With the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals already underway, it is the last time the O2 Arena in London is hosting the tournament. Apart from a crowd less stadium, this year’s ATP Nitto Finals is also bereft of the most important member of the Big-3, Roger Federer. The Swiss Maestro withdrew from the entire 2020 season in February after undergoing right knee surgery.
Celebrating 50 years of the ATP Nitto Finals, the ATP Tour has started a new series by bringing players from two different eras to retell some of the tournament’s most memorable stories.
Recently, the legendary Bjorn Borg and the 20-time Grand Slam champion, Federer, were invited to share their memories of the ATP Finals alongside the host, Tim Henman.
Having won a record six season-ending championships, Federer claimed his first title back in 2003. The host Henman asked Federer which title out of his six ATP Nitto triumphs stood out the most.
The eight-time Wimbledon champion revealed that qualifying for the ATP Nitto Finals was an achievement in itself. However, Federer picked the moment when he won his maiden title in 2003 by defeating Andre Agassi in the finals.
“Probably I have to go back to Houston in 2003, when I won the very first time. It all started with the round match in the group against Agassi, I remember saving match points winning 7-6 in the third. And end up playing Andre again in the finals and then beating him in straight sets in the finals. For me, it opened my belief that I could beat the best baseline players from the baseline,” said Federer during the interview.
On the other hand, Borg won the season-ending championships thrice in 1976, 1979, and 1980. The Swede was the first player in the Open Era to win six French Open singles titles.