2015 ATP World Tour Finals
What You Need to Know
- The ATP World Tour Finals is the end-of-season showpiece, bringing together the top male players in the world.
- The tournament is held each November at the O2 Arena in London. In 2015 the tournament starts on Sunday 15 November.
- These days, world ranking points are up for grabs, meaning the top players bring their A-game to London, making it a great event to watch or bet on.
- To qualify for the event, a player must finish in the top eight of the ATP World Rankings, or win a Grand Slam and finish in the top 20.
- The eight players are divided into two groups of four, with the top two from each group qualifying for knockout semi-finals.
- Big-name players almost always dominate the tournament: Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic have dominated in London over recent years.
- The ATP Finals are a great event to bet on. If you do fancy a flutter on the action, online betting offers the best variety of odds and the chance to bet in-play, see our top 10 UK Betting Sites for the latest introductory offers.
History of the ATP World Tour Finals
The ATP World Tour Finals (also know as the ATP Finals) dates right back to 1970. Originally it was part of the Grand Prix Tennis Circuit and called the Masters Grand Prix. As now, it served as the showpiece event, bringing together the top men's players and celebrating the end of the professional season. Despite the glamour of the event, the tournament did not count for any world ranking points.
All that changed in 1990, however. This was the year the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) took over the event and for the first time in its history, players could earn points to boost their world rankings.
For almost a decade, the ATP Finals ran alongside the Grand Slam Cup as the two main end-of-season showpiece events. In 1999, the two events were discontinued and replaced with just one, known as the Tennis Masters Cup.
The Tennis Masters Cup was then renamed the ATP World Tour Finals in 2009, with the event moved to the O2 Arena in London for a period of four years. Due to the success of the competition, it was decided that it would remain in London until 2015 at the earliest.
Qualifying for the ATP World Tour Finals
Today, the ATP Finals brings together the very best male players in professional tennis. Under the current rules, eight players compete in the tournament. Quite simply, professionals earn points throughout the year by playing in and winning tournaments, including Grand Slams (which, obviously earn them more points). At the end of the season, the eight top players in the world rankings qualify to compete in London.
At the same time, however, the rules state that the player ranked eighth in the world does not automatically qualify for the ATP Finals. Should any player win a Grand Slam that season and end up finishing outside the top eight but inside the top 20, they will get the final place in the ATP Finals, at the expense of the player ranked number eight in the world. Should two or more players win Grand Slams but fail to finish the season in the top eight, only the highest-ranked of these will qualify for London.
Sometimes players who are eligible to compete in the ATP Finals drop out, usually through injury. If this is the case, then the player ranked number nine in the world automatically qualifies. Or, alternatively, if a player has got in by the 'Grand Slam winner' rule, the player ranked number eight will be given the final spot.
The 2015 ATP World Tour Finals: The Players and the Latest Odds
The full list of contenders for the 2015 ATP World Tour Finals was finalised well ahead of the start of the big tournament, with the top eight in the world well ahead on points from the rest of the pack. Within this field of eight, however, there's more than 3,500 ATP ranking points separating the top and the bottom qualifier and so, realistically speaking, only a small group of competitors is in with a realistic chance of claiming glory at the O2 Arena.
The 2015 competitors is below, along with the odds offered on them by Bet365.com to win the tournament outright:
- Novak Djokovic: 4/7
- Roger Federer: 7/2
- Andy Murray: 10/1
- Rafael Nadal: 12/1
- Stan Warwinka: 12/1
- Kei Nisikori: 18/1
- Tomas Berdych: 22/1
- David Ferrer: 50/1
How the Tournament Works
The ATP Finals are played in a standard round-robin format, with the eight players divided into two even groups of four.
As you would expect in tennis, a seeding system is used, with seedings given out according to where players have finished in the world rankings. Quite simply, the world numbers one and two are put into different pots, with players then divided up between these two groups.
Players then play one another in their separate groups, meaning they have three matches each at the group stage. The winner of Group A will play the runner-up of Group B in one semi-final, while the runner-up of Group A will play the winner of Group A in the other semi. The winners of the semis then face each other in a big final.
All matches, including the final, are played over three sets. Unlike some tournaments, tie-breaks are always used to decide close sets, even in the final set of the final match.
Watching the Action
Demand for tickets for the ATP Finals is always high, though it is quite easy to get a seat at the O2 if you book in advance. While this may mean that you don't know exactly who will be playing when you buy your ticket, you are guaranteed seeing the very best players in the world at that moment.
The best way to book tickets is through the official website. Barclays is the sponsor of the tournament and you can book tickets through its site, or if these are sold out, you will automatically be pointed in the direction of an alternative vendor.
If you aren't lucky enough to get tickets to see the action live at the O2 Arena, you can always watch the matches on TV. If you're in the UK, then you will need to have Sky Sports to watch the action live, or alternatively, you could watch the highlights online.
Betting on the ATP World Tour Finals
Now that world ranking points (not to mention big cash prizes) are at stake, the big-name players are always 'in it to win it'. Not only does this make the ATP Finals extra-exciting for viewers, it also makes the tournament even better for having a wager on.
If you do want to have a flutter on the tournament, you should get online. By signing up for an account with one of the best online sports betting providers, you will be able to choose from a wide selection of bets, plus you will be able to bet in-play.
Some of the easiest, and most common, types of bet to make on the ATP Finals are:
- Match Winner: Here you just put money on one player to beat another in a single match, whether it's a group game, a semi or the final. It doesn’t matter what the winning margin is, so long as the player you backed comes out on top, you are a winner.
- Overall Winner: Bookies will offer odds on players winning the ATP Finals even before the qualifiers have been confirmed. Backing a player in advance can mean you get the longest odds, thereby boosting your potential winnings, though, of course, there's always a chance to player you back suffers a loss of form in the run-up to the event.
- Prop Bets: A prop bet is the gambling term for betting on something that won't affect the outcome of a match or tournament. So, you could make watching the action more exciting (and more profitable) by putting money on the number of aces a player will serve, or the number of minutes a match will last. Especially if you're betting online, there really is no limit to the number and variety of bets you can make on the ATP Finals.
- Whether you just want to watch the action or you want to try and make money betting on it, you will get more out of the ATP Finals if you know what's going on! The official ATP website is a great source of information, where you can keep informed of the latest news and check players' form going into London.
- Alongside the ATP, the WTA runs the women's professional game and organises a huge range of major events. Read more about professional women's tennis at the official WTA website
- If you're serious about trying to make money betting on the ATP Finals but are new to sports betting, check out this comprehensive guide to betting on tennis and get off to a winning start!
- Need to know more about Tennis then read our guide on the Rules of Tennis where we provide you with an overview on how the game is won, scored and lost.
- Like tennis then you’ll love Wimbledon Guide, with an overview of the history and how to get tickets.