ATP World Tour Finals
The ATP World Tour Finals is the season-ending competition in men's professional tennis, featuring the top-eight singles players (and doubles teams) in the world rankings. Participants are split into two groups of four for round-robin play before traditional semifinal and final rounds determine a champion. Evolved from the year-end tournament known as the Masters Grand Prix that began in 1970, the ATP World Tour Finals has been held at the O2 Arena in London since 2009, when Barclays became the event sponsor. Roger Federer won a record-breaking sixth season-ending title in 2011.
The origin of the ATP World Tour Finals dates back to 1970, when the International Tennis Federation set up a grand prix structure of year-long events to culminate with a Masters event in Tokyo in December that featured the top-ranking men's players for that season. (The ITF rival tour, the World Championship Tennis Tour, also featured a season-ending event at the time, the WCT Finals.)
Ilie Nastase won four Masters titles in five appearances between 1971 and 1975, as the ITF became linked with the Association of Tennis Professionals, which would eventually run the men's tour. The year-end Masters moved to other major cities around the world in its first decade, including Paris, Barcelona, Boston, Melbourne, Stockholm, and Houston, before establishing a home at Madison Square Garden in New York from 1977 to 1989.
Bjorn Borg of Sweden won back-to-back events in 1979 and 1980, while American John McEnroe won three titles in his hometown. Ivan Lendl reached nine consecutive finals from 1980 to 1988, winning the championship in five of those years.
The event's name was changed to the ATP Tour World Championships in 1990, and it was held in Frankfurt and Hanover in Germany from 1990 to 1999. Those championships were dominated by Pete Sampras of the U.S., who won five titles during that period to tie Lendl's record mark.
The ITF and ATP made additional changes after the 1999 competition, when the ATP Tour World Championship and the men's Grand Slam Cup (a tourney held between 1990 and 1999) were discontinued and replaced by a new jointly owned, year-end men's event called the Tennis Masters Cup. Brazilian Gustavo Kuerten made history in the inaugural Tennis Masters Cup (played in Lisbon, Portugal) by becoming the first South American to finish the year with ATP's No. 1 ranking by defeating Sampras and Andre Agassi in the semifinals and final, respectively.
Australian Lleyton Hewitt won on home soil when the Tennis Masters Cup moved to Sydney in 2001, and he repeated as champion the following year in Shanghai. After two years in Houston -- with Roger Federer of Switzerland the victor both times -- the tournament returned to Shanghai for a four-year run from 2005 to 2008. Federer won successive titles in 2006 and 2007 before Novak Djokovic captured his first Tennis Masters Cup in 2008.
The event was renamed in 2009 as the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, with the O2 Arena in London named as host for the 2009 through 2012 tournaments. After Nikolay Davydenko won the 2009 edition, Federer claimed the trophy for a fifth time in 2010, equaling the mark of most individual titles set by Lendl and Sampras. He followed that up with another win in 2011, setting the event record with his sixth championship.
With just eight players qualifying for the ATP World Tour Finals, the format of the event is structured differently than regular tour tournaments. At the World Tour Finals, the entrants are placed into two groups of four players, with round-robin match play determining the four semifinalists (top two finishers from each group) and the format thereafter being a single-elimination competition. (All matches are best-of-three, tiebreak sets, including the final.)
Qualification of entrants for the ATP World Tour Finals is based on ATP Tour rankings for that calendar year:
1. A selection list for the event includes:
a) The top seven players in the ATP rankings as of the Monday after the final ATP World Tour tournament of the calendar year;
b) Up to two Grand Slam winners from that year, in order of their positions, ranked between 8 and 20 in the ATP rankings as of that qualification date; and
c) Players positioned eight and below in the ATP rankings as of that qualification date.
2. Direct Acceptances: The top-eight players in the selection list qualify for the event as direct acceptances. All direct acceptances must be available for play through the completion of the round-robin competition and the knockout competition, if eligible. Any withdrawal is replaced by the next highest positioned player on the selection list.
The O2 Arena is a multipurpose indoor arena located in London that has hosted numerous sporting events and musical/entertainment acts. Part of a larger O2 entertainment complex on the Greenwich peninsula in London, the arena was opened in 2007 after three years of construction that redeveloped the Millennium Dome venue that housed the Millennium Experience in the city.
With an overall diameter of 365 meters and a volume equal to two of London's old Wembley Stadiums, the O2 Arena is the second largest arena in the United Kingdom. Various seating arrangements can be set up for events at the arena, which can hold a maximum capacity of 20,000.
The O2 Arena has played host to NHL regular-season games, NBA exhibition games, a number of UFC mixed martial arts events and the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in 2009. The facility was selected to serve as the home for tennis' ATP World Tour Finals from 2009 to 2012 and will become a venue for gymnastics and basketball events at the 2012 Olympic Games.
