I am sure will be a great success,” said Nadal.

The tournament will be the biggest indoor tennis event in the world ever and more than 150,000 tickets have already been sold, including to those who pre-registered with the ATP. The remaining 65,000 tickets are available on general sale today online through www.BarclaysATPWorldTourFinals.com or by calling 0844 847 2495 within the UK. Overseas customers should call +44 161 372 0025. Tickets are expected to sell fast as fans are guaranteed to see each of the top eight players in the world at least three times.

The tournament has a rich history, having been contested in some of the major cities around the world. 2009 celebrates the 40th anniversary of the ATP World Tour’s year-end event and the first as the renamed and rebranded Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. Previous champions have included some of the world’s greatest ever tennis players. John McEnroe won the first of his three titles in 1978 and Bjorn Borg won back-to-back titles in 1979-80. Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, and Boris Becker all captured the title in the 1990s. More recently, Roger Federer is a four-time winner of the event, having triumphed in 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2007.

Adam Helfant, Executive Chairman and President of the ATP said:

“I am particularly excited about this year’s event as it will be my first as ATP Executive Chairman and the first time the season finals have come to London in its 40th year. We are delighted by the response for tickets so far and anticipate huge demand today as we go on public sale.”

Phil Anderton, Chairman of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals said:

“This tournament is unique in that fans are guaranteed to see each of the world’s top eight players at least three times during the course of the week. The depth of talent in men’s professional tennis at the moment, with the likes of Federer, Nadal, Murray, and Djokovic means that tennis fans can expect to see epic tennis as the players battle it out to be crowned the 2009 ATP World Tour Champions.”

Alex Hill, Finance Director, AEG Europe said:

“AEG Europe is thrilled to be hosting the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at The O2, the world’s most popular venue. This is the highlight in our sporting calendar and not to be missed. Our state of the art facilities will offer both the players and fans a first rate experience and firmly put The O2 on the map as one of the world’s leading indoor sporting facilities.”

Ian Ritchie, Chief Executive, All England Lawn Tennis Club said:

“We are delighted to be partnering with the ATP for this event. We know from the queues and excitement of Wimbledon each year that London has some of the most passionate tennis fans in the world. We are confident that this event will create a real buzz in November.”

Sue Ashworth of Sky Sports said:

“The Barclays ATP World Tour Finals is a special event and it’s great news that such a prestigious tournament is moving to The O2 in London. It’s a terrific format for the viewers and we’re very excited to be involved from start to finish.

“This event is the culmination of year-round qualification, resulting in the top eight players in the world battling it out. This season-ending championship is integral to Sky Sports’ year-round coverage of tennis, which includes live coverage of all the ATP World Tour Masters 1000s, matches from the ATP World Tour 500s and the US Open live in HD.”

Paul Davies, Executive Producer Tennis, BBC Sport said:

“Together with our coverage of The Australian and French Open, Davis Cup, Queen’s and of course Wimbledon, we are delighted to be adding this unique event to our tennis portfolio. With Nadal already qualified and Federer and Murray sure to join him, there will be no shortage of great live action to broadcast.”

About the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals

The Barclays ATP World Tour Finals is the year-end climax to the men’s professional tennis season, featuring only the world’s best eight qualified singles players and doubles teams. This spectacular season-ending tournament determines the official year-end South African Airways 2009 ATP Rankings and will also crown the official 2009 ATP World Tour Champion. Played using a round-robin format, the top eight ATP World Tour stars all play three matches as they battle for a berth in the knockout semi-finals, ensuring every match showcases tennis akin to the quality of at least a Grand Slam quarter-final. The prestigious tournament has been contested in major cities around the world with a rich history dating back to the birth of The Masters in 1970 in Tokyo. Since 2000 the event has taken place in cities such as Lisbon, Sydney, and most recently Shanghai. This year sees the tournament reborn as the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals to be held in the heart of London at The O2 arena from 2009 to 2013.

 

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