LONDON – The eight-player singles field for the 2014 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals is set. Japan’s Kei Nishikori makes history by becoming the first Asian player to qualify for the season finale in singles after he beat David Ferrer in the BNP Paribas Masters quarter-finals today. As a result of Nishikori’s victory, Milos Raonic, who earlier beat Roger Federer in the Paris quarter-finals, also qualified for the first time. Raonic is the first Canadian player to qualify for the season finale in singles.
Nishikori and Raonic join two-time defending champion and 2008 titlist Novak Djokovic, six-time former winner Federer, Stan Wawrinka, Andy Murray, Tomas Berdych and Marin Cilic at The O2 in London from 9-16 November. Spain’s Rafael Nadal also qualified, but was forced to withdraw as he will undergo appendix surgery next week.
Nishikori broke into the Top 10 of the Emirates ATP Rankings for the first time on 12 May, becoming the first Asian player to rank among the elite since Thailand’s Paradorn Srichaphan on 29 March 2004. Coached by Michael Chang, who qualified for the season finale on seven occasions in his career, Nishikori beat three Top 10 players — Raonic, Wawrinka and Djokovic — en route to becoming the first Asian man to contest a Grand Slam championship final at the US Open (l. to Cilic). During a career-best 2014 campaign, Nishikori has amassed a 52-11 match record and lifted four ATP World Tour trophies at the U.S. National Indoor Tennis Championships (Memphis), Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell, the Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur and the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships (Tokyo). He also finished runner-up in his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final at the Mutua Madrid Open.
Raonic has become the first player born in the 1990s to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. The 23-year-old Raonic, who has reached 13 tour-level quarter-finals (or better) in a career-best season, lifted one title at the Citi Open in Washington, where be beat Vasek Pospisil in the first all-Canadian final in the Open Era. He also finished runner-up to Nishikori at the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships (Tokyo) and reached two ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semi-finals at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome (l. to Djokovic) and the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati (l. to Federer). He reached his first Grand Slam semi-final at Wimbledon (l. to Federer). This year, Raonic has struck more than 1,000 aces in a season for the second time (also 2012).
The 2014 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals doubles field will feature 2003-04, ‘09 titlists Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan, 2008 and 2010 champions Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic, Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares, this year’s Roland Garros titlists Julien Benneteau and Edouard Roger-Vasselin, Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau, 2012 season finale winners Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez, Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo, and Australian Open titlists Lukasz Kubot and Robert Lindstedt. The Bryans have already clinched the year-end No. 1 Emirates ATP Doubles Team Ranking for a record 10th time.
The Barclays ATP World Tour Finals has welcomed more than 1.25 million fans to The O2 arena over the past five years, establishing itself as the biggest indoor tennis tournament in the world since moving to London in 2009. Tickets can be purchased at: www.BarclaysATPWorldTourFinals.com.