ATP Finals in London 2020 Recap

The ATP Finals is the second most significant tournament in men's tennis outside of the Grand Slams. The season-ending event has a unique format featuring the top eight singles and doubles players in the year. It debuted in 1970 when Stan Smith took the trophy at the expense of Rod Laver. Ilie Nastase went on to win four of the next five events, narrowly losing the remaining final to Guillermo Vilas in 1974.

Host cities

The tournament has mostly been played on hard and carpet courts with a single exception, as the 1974 event took place on Melbourne's grass-court at Kooyong Stadium. As many as 15 cities have had the honor of housing the "fifth Grand Slam," in the following order:

• Tokyo
• Paris
• Barcelona
• Boston
• Melbourne
• Stockholm
• Houston
• New York City
• Frankfurt
• Hannover
• Lisbon
• Sydney
• Shanghai
• Houston
• London

London was the most frequent host as the world's best players gathered for as many as 11 years in the British capital. has provided tips and reviews for this tournament since 2013. The previous event (2020) that marked London's farewell from the tournament is set to be played in Turin until 2025.

The most successful players

Arguably the best player in the history of the game, Roger Federer, is a record-holder. The legendary Swiss won the ATP Finals as many as six times. However, he has not taken the crown in London since 2011 when he defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in three close sets.

Ivan Lendl, Novak Djokovic, and Pete Sampras have won it five times each. Ilie Nastase has four titles, while the likes of Boris Becker and John McEnroe won it three times. The list of multiple winners is concluded with the names of Bjorn Borg and Lleyton Hewitt (two apiece).

The following stars have managed to lift the prestigious trophy once in their careers:

• Andre Agassi
• Stan Smith
• Stefan Edberg
• Nikolay Davydenko
• Guillermo Vilas
• Manuel Orantes
• Jimmy Connors
• Michael Stich
• Alex Corretja
• Gustavo Kuerten
• David Nalbandian
• Andy Murray
• Grigor Dimitrov
• Alexander Zverev
• Stefanos Tsitipas
• Daniil Medvedev

Interestingly, Rafael Nadal, who is considered one of the best players ever, has never won the event. The man who took 13 (!) French Open titles never got his hands on the ATP Finals trophy.

The 2020 Nitto ATP Finals

The top eight men players in the world gathered in London to take on each other in the 51st edition of the season-ending event. The last London tournament was played from Nov. 15th to 22nd. Symbolically, the groups were named after the maiden and the last ATP Finals tournaments.

Group Tokyo 1970

Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev, and Diego Schwartzman were drawn into the Tokyo 1970 group. All of them, except for Schwartzman (who made a debut here) had genuine chances of advancing before the tournament began. The predictions proved to be accurate since the Argentine player, who has enjoyed the best season of his life, left the English capital with three losses.

Diego got off to a wrong-footed start taking no more than five games in a clash with World No 1 Novak Djokovic. He then stole a set but still lost to Sascha Zverev, before suffering another straight-sets defeat to Daniil Medvedev in the last match of the group phase.

Schwartzman was the weakest player in the group as an 8th seed, but the top seed was not the best in London. Instead, it was the world No 4, Daniil Medvedev. The Russian stormed past each of his three initial opponents without dropping a set along the way. He was particularly impressive in the second round, beating the Serbian heavyweight 6-3, 6-3.

Novak thus had to claw his way back and edge past Sascha Zverev in two tight sets in what was a decider for the second place in the group.

Group London 2020

The other group was supposed to be much more exciting and it did justify the expectations. Dominic Thiem secured the top spot by beating Stefanos Tsitsipas and Rafael Nadal in two superb displays. He then lost to Andrey Rublev in a match without any significance whatsoever.

Nadal and Tsitsipas thus played each other in the direct battle for the second place as the Spaniard found the way to come on top after three thrilling sets. Rublev had to satisfy with the last place although he got a win over Thiem as a consolation.

Daniil Medvedev's brilliance

We've thus come to the semi-final clashes. These were the bouts of heavyweights as Medvedev played Nadal and Thiem went on Djokovic. While fans thrived to see the all-time greats in the final, neither Nadal nor Djokovic had an answer to stellar performances from Medvedev and Thiem.

Dominic Thiem survived after going 0-4 down in a deciding set tie-break against the world No. 1 (how impressive was that?), while Daniil came back from a set behind against Nadal who has never been more motivated to get his first ATP Finals trophy.

The final itself brought the drama as well, just as it was expected. Medvedev showed class and turned things around once again, completing his brilliant week with a perfect record of five wins in five matches in London. His victory is even more impressive if we know that he has beaten the top three players in the world en route. He also came from behind to see off Thiem after falling in straight sets to the Austrian in the U.S. Open semifinal this year. Well done, Daniil.

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