ATP World Tour Finals Year-by-Year Results
|2011||London||Roger Federer||Jo-Wilfried Tsonga||6-3, 6-7, 6-3|
|2010||London||Roger Federer||Rafael Nadal||6-3, 3-6, 6-1|
|2009||London||Nikolay Davydenko||Juan Martin del Potro||6-3, 6-4|
|2008||Shanghai||Novak Djokovic||Nikolay Davydenko||6-1, 7-5|
|2007||Shanghai||Roger Federer||David Ferrer||6-2, 6-3, 6-2|
|2006||Shanghai||Roger Federer||James Blake||6-0, 6-3, 6-4|
|2005||Shanghai||David Nalbandian||Roger Federer||6-7, 6-7, 6-2, 6-1, 7-6|
|2004||Houston||Roger Federer||Lleyton Hewitt||6-3, 6-2|
|2003||Houston||Roger Federer||Andre Agassi||6-3, 6-0, 6-4|
|2002||Shanghai||Lleyton Hewitt||Juan Carlos Ferrero||7-5, 7-5, 2-6, 2-6, 6-4|
|2001||Sydney||Lleyton Hewitt||Sebastien Grosjean||6-3, 6-3, 6-4|
|2000||Lisbon||Gustavo Kuerten||Andre Agassi||6-4, 6-4, 6-4|
|1999||Hanover||Pete Sampras||Andre Agassi||6-1, 7-5, 6-4|
|1998||Hanover||Alex Corretja||Carlos Moya||3-6, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, 7-5|
|1997||Hanover||Pete Sampras||Yevgeny Kafelnikov||6-3, 6-2, 6-2|
|1996||Hanover||Pete Sampras||Boris Becker||3-6, 7-6, 7-6, 6-7, 6-4|
|1995||Frankfurt||Boris Becker||Michael Chang||7-6, 6-0, 7-6|
|1994||Frankfurt||Pete Sampras||Boris Becker||4-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-4|
|1993||Frankfurt||Michael Stich||Pete Sampras||7-6, 2-6, 7-6, 6-2|
|1992||Frankfurt||Boris Becker||Jim Courier||6-4, 6-3, 7-5|
|1991||Frankfurt||Pete Sampras||Jim Courier||3-6, 7-6, 6-3, 6-4|
|1990||Frankfurt||Andre Agassi||Stefan Edberg||5-7, 7-6, 7-5, 6-2|
|1989||New York||Stefan Edberg||Boris Becker||4-6, 7-6, 6-3, 6-1|
|1988||New York||Boris Becker||Ivan Lendl||5-7, 7-6, 3-6, 6-2, 7-6|
|1987||New York||Ivan Lendl||Mats Wilander||6-2, 6-2, 6-3|
|1986||New York||Ivan Lendl||Boris Becker||6-4, 6-4, 6-4|
|1985||New York||Ivan Lendl||Boris Becker||6-2, 7-6, 6-3|
|1984||New York||John McEnroe||Ivan Lendl||7-5, 6-0, 6-4|
|1983||New York||John McEnroe||Ivan Lendl||6-3, 6-4, 6-4|
|1982||New York||Ivan Lendl||John McEnroe||6-4, 6-4, 6-2|
|1981||New York||Ivan Lendl||Vitas Gerulaitis||6-7, 2-6, 7-6, 6-2, 6-4|
|1980||New York||Bjorn Borg||Ivan Lendl||6-4, 6-2, 6-2|
|1979||New York||Bjorn Borg||Vitas Gerulaitis||6-2, 6-2|
|1978||New York||John McEnroe||Arthur Ashe||6-7, 6-3, 7-5|
|1977||New York||Jimmy Connors||Bjorn Borg||6-4, 1-6, 6-4|
|1976||Houston||Manuel Orantes||Wojtek Fibak||5-7, 6-2, 0-6, 7-6, 6-1|
|1975||Stockholm||Ilie Nastase||Bjorn Borg||6-2, 6-2, 6-1|
|1974||Melbourne||Guillermo Vilas||Ilie Nastase||7-6, 6-2, 3-6, 3-6, 6-4|
|1973||Boston||Ilie Nastase||Tom Okker||6-3, 7-6, 4-6, 6-3|
|1972||Barcelona||Ilie Nastase||Stan Smith||6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 2-6, 6-3|
|1971||Paris||Ilie Nastase||Stan Smith||N/A (Round Robin)|
|1970||Tokyo||Stan Smith||Ilie Nastase||N/A (Round Robin)|
ATP WORLD TOUR FINALS QUICK FACTS
First played: 1970 (as Masters Grand Prix)
Current Venue: O2 Arena
Current City: London, England
Category: World Tour Finals
2012 Dates: Nov. 5-11
Prize Money: $4,450,000
2012 ATP WORLD TOUR FINALS FIELD
Juan Martin del Potro