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Volume 21 No. 2
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Plugged In: Andre Silva, director, Barclays ATP World Tour Finals

As tournament director of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London, Andre Silva oversees a smashing economic success that sells out the O2 Dome annually for eight days. This year’s total attendance of 261,247 made for the second consecutive year with more than 260,000 fans. Still, some players wish to see the event move around; the tournament has been in London since 2009 and will be there for at least two more years. Silva, a Brazilian, recently became a U.S. citizen, a long-held dream of his since coming to the country 21 years ago to play tennis. He talked here before the Finals, which concluded earlier this month.

I came to the U.S. from Brazil at 19 to play tennis professionally, and to be honest, I probably was not good enough. But I always had a dream of living in the U.S. and thought tennis would give me an education. After three years, I got a scholarship.

Photo by: ATP
Should the Finals stay in London?: The British fans are very knowledgeable and they appreciate the game, and for them it is a great opportunity if they cannot make it to Wimbledon. It provides them another tennis platform for them to enjoy. It helps being in Europe. Europe likes its tennis; they embrace it. We have fans coming from all parts of Europe.
But will the event stay?: I believe London is the right marketplace for us.
The Finals trophy is named after the late Brad Drewett, the former ATP leader who died in May. Talk about that: He is the guy who worked on the event for so long. He took it to China; he saved the event. … It is hard not to think about him and everything he did in a short period of time and the passion he had for sport. … For me in particular, he gave me this opportunity because we had a chance to work together. It is hard for me knowing this year he will not be there and be able to help me when I am confronted with some challenges.
Hardest question on the U.S. citizenship test?: The hardest question? They give you 100 questions; I felt all of them were pretty easy.

— By Daniel Kaplan