The ATP Tour Finals are in Turin for the third consecutive year, and there are four former year-end finals champions…
The ATP Tour Finals are in Turin for the third consecutive year, and there are four former year-end finals champions in the field.
Novak Djokovic, obviously, leads the 2023 field in year-end finals wins with 6 titles, he is also the defending champion from 2022. Djokovic’s 6 ties the record for the highest number of year-end finals wins in ATP Tour history with Roger Federer, who won his in three different locations.
Alexander Zverev has won this event twice (2018 & 2021), Daniil Medvedev was the last London champion in 2020, and Stefanos Tsitsipas was the champion in 2019.
The ATP Tour Year-End Finals Evolution
The reason that we have to refer to ‘year-end finals’ rather than simply the ATP Tour Finals is because the championships have been through multiple changes over the years.
The inauguration of a year-end tournament was in 1970, when the tour began. From 1970 to 1989 it was referred to as the Masters Grand Prix and was won by most of the top legendary names in the men’s game.
Initially it was held in a different city every year, but Romanian Ilie Nastase made it a habit to win almost wherever it went. Nastase won the title four times in Paris, Barcelona, Boston, and Stockholm, to be the first real legend of the competition.
New York City then became the spiritual home of this event and though Jimmy Connors won the first one in 1977, it would become dominated by John McEnroe (1978, 1983, 1984), Bjorn Borg (1979, 1980), and, later, Ivan Lendl (1981, 1982, 1985, 1986, 1987).
ATP Tour World Championships (1990-1999)
The tournament underwent a new lick of paint for the final decade of the twentieth century and new venues in Germany: Frankfurt and Hannover. This did help Michael Stich (1993), and definitely Boris Becker (1988, 1992, 1995). Becker was an eight-time finalist in total, behind only Federer and Lendl in that mark.
Pete Sampras (1991, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1999) was the dominant force of the ATP Tour World Championships though, winning five crowns in the 1990s.
Tennis Masters Cup (2000-2008)
The tournament returned to a more nomadic state again for the 21st century as the Tennis Masters Cup. Gustavo Kuerten won his only title in Lisbon in 2000, Lleyton Hewitt won back-to-back, and then Roger Federer began to take over.
The Swiss maestro won in Houston in 2003 and 2004, then lost an epic to alternate David Nalbandian in 2005, Shanghai’s first season, but came back to win again in 2006 and 2007.
Shanghai also saw Novak Djokovic win his first year-end finals in 2008 against Nikolay Davydenko.
ATP World Tour Finals (2009-2016) & ATP Finals (2017-Now)
Another big rebrand came in 2009 alongside a huge multi-year deal to play in London at the O2 Arena. This deal extended to 2020 in the end and as such, has been the longest stretch of consistency in the event’s history.
Davydenko won the first London edition in 2009, but then back came Federer for the next two years. The Swiss also made the final in three of the next four years, but found Novak Djokovic in supreme form as the Serbian won four in a row, the only player to do so in history.
Since that 2015 Djokovic victory though, there has been a new champion in most years. Andy Murray won his first and only title in 2016, then Grigor Dimitrov triumphed over David Goffin in 2017. The remaining champions all consist of the players that we will see in Turin next week.
Turin took over the contract from London in 2021.
ATP Finals Records
Most Titles – Roger Federer & Novak Djokovic (6)
Most Finals – Roger Federer (10)
Most Consecutive Titles – Novak Djokovic (4)
Most Year-End Finals match wins – Roger Federer (59)
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