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Barclays ATP World Tour Finals

Novak Djokovic lifts Barclays-sponsored trophyI’ve been in quarantine for the last few months; barred from writing, talking or farting about anything to do with music.

That’s because I’m a Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize judge, and it’s not good form to be seen to comment on a competition that one is involved in deciding the outcome of.

At least, this is what we were all told in a recent memo from Barclays.

A couple of days after James Blake picked up his prize for Album of the Year, the bank announced it had suspended six traders being investigated by regulators over allegations they manipulated the foreign exchange market.

I guess those guys didn’t get the memo?

Anyway, given the week’s events, and the fact that Barclays is currently being sued for the last major scandal it was involved with, I thought it would be wise to avoid the music scene for a while. You know, lay low. We wouldn’t want anyone to find out about my trip to the bookies on the day of the Mercury awards, would we? No.

So instead I’ve been assigned to cover another Barclays-sponsored event. The ATP World Tour Finals, which started today. It’s tennis, apparently.

It’s a great event for Barlcays to sponsor, too. It features only the eight best men in the world that aren’t injured. And that means more opportunities for the eight richest tennis players to earn more bucket-loads of cash, while the poorer ones stay at home and play with their Wiis.

But this is good because Roger Federer could really do with another chance to flog his clothing brand, before he retires. Hopefully he’ll win the trophy again, too, so we can see what the latest Rolex watch looks like on the wrist of a Swiss champion.

If not, maybe Stanislas Wawrinka could get a slice of the action. He’s also Swiss, and he’s making his debut at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in the O2 Arena this year.

Wawrinka has said he would celebrate winning the tournament by eating a 200g Toblerone bar. Swiss chocolate is vital to his training regime, apparently.

Defending champ Novak Djokovic will surely have something to say about the outcome, however. He’s desperate to win back his Number 1 ranking from that handsome little Spanish scamp, Rafa Nadal, and has been preparing for the tournament by driving around the M25 in a Mercedes Benz, for whom he is a brand ambassador.

Novak says he’d still be slumming it in Serbia if it wasn’t for the automotive giants powering him to six grand slam victories.

Alas, Andy Murray must be feeling like a right plonker. The Wimbledon champion has had to miss the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals because of his decision to undergo surgery on his troublesome back.

But I guess this sort of misfortune is always likely to befall you when you team up with a retarded state-backed conglomerate like Royal Bank of Scotland.

I’d stick to property development if I were you, Andy. At least five-star hotels don’t disappear just when you need to make a booking.

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