ATP Finals: Peers and Kontinen peaking to perfection
Australian John Peers and Finnish partner Henri Kontinen could not be in better form as they kick off their ATP Finals campaign in London on Monday night.
Few teams arrive at The O2 in London this week in better form that John Peers and Henri Kontinen.
The Aussie-Finnish duo qualified for the eight-team World Tour Finals field after winning their opening match at the Paris Masters – the last tournament before the season finale – and then went all the way to the title.
It was the first ATP Masters 1000 trophy for either player.
Having also reached the final at the Shanghai Masters in October, they have won nine of their last 11 matches.
Peers and Kontinen face Spaniards Feliciano and Marc Lopez in their first round-robin match on Monday evening in London.
“Over the year Henri and I have learned more and more about each other as we have played more matches together. We continued to improve this year … That has been the biggest factor for us,” Peers told tennis.com.au.
“No matter the results from week to week, we have continued to work hard together to make the team better.”
— John Peers (@johnwpeers) November 10, 2016
Last year, Peers played with Jamie Murray while Kontinen competed with a range of partners – primarily Treat Huey and Marin Draganja.
Yet when those respective partnerships ended, Peers and Kontinen teamed up for their first time at the Brisbane International in 2016 – and won the tournament.
Since falling in the second round of the Australian Open and exiting at the first hurdle in Dubai, Indian Wells and Miami, they went on to win a further three ATP titles – in Munich (250), Hamburg (500) and Paris (1000).
“It’s been a fun year and one that we have grown in our partnership together,” said Peers, evidenced by the increasing stature of the trophies they collected throughout 2016.
“When results may not have gone as planned, we never got distracted from what we were trying to do. We kept building and looking to improve and it was nice to get those rewards at this time of year.”
Prior to Shanghai, Peers and Kontinen clung to eighth place in the ATP Race to London by a meagre 30 points.
Their strong form in the past month has propelled them into fifth place.
“The biggest thing is now we cannot stop now,” Peers said. “We have to stay focused and continue to work.”
— John Peers (@johnwpeers) November 13, 2016