The Street League Skateboarding World Tour is a new multi-round event format that replaces the Pro Open event this year.
The format gives more skaters from around the world a chance of competing on to the World Tour. The tour starts in London this weekend and moves on to Los Angeles, U.S and for its third stop, the World Championships in Mexico City, Mexico.
In the men’s format skaters compete in the Global Open qualifiers, quarter-finals, and semi-finals to reach today’s finals. The women’s format is slightly different in that skaters reach the semi-finals directly after their Global Open qualifiers.
American Nyjah Huston and Australia’s Shane O’Neill are among the big names competing in London.
Tokyo qualifying starts here
Whoever it is that wins the SLS World Tour in London this weekend, the event is certain to go down in history as the first-ever Olympic qualifier in the sport of skateboarding.
The Open qualifying process allows local and other international skaters to compete for a chance to make the quarter-finals and semi-finals and perhaps even the final against some of the best-known skaters on the planet.
There were 45 different nations on show among the 154 qualifiers trying to become one of the 12 women or 10 men to compete against the elite competitors in the world at the Copper Box – itself an Olympic arena – over the weekend.
Why I love skateboarding
If you’re feeling inspired to give skateboarding a go, take a look at this video with Australian skateboard star Hayley Wilson.
She talks about her love of the sport and what it takes to become a top skateboarder. Novak Djokovic: World No. 1 Novak Djokovic represents the Group A. The Serb has seen a phenomenal rise in form and rankings in 2011 by producing breathtaking tennis – on a consistent note. Djokovic has won three Grand Slam titles this year in Melbourne, Wimbledon and New York and has an astounding 69-4 win-loss record for the season, so far. Overall, Djokovic has claimed 10 titles so far in the new season. His best outing at ATP World Tour Finals is title victory in 2008.
Andy Murray: The Super-Scot Andy Murray comes second in Group A. The Scot made it to the semi-finals of all four Grand Slam tournaments this year. He also finished as a runner-up in the Australian Open, earlier this year. By showing tremendous consistency on tour, Murray has surpassed Roger Federer for the first time in the Rankings and achieved his career’s best ranking of No. 3 – this season. Murray also enjoyed tremendous success on Asian hard-court swing with back-to-back title victories in Bangkok, Tokyo, and Shanghai. The Scot has a stellar 56-12 win-loss record for the season and has claimed 5 titles this year so far. His best outings at ATP World Tour Finals are semi-final appearances in 2008 and 2010.
David Ferrer: The feisty Spaniard David Ferrer who is overshadowed by his compatriot Rafael Nadal every now and then – in terms of getting the attention of the majority of people. He is one of the most consistent players on tour this season. The Spaniard did extremely well on his favorite surface clay to qualify for another ATP World Tour Finals tournament for the third time in his career. Ferrer started off the new season on a high note by claiming the title in Auckland and also finished as a semi-finalist at the Aussie Open – for the first time in his career. Ferrer has a very good 56-17 win-loss record for the season, with two ATP World Tour titles in his kitty. He finished as a runner-up in the 2007 ATP World Tour Finals.
Tomas Berdych: A hugely talented Czech, who can beat the bests in business on any given day – Tomas Berdych secured his berth in the final eight at this prestigious event after making it to the quarter-finals of the Paris Masters. The Czech earned his only ATP title this season in Beijing last month. Earlier this year, Berdych reached the quarter-finals of the Aussie Open but failed to repeat his last year’s feat at Wimbledon and lost to Mardy Fish in the fourth round. Berdych has a good 52-21 win-loss record this year. He qualified for the ATP World Tour Finals for the first time last year but failed to move beyond the round-robin stage.
Rafael Nadal: World No. 2 Rafael Nadal is placed at the top of the Group-B. The Spaniard had a fantastic run on tour last year, but he failed to continue in the same manner in 2011. Nadal is badly tormented by Novak Djokovic in 2011 as he has lost six finals to the Serbian in the new season. Consequently, the Spaniard was dropped to No. 2 in the ATP World Rankings. Nadal claimed his record-equalling sixth Roland Garros title earlier this year but failed to defend his Wimbledon and US Open titles. The Spaniard opted out of the Paris Masters due to an injury and he is expected to make a brilliant comeback in the 2011 ATP World Tour Finals. Nadal has a stellar 66-13 win-loss record for the season with 3 titles in his kitty. He finished as a runner-up in 2010 ATP World Tour Finals.
Roger Federer: Sixteenth Grand Slam titles winner and defending champion at ATP World Tour Finals, Roger Federer failed to win a single Grand Slam title this season for the first time since 2002. Consequently, his rankings plummeted and he dropped out of the top three spots in the rankings for the first time since July 2003. Federer has three titles to his name this year, which he won in Doha, Basel and recently in Paris Masters. His best showing at Grand Slam this year is runner-up appearance at Roland Garros. Though he is far from his best in the new season, the Swiss Ace has an impressive 59-12 win-loss record for the season. Federer is a five-time champion here at ATP World Tour Finals.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga: The unpredictable Frenchman produced his best results on grass this season, where he finished in the final of the Queen’s Club and also made it to the semis at Wimbledon before bowing out to eventual champion Novak Djokovic in four grueling sets. Tsonga earned titles in Metz and Vienna – both indoor tournaments and also finished as a runner-up to Roger Federer in Paris Masters. The Frenchman has a 52-22 win-loss record for the season. Last time he qualified for the ATP World Tour Finals in 2008 for the first time and failed to move beyond the round-robin stage.