The ATP Finals are nearly upon us to bring the curtain down on another brilliant season of men’s tennis – and we have everything you need to know about it.
The ATP Finals is the culmination of the men’s tennis season and is contested each year by the top eight players in the world.
Qualification is determined by ranking points over the course of the year, giving players incentive to carry on pushing themselves even after the last Grand Slam of the season.
The format of the competition is slightly different to other competitions on the ATP Tour too. It is similar to the football world cup in the sense that players are first divided into groups and play round-robin matches to attempt to qualify for the knockout phase.
The final standing of each group is determined by the first of the following methods that apply:
a) Greatest number of wins;
b) Greatest number of matches played (2-1 won-loss record beats a 2-0 won-loss record; a 1-2 record beats a 1-0 record)
c) Head-to-head results if only two (2) players are tied.
If three players are tied, a very complicated formula is applied, but that’s very rare.
In 2019, they’ll take place over the course of seven days from November 10 to November 17.
Where are the ATP Finals played?
As in previous years, the ATP Finals will be held at The O2 Arena in London. That has been the tournament’s home from 2009 when its modern incarnation began.
However, from 2021 they will have a new home, with Turin in Italy winning the bidding war earlier this year.
Rather neatly, the 2019 ATP Finals will be contested by the current top eight ranked players in the world. That could change, however, with world No 1 Rafael Nadal currently an injury doubt.
Should he fail to make it, world No 9 Roberto Bautista Agut will step into his spot.
Like with semi-finals qualification, there is a quite complicated criteria for qualification, with a player ranked 8-20 in the world able to qualify should they win a Grand Slam. However, this year, with the Grand Slams neatly divided up between Novak Djokovic and Nadal, that hasn’t been necessary.
The full line-up (world ranking in brackets)
Group Andre Agassi
Rafael Nadal (1)
Daniil Medvedev (4)
Stefanos Tsitsipas (6)
Alexander Zverev (7)
Group Bjorn Borg
Novak Djokovic (2)
Roger Federer (3)
Dominic Thiem (5)
Matteo Berrettini (8)
Prestige is the first prize. After all, only Grand Slams rank higher than the ATP Finals in terms of importance on the Tour.
This year, ranking points will be valuable too, with Nadal and Djokovic righting it out for the coveted year-end world No 1 spot.
Nadal currently has a 640-point lead over the Serb, who finished 2018 as the year-end No 1, but with 200 points on offer for every round robin win, 400 for a semi-final win, and 500 for the winner, players are able to accumulate a very impressive total over the course of the week.
The $1,280,000 for the winner must be nice too, of course.
Yes, but you’ll need an Amazon Prime or TennisTV subscription to access them in the UK.
ESPN, Tennis Channel, Eurosport, BeIN Sport, and TSN are among the ATP’s official international broadcast partners.
Novak Djokovic is the favourite with bookies, probably due to Rafael Nadal’s injury concerns. In fact, 11/2 Nadal is fourth favourite with Bet365 and many others behind 5/1 Medvedev, 4/1 Federer, and 5/4 Djokovic.
Defending champion Zverev can be backed at around 12/1, just ahead of the 14/1 pair Dominic Thiem and Stefanos Tsitsipas ,who won the Next Gen Finals last season.
Newcomer to the top 10 Matteo Berrettini is the clear outsider at around 25/1.
World number one still not keen…
Rafa hails Aussie warrior.
Top seed thrashes compatriot.
Serena Williams is not done yet…
WTA top ten continue to suffer upsets.
Roger Federer survives John Millman onslaught.
Milos Raonic guns down Stefanos Tsitsipas.
It’s all going according to plan for Novak Djokovic.