The ATP World Tour Finals (also known as the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals for sponsorship reasons) is a professional tennistournament played on indoor hard courts, and is held annually in November at the O2 Arena in London, United Kingdom. The ATP World Tour Finals are the season-ending championships of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) World Tour, featuring the top eight singles players and doubles teams of the ATP Rankings. The current champions (2012) are Novak Djokovic in singles, andMarcel Granollers and Marc López in doubles. The 2012 edition started off on 5 November and ended on 12 November 2012.
Unlike most of the other events on the men's tour, the ATP World Tour Finals is not a straightforward knock-out tournament. Eight players are divided into two groups of four, and play three round-robin matches each against the other three players in their group. From there, the two players with the best records in each group progress to the semifinals, with the winners meeting in the final to determine the champion. Winners are awarded up to 1500 rankings points.
The event is the fourth evolution of a championship which began in 1970. It was originally known as the Masters Grand Prix and was part of the Grand Prix Tennis Circuit. It was organised by the International Lawn Tennis Federation (ILTF) ITF. It ran alongside the competing WCT Finals the other season ending championships for the rival World Championship Tennis Tour. The Masters was a year-end showpiece event between the best players on the men's tour, but did not count for any world ranking points.
In 1990, the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) took over the running of the men's tour and replaced the Masters with the ATP Tour World Championship. World ranking points were now at stake, with an undefeated champion earning the same number of points they would for winning one of the four Grand Slam events. The ITF, who continued to run the Grand Slam tournaments, created a rival year-end event known as the Grand Slam Cup, which was contested by the 16 players with the best records in Grand Slam competitions that year. In December 1999, the ATP and ITF agreed to discontinue the two separate events and create a new jointly-owned event called the Tennis Masters Cup. As with the Masters Grand Prix and the ATP Tour World Championships, the Tennis Masters Cup was contested by eight players. However, under the rules of the Tennis Masters Cup, the player who is ranked number eight in the ATP Champion's Race world rankings does not have a guaranteed spot. If a player who wins one of the year's Grand Slam events finishes the year ranked outside the top eight but still within the top 20, he would have been included in the Tennis Masters Cup instead of the eighth-ranked player. If two players outside the top eight won Grand Slam events, the higher placed player in the world rankings would take the final spot in the Tennis Masters Cup.
In 2009 the Masters was renamed to the ATP World Tour Finals and got scheduled to be held at The O2 in London from 2009 to 2013. In 2012 the organisers extended the contract by two years up to 2015. For many years, the doubles event was held as a separate tournament the week after the singles competition, but more recently they have been held together in the same week and venue. Like the singles competition, the doubles involves the eight most successful teams on the tour each year, and starts with a group phase with each team playing three round-robin matches.
Roger Federer holds the record for the most titles, with six.