Dubai: At least 40 cities have shown interest to step in as the bidding process from cities to host the ATP Finals after 2020 was thrown open last August, according to event director Adam Hogg.
The O2 Arena of London is contracted to run this event for another two years till 2020. “As of now, we’ve got interest from at least 40 cities from around the world. This means we have made people aware of this event. We don’t want to be boastful about it, but I think we’ve made a success out of this event in London. When we moved the event in-house in 2009 we took a risk but in due course, we are reaping the rewards,” Hogg said.
Hogg has been with the ATP in various roles for the past one decade before being appointed as event director for its marquee season-ending event in 2014. Prior to that, Hogg was Director of Content Production and Business Development Manager for the ATP.
“For the moment, London and the Nitto ATP Tour Finals is a winning combination, and we are only thinking on ways to make this event even better and more engaging to the spectators,” Hogg told Gulf News.
“This is the one event that we own, control and operate, and for us to make it a success is paramount, not just to present the sport in as positive a way as possible but also to give exposure to all players. We do stuff here that will benefit our member associations and fans,” Hogg added.
Last week, former world number one and six-time winner Roger Federer had spoken about the “winning formula” at the O2 while expounding on why the event shouldn’t be shifted to a new venue. More than 2.5 million people have attended the event since it was shifted to London in 2009.
“The evaluation of interests from other cities will continue in due course, but that doesn’t mean that just because we are going through that process we will be leaving London. The event has always been such a huge success at the O2 and now it is time to see what levels of interest are there from others from around the world,” he added.
The event director was acutely aware of the void that will be created following the retirement of big names in tennis like Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray in the near future.
“Can I imagine it? Yes. Will it be different? Yes, it will be. But that said, run the clock back perhaps 30 years and we could have said the same thing about [John] McEnroe, [Bjorn] Borg and [Jimmy] Connors followed by [Pete] Sampras and [Andre] Agassi. But I think we have been ahead of it while we work towards bringing in the next generation of players such as [Stefanos] Tsitsipas, [Alexander] Zverev and [Karen] Khachanov to name just a few. I think we are headed in the right direction,” Hogg maintained.
“Of course people like Rafa and Roger will leave a huge hole behind them. But, I am confident that someone like Tsitsipas and Zverev will grow into superstars that those guys were in the past. Our job is to ensure that the new players are seen by the people when they arrive on the big stage. There is a great depth of talent coming through internationally and this can only be good for the sport,” he added.