ATP WTF Champions over the years; A historical perspective


The ATP World Tour finals will be played at the 02, London from 12th to 19th November 2019. The 2017 edition is sponsored by Nitto who have guaranteed sponsorship till 2020 and hence it will be called the Nitto ATP Finals.

Brief History; In the evolution of this tournament, this is the 4th stage of change. Let us look at all four stages so far.

Masters Grand Prix

Bjorn Borg

 From 1970 to 1989 it was known as the Masters Grand Prix. The 1st ever winner in 1970 was Stan Smith who defeated the great Rod Laver. The last winner was Stefan Edberg in 1989 who defeated Boris Becker. Multiple winners included Ivan Lendl who won as many as 5 times, Ilie Nastase who won 4 times, John Mcenroe who won thrice and Bjorn Borg who won twice.

Those who won once are Stan Smith, Guillermo Vilas, Manuel Orantes, Jimmy Connors and Stefan Edberg. Boris Becker won once but became a multiple winner later on.

There were multiple venues in Tokyo, Paris, Barcelona, Boston, Melbourne, Stockholm, Houston and New York City

ATP Tour World Championships

Ivan Lendl and John Mcenroe

From 1990 to 1999  the event was played at Frankfurt and Hanover. Sampras won it as many as 5 times. Becker won twice to make it 3 for him. Agassi, Corretza and Michael Stich won once each.

Tennis Masters Cup

Pete Sampras

From 2000 to 2008 the event was called the Tennis masters Cup and was played at Lisbon, Sydney, Houston and Shanghai.  Till 2007 it was a best of five sets event and since 2008 it has become a best of 3 sets event.

Federer won the first 4 of his overall 6 in this edition. These 4 were best of 5 set wins. Hewitt won 2 times while Gustavo Kuerten won once and Djokovic won the 1st of his 5 wins in 2008. Nalbandian won once which was over Federer in an incredible match coming back from 2 sets down to win 6-7, 6-7, 6-2,  6-1, 7-6. Interestingly Nalbandian-federer is once of the curious tennis rivalries and Federer lost 5 in a row before the rivalry was at 8-8 and then Federer won 3 in a row to finish their career head-to-head at 11-8.

The ATP World Tour Finals

Since 2009, this premier event is called the ATP World Tour Finals and is played at London. Federer won his 5th and 6th while Novak won 4 in a row to make it 5 overall. Davydenko was a surprise winner in 2009 when he defeated Del Potro while last year was a memorable Final when the winner would end the year as World Number 1 and Andy Murray triumphed over Novak Djokovic in straight sets.

Novak Djokovic

If one has a look at the multiple winners we see Federer with 6, Novak, Sampras and Lendl with 5 each, Nastase with 4 and Mcenroe and Becker being 3 time champions.

Nadal has not won which is surprising given his fierce competitiveness. He has entered the finals twice but has lost once each to Federer and Djokovic. Will it be third time lucky for him. Or will Federer win his 7th.

Looking forward to a great year ending event and may the best player win.

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