Online Sport Editor Harry Scott-Munro looks back at the iconic moments from the ATP World Tour Finals time in London.
And so the curtain has come down on a global tennis season like no other. Disruptions and cancellations, controversies and miraculous moments.
2020 did signal one thing though; the final ATP World Tour Finals event to be held in London, before the annual event moves to Turin from 2021. London has hosted the season ending event for the best eight male singles players and doubles pairs in the world since 2009, seeing a remarkable eight different winners in twelve years, (Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic being the only players to win in London more than once.)
2020 was no different, as Russian Daniil Medvedev beat newly crowned US Open Champion Dominic Thiem to secure the biggest title of his career so far. His victory meant that he became the first player to have defeated the world’s top three players in any ATP Finals competition, having beaten Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem on his way to the final.
As the curtain falls on the tournaments time in London, this article will look back on some of the iconic moments from the tournament’s history in the capital.
Davydenko’s Delight: 2009
2009 saw London host the World Tour Finals for the first time, Nikolay Davydenko beating Juan-Martin Del Potro in the final to secure the biggest title of his career. Davydenko’s unexpected victory over newly crowned US Open Champion Juan-Martin Del Potro saw him become the first Russian to win the World Tour Finals, having beaten Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at their peak to reach the final. He became the first World Tour Finals champion to have not previously reached a Grand Slam final, proving that if a player arrived on a hot streak, they could truly upset the odds.
Federer’s Record: 2011
Whilst the 2011 tournament went largely as expected, Roger Federer winning the title for the second consecutive year, it marked a crucial moment, as the Fed express became the first man in history to win six season ending tour events, having also won when the event was staged in Houston and Shanghai.
Murray’s Moment: 2016
Andy Murray arrived at the 2016 event having recently become World Number 1 for the first time in his career. Murray had never previously reached the final of the event and knew that in facing Novak Djokovic in the final, the winner would hold the year-end world number 1 position. Murray’s straight-sets victory saw him hold the position, also becoming the first player to win a Grand Slam, the ATP World Tour Finals, the men’s singles at the Olympic Games and a Masters 1000 title in the same calendar year, completing the set in front of an adoring British crowd.
The Next Gen Arrives: 2018
The 2018 iteration of the tournament saw Sacha Zverev win the biggest title of his career, beating Federer in the semi-finals and Djokovic in the final to signal the long-awaited arrival of the new generation of talent coming through on the ATP Tour. Zverev’s victory at just 21, accompanied by his humility in his hilarious victory speech introduced the tennis world to the new star, signalling for the first time that the dominance of Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray at the pinnacle of the sport was finally being challenged.
Marvellous Medvedev Wins a Surreal Finale: 2020
Daniil Medvedev had the honour of winning the final ATP World Tour Finals to be staged in London, beating Dominic Thiem in the sparse echoey chamber of the 02 Arena, with no fans in attendance as Covid-19 restrictions gripped the sporting world. The tournament was also the 50th anniversary of the Tour Finals event, with the top four players in the world all reaching the semi-finals for the first time since 2004. Medvedev’s performance, fighting back to defeat Thiem, reasserted his challenge to the other top players in the world, bookending the tournaments time in London with a pair of Russian champions.
The tournaments time in London saw $78.8 million paid out in prize money to players, with other 850 million viewers globally and 2.8 million fans attending across the twelve years. The tournaments time in London also saw over $2 million raised for charity.
So farewell to the London ATP World Tour Finals, it’s been historic, emotional and provided iconic moments that we’ll never forget.