Sunday 26 November 2017

ATP Tennis Finals

Budding young tennis players from Broadford & Mead Primary were fortunate enough to have tickets to visit the ATP Tour Tennis Finals at the O2 and see the world’s top male tennis players return to the iconic venue for the tennis season's grand finale event.

I couldn't wait to see Roger Federer... he is my hero. Wherever he plays in the world, crowd really cheers and makes a huge noise. Seeing him smash, volley and power the ball around the court was amazing - Cilic didn't stand a chance!
Conor Holloway - aged 9

First the children got the chance to put their hands on the Nitto ATP Finals Trophy, that was eventually lifted by Grigor Dimitrov in the final on Sunday. Once the 40 children had experienced the thrill of lifting a major world sporting trophy they sat down to watch a doubles match between Kontinen/Peers vs Klassen/Ram. 

I didn't realise the doubles would be so fast. The ball pinged around the court and the players had so little time to react... it was awesome.
Ruben Roberts - aged 7

Then it was time for the main event... Federer vs Cilic. In the run up to this experience the children had been revising some incredible Federer facts. 

Did you know that...
  • His winnings this season - including the Australian Open 2017 - have meant that his career prize money earnings are now over the $100 million mark? This makes him the most successful sportsman - in prize money terms - of all time!
  • The Roger Federer Foundation - which focuses on raising funds for early childhood education in southern Africa - has raised more than $15 million?
In the first set it didn't go to plan, with Cilic making a great start and winning 7-6. However the 2nd and 3rd sets came to life with Federer striking the ball brilliantly. Cilic wasn't able to sustain his performance and the World #1 finished comfortable 4-6, 1-6. 

Prior to this event:
95% of the pupils had never been to a live tennis match before
55% had never had the chance to visit the O2 venue

Our Learning Federation believes that our pupils should be entitled to a wide range of awesome experiences while they are at Primary school. We are fortunate to be situated so close to London, and we believe it is our duty to make the most of that. When we realised there was a chance to let our pupils see the arguably the greatest male tennis player of all time it was an easy decision to buy the tickets. 
Mr Drakes - Executive Headteacher.

History of the Event
Men's professional tennis has always featured a year-end championship ever since Jack Kramer, the first executive director of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), implemented the Grand Prix structure of a year-long series of tennis tournaments in 1969. Right from the first Masters in Tokyo in December 1970 it became a prestigious event, and was subsequently held in Paris, Barcelona, Boston, Melbourne, Stockholm, and Houston before the event started a 13-year association with Madison Square Garden in New York from 1977 to 1989. The Masters evolved into the ATP Tour World Championships in 1990. Frankfurt and Hannover shared the event through 1999. In 2000, the event was rebranded Tennis Masters Cup and was held in Lisbon, Sydney, Houston and Shanghai. In 2009, the event moved to The O2 in London, the world's busiest entertainment arena, as the Nitto ATP Finals.

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