Even as ATP’s showpiece event, the World Tour Finals, will be marking its 50th anniversary this year, the celebrations will be muted due to the pandemic.
The ATP Finals will be held at London’s O2 Arena from November 15 to 22 but behind closed doors. It is the last year that London will host the ATP Finals before they move to Turin in 2021.
The novel virus has affected life and business across the world, and tennis is no different. It has affected the prize money at most tournaments and the ATP Finals will also have reduced prize money this year.
Singles Prize Money: 2019 Vs 2020
|Round-robin match win||$215,000||$153,000|
|Semi-final match win||$657,000||$402,000|
Who is playing?
The top eight players this season have qualified for the elite event.
Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem, Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev will be competing in the tournament. Meanwhile, Andrey Rublev and Diego Schwartzman will be making their ATP Finals debut.
Tsitsipas had defeated Thiem in a thrilling three-setter in the 2019 final and is gunning to become the first player outside the Big 3 to defend the title since Andre Agassi in 2001.
The Greek made it to the semi-finals of the French Open this season but has been struggling with a leg injury since.
“It’s actually back to normal which I’m really happy to be feeling this way and feeling more free on the court,” Tsitsipas told atptour.com. “Injuries are always psychologically difficult to handle and they can drain you a lot. I am happy that I am back to normal.”
Life in the bubble
The players will be kept in a bio-secure bubble and will not be allowed to leave the hotel apart from the matches or practice. If they don’t follow the protocols they will be disqualified.
Each player is reportedly allowed to bring a maximum of three team members.
The players will be tested for Covid-19 before they enter the bubble but after that they will only be tested if they show any symptoms.
There will be no lines people on the court. Instead, the HawkEye live electronic line calling technology will be used.