The ATP Finals in tennis is considered to be the second highest Men’s Tennis Tournament held annually. It is second in popularity after the four Grand Slam tournaments, also known as majors, the four most important annual tennis events in the world. This 7-day event is annually hosted at the O2 Arena in London every year in November.
The Early Beginnings of the ATP Finals
The tennis tournament evolved from the original Men’s Tennis Championship that began in the 1970’s. The ATP Finals is already the fourth evolution of the original Masters Grand Prix, one of the major events under the Grand Prix Tennis Circuit during the ’70s. Matches during that time were organized by the International Lawn Tennis Federation, the ILTF, founded in 1913, now known as the International Tennis Federation. It is the governing body in the world of tennis, including the area of beach tennis and wheelchair tennis. The Masters Grand Prix ran alongside the competing WCT Finals, the season ending championship event for the World Championship Tennis Circuit. The ATP Tour World Championship replaced the Masters in 1990 when the Association of Tennis Professionals took over the Men’s Singles Tennis tournaments. World ranking points were also introduced during that period, earning undefeated champion points to be able to qualify in the Grand Slam competitions.
The ATP Finals in London
In December 1999, the ATP Tour World Championship evolved into the Tennis Masters Cup. Matches for this cup were composed of eight top players that ranked in the ATP Champions Race. Winners of the Grand Slam events are also included in the cup even if they place out of the top eight in the ATP Champions Race. By the year 2009, the Tennis Masters Cup was renamed as the ATP World Tour Finals and since then was hosted in The O2 in London, United Kingdom. It was later renamed as the ATP Finals in 2007, still hosted in the O2 Arena. In 2021, the event will be hosted in one of these five shortlisted cities - London, Manchester, Tokyo, Turin and Singapore. Over 40 cities were considered to be the new home of the ATP Finals, with the 5 cities mentioned above as the top possible host for the upcoming ATP Finals 2021.