50 ATP Finals facts on the eve of the 50th edition of the season-ending tournament at London
The Nitto ATP Finals is the season finale of the ATP season, pitting the season's best 8 singles players in a round-robin format followed by a semifinal and a final.
On the eve of the 50th anniversary of the season-finale tournament at 2019 London, let us look at 50 unique facts and records about the ATP Finals.
#1 Tournament Editions
The 2019 edition of the ATP Finals in London would be the 50th in tournament history.
#2 Tournament Format
1970-71: 6-player round-robin with no semifinal and final
1972-1981: 8-player round-robin with a semifinal and final
1982-1984: 12-player knockout
1985: 16-player knockout
1986-onwards: 8-player round-robin with a semifinal and final.
#3 Tournament Name
1970-1989: Masters Grand Prix
1990-1999: ATP World Tour Championships
2000-2008: Tennis Masters Cup
2009-2016: ATP World Tour Finals
2017 onwards: ATP Finals
#4 Host Cities
The ATP Finals has been hosted in the following cities over the years:
1977-1989: New York
#5 Tournament Surface
The 49 previous editions of the ATP Finals have been held on 3 of the 4 surfaces: Carpet (28), Hard (20), and Grass (1). The tournament has never been played on clay, partly due to a preponderance of tournaments on the surface in the season, and the time of year.
Except for 1974 (outdoor grass), all other editions of the tournament have been played indoors.
2006 onwards: Hard
#6 Playing field
Except for the years 1970-71, and 1982-85, the ATP Finals has always featured an 8-player field in a round-robin format followed by a semifinal and a final.
1970: 6 players
1971: 7 players
1972-1981: 8 players
1982-1984: 12 players
1985: 16 players
1986 onwards: 8 players
#7 Number of different players who have played the tournament
Since the inaugural edition of the ATP Finals in 1970, a total of 134 different players have graced the season-finale tournament.
Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, and Matteo Berrettini are the 3 debutant players at 2019 London, which would take the number of different players to have played the tournament to 137.
#8 Number of different player nationalities at the ATP Finals
Since 1970 Tokyo up to 2019 London, 137 different players from 32 different nations would have played the tournament.
Greece (Tsitsipas) would be the newest nation to be represented at the ATP Finals in 2019, while Italy (Berrettini) would be represented at the tournament for the first time in over 40 years since Adriano Panatta (1975) and Corrado Barazutti (1978).
Daniil Medvedev would be the 4th Russian player to play at the ATP Finals, the others being Yevgeniy Kafelnikov, Marat Safin and Nikolay Davydenko.
The three most represented countries at the ATP Finals are USA (31 players), Spain (15 players), and Sweden (11 players). However, none of the players from these three countries would be in action at 2019 London.
#9 Most appearances by a player
Roger Federer (17) of Switzerland holds the record for most appearances by a player at the ATP Finals. The Swiss maestro would be making his 17th appearance at the tournament in 2019, following previous appearances in 2002-2015 and from 2017-18.
The only other players to have made over 10 appearances at the ATP Finals are Andre Agassi (13), Ivan Lendl (12), Novak Djokovic (12), Jimmy Connors (11), Boris Becker (11), and Pete Sampras (11).
#10 Most consecutive appearances by a player
Roger Federer has also made the most consecutive appearances at the ATP Finals, doing so on 14 consecutive occasions from 2002 to 2015. The next best tally of consecutive appearances belongs to Ivan Lendl who made 12 consecutive appearances from 1981 to 1992.
#11 Most matches
Roger Federer's 72 matches at the ATP Finals from 2002 to 2018 are the most by any player in tournament history. A trio of players - Ivan Lendl, Boris Becker, and Pete Sampras - have played 49 matches at the ATP Finals.
#12 Most wins
Roger Federer has the most wins (57) of any player to have played the ATP Finals. The next best tally belongs to Ivan Lendl (39).
#13 Most group-stage wins
Roger Federer (41) has the most group-stage wins of any player at the ATP Finals. It is a stand-alone figure which is more than the next best win tally (Ivan Lendl - 39) of any player at the tournament.
