Yesterday, the 50th edition of the ATP Finals 2020 in London has officially commenced with the victory of Rafael Nadal against Andrey Rublev 6-3 6-4. This will be the last edition to be held at the O2 Arena in London before moving to Italy. From 2021 to 2025, the ATP Finals will be held in Turin.
In London, the Nitto ATP Finals have been on stage since 2009 and have seen several players’ triumphs. After the four consecutive titles of Novak Djokovic from 2012 to 2015, there have been four different winners: Andy Murray in 2016, Grigor Dimitrov in 2017, Alexander Zverev in 2018 and Stefanos Tsitsipas won against Domic Thiem last year.
This year we find again some of the protagonists of the last editions at the ATP Finals. The participants are the 8 best ranked players at the end of the season. However, since Roger Federer, who occupies the fifth place, had to forfeit, not having returned to the field after the lockdown following a knee operation, his place was taken by the Argentine Diego Schwartzman, in ninth place in the ATP ranking.
Once again, Novak Djokovic arrives at the ATP Finals as number 1, having collected 11,830 points. Second spot for Rafael Nadal with 9,850. The Serbian is on the hunt for the sixth title after those won in 2008 and for four consecutive years (2012 to 2015), while Rafa Nadal, incredibly, has never won this tournament, even though he arrived twice in the final: in 2010 he lost to Federer, in 2013 Nadal lost to Djokovic.
Rafa and Nole are, of course, the main favorites for the victory, but the last four editions taught us that we must always pay attention to the outsiders and that the young newcomers who landed in London are ready to give battle to the two tennis super-champions.
If he could win again this year, Novak Djokovic would reach Roger Federer at the top of the ranking of the most winning players ever of the ATP Finals: Federer, in fact, has triumphed six times (2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2011). Nadal, on the other hand, has one of the last chances to win a trophy that is still missing in his career.
In this edition, Djokovic is included in the Tokyo 1970 group (in memory of the first edition of this tournament) together with Russian Daniil Medvedev, German Alexander Zverev and Argentine Diego Schwartzman, while Nadal is in the London 2020 group with the two finalists of last year, Austrian Dominic Thiem and Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, joined by Russian Andrey Rublev, who won five titles and 40 matches this year. In this group, also two matches have been played. In the first one, Dominic Thiem has defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas for 7-6 4-6 6-3 while, in the second match, Rafael Nadal has won against Andrey Rublev in two straight sets (6-3 6-4).
Let’s remember briefly the formula that sees the eight players divided into two round-robin, who will face three games each in the group, then, the first two of each group will enter the semi-finals crossed. In other words, the first of the group Tokyo 1970 will face the second of the group London 2020 and the first of the group London 2020 will face the second of the group Tokyo 2020. In the group stage each victory gives a useful point for the group standings. In relation to the APT ranking, there are 200 points for each victory in the round-robin, 400 for the semi-finals and 500 for the final. The undefeated champion gains a total of 1500 points. The ATP Finals, in fact, are halfway between a Masters 1000 and a Slam tournament (which gives 2000 points in total), the two most important categories of ATP tournaments.