Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and the rest of the ATP’s top players met with British Prime Minister David Cameron at No. 10 Downing Street on Thursday as part of the pre-World Tour Finals publicity. But was the meeting more John le Carré than John McEnroe?
The Prime Minister gives the official reason for the visit (via the ATP):
“It’s fantastic that the ATP World Tour Finals tournament is back in London for the second year running. It’s great for London and great for the country. I am 100% behind Britain hosting high profile sporting events such as this. With the Olympics, the Rugby Union and Rugby League World Cups, the Cricket World Cup and hopefully the FIFA World Cup all taking place here over the next few years, this is an exciting time for sport in the UK and a great opportunity to build a tremendous sporting legacy.
“I hope that seeing the world’s top players compete right on our doorstep, including Britain’s very own Andy Murray, will inspire our next generation of sporting heroes.”
A careful reading reveals the Prime Minister’s true motives: “hopefully the FIFA World Cup.”
Andy Murray claims the visit was all fun and games:
“It’s the second time I’ve been here. It was nice. He [David Cameron] likes tennis, which we knew beforehand. We spoke about tennis and some of the past players. It was good fun, I really enjoyed it.”
Yet I detect some underlying strain:
Murray refuses to cave under media scrutiny:
Rafael Nadal shows a beaming public face:
But a moment of quiet contemplation hints at hidden secrets:
Roger Federer, affable tennis star:
Or undercover agent?
David Ferrer draws unwanted attention:
Photo op or international incident?
The Prime Minister disappears with a trace, replaced by a steely eyed Czech.
The plot thickens on Sunday at the O2 arena.