#14 Most consecutive wins
Novak Djokovic (15) won 14 consecutive matches in three undefeated campaigns from 2012 to 2014 and won his first round-robin match in 2015 before his consecutive win streak at the tournament came to an end against Roger Federer.
In the process, the Serb downed Federer's record of 14 consecutive wins achieved between 2003 and 2005. The Swiss went unbeaten in 2003-2004 before squandering a two-set lead in a five-set loss to David Nalbandian in the 2005 final in Shanghai.
It is to be noted that Djokovic had a 'walkover' against Federer in the 2014 final after the Swiss withdrew from the title match owing to an injury. The same does not count as a match win for Djokovic but is counted as a title win.
#15 Most wins without a defeat
Grigor Dimitrov (5) is the only player in the history of the tournament not to have suffered a defeat. The Bulgarian won five consecutive matches to win the title in his debut appearance in 2017.
#16 Most losses by a player
Andre Agassi (20) holds the record for most losses by a player at the ATP Finals, followed by Jimmy Connors (17), Michael Chang (16), Harold Solomon (15), and Roger Federer (15).
#17 Most losses without winning a match
John Isner (2018) is the latest of 17 different players to have lost 3 matches at the ATP Finals, without winning one.
Gaël Monfils, Radek Štěpánek and Pablo Carreño Busta have lost 2/2 matches at the tournament while 7 other players have lost a match apiece without winning one.
#18 Most finals by a player
Roger Federer's 10 finals at the ATP Finals (2003-07, 2010-12, 2014-15) are the most by any player in tournament history. With his appearance in the 2015 final (lost to Djokovic), the Swiss maestro broke a tie with Czech Ivan Lendl (9).
#19 Most consecutive finals by a player
Ivan Lendl (9) holds the record of most consecutive finals at the ATP Finals. The Czech player reached the title round every year from 1980 to 1988.
Novak Djokovic reached 6 consecutive finals between 2012 and 2018 (did not play in 2017), while Roger Federer (2003-2007) played 5 consecutive title matches at the tournament.
#20 Most titles by a player
Roger Federer's six titles at the ATP Finals are the most by any player in tournament history. The Swiss maestro went all the way in 2003-04, 2006-07, and 2010-11.
The trio of Ivan Lendl (1981-82, 1985-87), Pete Sampras (1991, 1994, 1996-97, 1999), and Novak Djokovic (2008, 2012-15) have won five titles at the tournament.
#21 Most consecutive titles by a player
Novak Djokovic (4) holds the record for most consecutive title-winning campaigns at the ATP Finals, doing so between 2012 and 2015.
Ilie Năstase (1971-74) and Ivan Lendl (1985-87) are the only other players in tournament history to win 3 consecutive titles.
#22 Most titles without losing a final
No player has won more than 1 title at the ATP Finals without losing in the final once.
Alexander Zverev (2018) provided the 10th instance of a player winning the ATP Finals, without having lost in the final.
The others to do so are Grigor Dimitrov (2017), Andy Murray (2016), David Nalbandian (2005), Gustavo Kuerten (2000), Àlex Corretja (1998), Michael Stich (1993), Jimmy Connors (1977), Manuel Orantes (1976) and Guillermo Vilas (1974).
#23 Youngest champion
19-year-old John McEnroe (1978) is the youngest winner at the ATP Finals. No other teenager has won the tournament.
#24 Oldest champion
30-year-old Roger Federer became the oldest player to win the ATP Finals when the Swiss maestro beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the 2011 London final to win his record sixth title at the ATP Finals.
#25 Most defeats in the final
Boris Becker (5) leads a group of 30 other players to have come up second-best at the ATP Finals. The 3-time Wimbledon winner finished runner-up at the ATP Finals in 1985-86 (Ivan Lendl), 1989 (Stefan Edberg), 1994 and 1996 (both times to Pete Sampras).
Ivan Lendl (1980, 1983-84, 1988) and Roger Federer (2005, 2012, 2014-15) have suffered 4 final defeats apiece at the ATP Finals.