2020 Association of Tennis Professionals Finals 

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Hyatt Criser

The ATP Finals is called the “fifth Grand Slam” by many tennis fans across the globe. With five different winners in the last five years, it is any of the eight contestant’s game to take the cup.

Hyatt Criser, Staffer

At the end of every year, the top eight men singles tennis players in the world compete in the Association of Tennis Professionals Finals. Held at the 02 Arena in London, United Kingdom, the ATP Finals is said to be the second highest class of men’s singles tournaments, only behind the four Grand Slams. It has even been designated the name as the “fifth Grand Slam” by many tennis fans across the globe. With five different winners in the last five years, it is any of the eight contestant’s game to take the cup. All of them have stood on a stage this large, but none of them are the same when it comes to their tennis careers: 

Novak Djokovic, a Serbian tennis player, is ranked as the world No. 1 by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), and has held this ranking for 296 weeks. Finishing as No. 1 at the end of the year six times, this 33-year-old has won 17 Grand Slam men’s singles titles, which is only topped by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, who each have 20 Grand Slam men’s singles titles. Djokovic has also won 81 ATP singles titles, five ATP Finals titles, along with a record 36 ATP Tour Masters 1000 titles. 

Rafael Nadal, a 34-year-old, left-handed tennis player, began his professional career at the age of 15, and is one of the most popular tennis players in the world. Born in Mallorca, Spain, Nadal has finished as year-end No.1 five times, holding the top rank for 209 weeks. However, this year Nadal ends the year as No. 2, making it his 12 year in the top two, the most in history. Tied with Roger Federer with the most Grand Slam men’s singles titles (20), Nadal also has a record of 13 French Open titles. Known as “The King of Clay,” Nadal dominates tournaments played on the clay surface, including the French Open. With 81 consecutive wins on clay, Nadal’s mastery on clay courts is displayed by 60 of his 86 ATP titles coming on this surface. 

 Dominic Thiem, an Austrian tennis player, reached his career-high ATP ranking in singles as world No. 3 this year. Winning the 2020 U.S. Open, by defeating Alexander Zverev in the final, Thiem became the first male player born in the 1990s to achieve a Grand Slam title. At only the age of 27 Thiem has already won 17 ATP tour singles titles, and is the second-highest ranked Austrian player, behind Thomas Muster, a former world No. 1. 

Daniil Medvedev, a 24-year-old Russian tennis player, reached his career high of world No. 4 with eight ATP singles titles, including three masters 1000 titles. In 2019 Medvedev experienced six consecutive tournament finals, including one at the 2019 U.S. Open against Rafael Nadal. 

Stefanos Tsitsipas, a 22-year-old from Greece, is the youngest player to be ranked in the top ten of men singles tennis players by the ATP. At his career high ranking of No. 5, he became the highest ranked Greek player in history. This only complements Tsitsipas’s achievements as he has won five singles titles and is the reigning champion of the ATP Finals. 

 Alexander Zverev, a German Professional tennis player, has been a permanent contestant in the ATP top ten since July 2017. Having been ranked as high as No. 3 in his past, Zverev enters this year’s tournament as No. 6. This 23-year-old is the winner of 13 ATP singles titles, Zverev was also the 2018 ATP Finals champion, making him the youngest player to win a year-end championship in a decade. 

 Andrey Rublev, a Russian tennis player, came into this year’s tournament as No. 7, and reached a career-high ATP singles ranking of No. 8. With a career record of 132-89, Rublev has won seven tour singles titles and has competed in nine finals. 

 Diego Schwartzman, an Argentine tennis player, has won three ATP singles titles, and reached his career-high by entering in this year’s tournament as No. 8. Only standing at 5’7, Schwartzman has defeated Rafael Nadal in the Italian Open this year (a tournament played on clay courts) and is acclaimed by many for his highly-skilled return game. 

On Sunday, Nov. 15 these eight players kicked off as four of them played a match every other day, creating tennis content for eight consecutive days. After the first round, Medvedev, Nadal, Theim and Djokovic all moved on to the semi-finals. Nadal, Theim and Djokovic shared a record of 2-1, while Medvedev carried a record of 3-0. Tsitsipas, Rublev, and Zverev all were eliminated after they went 1-2, and Schwatzman joined them as he carried a record of 0-3. 

On Saturday, Nov. 21, the day of the semi-finals, Thiem beat Djokavic in a three-set-match with the score 7-5 6-7(10) 7-6(5). Later in the day, Nadal was defeated by Medvedev in another three-set-match holding the score 3-6 7-6(4) 6-3. This round shows that this title is up for anyone, as the top two players in the world were just defeated by the No. 3 and No. 4 players. 

On Sunday, Nov. 22, Medvedev claimed the title as he conquered Thiem 4-6 7-6(2) 6-4 in the final round. With this win, Medvedev acquired his ninth singles title and became the first player in history to beat the top three seeded players and win the ATP finals title.