Who is playing?

The eight singles players competing at this year’s ATP Finals will be Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem, Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev, Andrey Rublev and Diego Schwartzman.

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This year qualification is based on the ATP rankings (excluding points gained at last year’s ATP Finals) rather than a ‘Race to London’ ranking due to the disrupted season.

Tsitsipas is the defending champion after beating Thiem in the 2019 final. However, the Greek has been battling a leg injury that could impact his chances in London.

Thiem also struggled with blisters during the Vienna Open last month while Nadal and Djokovic have suffered surprise defeats in their most recent outings.

There are also seven confirmed doubles teams: John Peers and Michael Venus, Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury, Mate Pavic and Bruno Soares, Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies, Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos, Wesley Koolhof and Nikola Mektic, Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo.

Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski have a chance to qualify at the Sofia Open this week.

What’s the schedule?

The tournament at London's O2 Arena runs from November 15 to November 22, with the group-stage draw taking place on November 12.

There will be two singles matches played every day before the semi-finals on Saturday, November 21 and the final on Sunday, November 22.

What are the groups?

Group Tokyo 1970

  • Novak Djokovic
  • Daniil Medvedev
  • Alexander Zverev
  • Diego Schwartzman

Group London 2020

  • Rafael Nadal
  • Dominic Thiem
  • Stefanos Tsitsipas
  • Andrey Rublev

What’s the format?

The eight singles players are divided into two four-player groups, with each player facing their three group rivals and the top two from each group advancing to the semi-finals. Standings are determined by number of wins and if players are tied then it is decided on by their head-to-head record.

Rublev, who has won five titles in 2020, and Schwartzman, will be competing at the finals for the first time. There will be four players aged 24 and under for the second straight year.

Andrey Rublev has been in fantastic form this year

Image credit: Getty Images

How is the event being held while London is in lockdown?

The tournament will be held behind closed doors and players will be in a strict bubble environment.

Covid-19 tests will be carried out before entry is granted. Players don’t then have to be tested again during the tournament unless they show Covid-19 symptoms.

It has been reported that each player will be allowed to bring three team members with them, and nobody will be allowed to leave the hotel, which is opposite the venue. Any breaches will see a player disqualified from the tournament.

There will also be no line judges at the event to reduce the potential chance of infection, with Hawk-Eye used for all decisions, as it was at the Western & Southern Open in the summer and on the outside courts of the US Open.

Why are the finals leaving London?

This will be the last year that the ATP Finals are played in London before they switch to Turin in Italy.

The O2 Arena has hosted the Finals since 2009, but this stretch is the second-longest it has been at one venue after New York from 1977-1989.

It has also been played in Frankfurt, Hanover, Shanghai, Stockholm, Sydney and Houston, among other cities.

London's 02 Arena has hosted the ATP Finals since 2009

Image credit: PA Sport

Prize money is expected to increase by more than 50 per cent with financial backing from the Italian government and the tournament will be played in Italy’s biggest indoor stadium, the Pala Alpitour.

Novak Djokovic was an advocate for moving the tournament, saying in early 2019: “I guess it comes down to whether we want to stay somewhere where it's very successful, which is a fair argument, or you want to take chances, in a way, and travel the tournament that is supposed to be, if not the greatest event for promotion of tennis, then definitely one of the greatest.

“I guess that's what it comes down to. Of course, there are various factors: economics, the city, culture of sport, various things. I think that's probably the most important question.”

How will London be remembered as a host venue?

Fondly. Tickets have sold out quickly every year and players have praised the venue, the organisation and the support.

While home favourite Andy Murray only won the event once (in 2016), it has been unpredictable in recent years with several new winners (Grigor Dimitrov, Zverev and Tsitsipas) and there have been a number of memorable matches.

Some of the highlights include: Federer saving four match points to beat Stan Wawrinka in the semi-finals in 2014. Murray beating Milos Raonic in the longest match in the tournament’s history (three hours and 38 minutes) to reach the final in 2016. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga knocking out Nadal in 2011 and then losing to Federer in a dramatic final. Djokovic vs Federer in the 2012 final, with victory clinched with a stunning winner.

And how about when Murray stepped in to play Djokovic in an exhibition after Federer pulled out of the 2014 final due to injury?

There have been many incredible moments at the 02 Arena and organisers will be hoping to sign off in style, even without any fans.

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