ATP – All eyes now turn to London as the Elite sign off at the season finale, starting on Sunday
WTA – Venus Williams returns to the top ten after winning the inaugural WTA Elite Trophy
Andy Murray returns to World No. 2 after reaching the Paris Masters final for the first time
Andy Murray returns to the World No. 2 spot and secured the No. 2 seeding for London, despite losing once more to World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, who picked up a record sixth Masters title this year. Venus Williams returns to the World top 10.
It was a third Paris Masters title in a row for the World No. 1 after he downed Murray in straight sets, adding a 26th Masters title to his collection, and his sixth this year, beating the Brit 6-2 6-4.
Talking to ATPWorldTour.com, Djokovic said: “I try to take nothing for granted. I try to work on my game all the time, because I know that the only way I can stay successful is to continue progressing. I’m not trying to keep the status quo, because for me, that’s a regression.
“I just try to improve all the time, work on certain things in my life and my game, and hopefully get better in the process.”
Murray had progressed past the quarter-finals in Paris for the first time, and his run to the final pushed Federer back to No. 3. Had he won the title, he could have secured the No. 2 year end spot. He was the first British finalist since Tim Henman to make the final, and said to ATPWorldTour.com:
“It was a pleasure to play here this week in the beautiful new stadium. Congratulations to Novak. It’s been a great year for him.
“It’s been a great week for me – first time past the quarter-finals. That’s progress and I hope to be back next year.”
Meanwhile the annual sport of guess the scenario is just a couple of weeks away, as top 8 seedings are locked in for London:
ATP Rankings – 9 November
Andy Murray (+1)
Roger Federer (-1)
Rafael Nadal (+1)
David Ferrer (+1)
Kei Nishikori (-1)
John Isner (+2)
Marin Cilic (-2)
Benoit Paire (+3)
After the fanfare and the WTA Finals in Singapore came the second tier final, curiously named the WTA Elite Trophy! Venus Williams, who had been in Singapore training as an alternate until the end of the Round Robin stages.
Williams looed in sold form over the week, and battled her way to the final where she met Karoline Pliskova in a right two-setter with Pliskova coming back at her from 1-4 down in the first set before Williams edged the first set. Pliskova put up a huge fight in the second set, building up a marginal lead, only to be pegged back once more, as Williams won 7-5 7-6(6).
“Seven weeks here in Asia and now I feel like it’s my home!” Williams said afterwards, as reported in WTATennis.com. “I’m so excited to win the first trophy in Zhuhai. All the players felt so welcome here and we appreciated all of the enthusiasm. To see every seat filled for every match, that’s all the players and tournament hope for.
“Also congratulations to Karolina. She deserved to win too – I was really lucky to win at the end.”
Williams now returns to the Top 10 for the first time since spring 2011, which included her long struggle back to fitness since being diagnosed with Sjögren’s Syndrome and being off the tour between September 2011 and March 2012. She had fallen to 137 in February 2012, and now finishes 2015 at World No. 7.
WTA Rankings – 9 November
Venus Williams (+4)
Flavia Pennetta (-1)
Lucie Safarova (-1)
Angelique Kerber (-1)
Karolina Pliskova (+2)
Timea Bacsinszky (-2)
Carla Suárez Navarro (-1)
Madison Keys (+1)
Elina Svitolina (+1)
Sara Errani (-2)
Tournament Weekly Watch
Barclays ATP World Tour Finals
Top Seeds: Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Roger Federer, Stan Wawrinka
Defending Champion: Djokovic
World No. 1 Djokovic has to be the man to beat as he returns to the O2 in London for the 9th straight appearance and is bidding for a fourth consecutive title. In superlative form since the autumn and season-ending swings, and is looking unstoppable.
In the opposing group will be Murray, who has qualified for the eighth straight time, making his return last year after withdrawing in 2012 after back surgery. Last year he had done a gallop around the world to throw everything at qualifying, but left him spent with a 1-2 record, although he rode in at the last minute to spare the ATP’s blushes.
He finds himself in a similar fix to Federer last year, where he will have to go on and compete on clay for the Davis Cup final afterwards. He will be training in clay before making the switch back to indoor hard court and will hope that his back can cope with the changes of surface.
Federer will be in a record 14th consecutive finale, and has won the title six times, and is joined once more by fellow Swiss Stan Wawrinka to round off the top four seeds. It is Wawrinka’s third straight appearance and has been to the semi-finals in the last two years.
Federer reached the final last year but withdrew just before the final, and went on to join with Wawrinka to win the Davis Cup last year.
Follow the action from Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at Britwatch Tennis from Sunday.
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