Amid Uncertainties, ATP Finals 2020 to Take Place as Per Schedule

Published 11/01/2020, 2:31 AM EST
Tennis – ATP 500 – Serbia’s Novak Djokovic reacts during his quarter final match against Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna REUTERS/Lisi Niesner


Britain has gone into a fresh spell of lockdown amid a renewed surge in the number of Covid-19 cases across the country. However, it hasn’t affected the scheduling of the Nitto ATP Finals

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The ATP, the primary custodian and governing body of tennis, has put out a statement confirming that the tournament will go ahead as scheduled. Additionally, all health protocols will be followed to the letter to ensure the safety of players and officials during the event.

Detailing its plans to hold the tournament at London’s O2 Arena within the safe confines of a bio-bubble, the ATP said matches will be played behind closed doors. Moreover, all measures will be taken to ensure the safe conduct of the event for all concerned.

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ATP unfazed despite lockdown announcement by British PM

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a fresh national lockdown on Saturday, the second for the country, as Covid cases hit the million mark. The announcement came on a day when the governments of Portugal, Austria, and Greece, too, rolled their lockdown plans amid surging caseloads.

The PM said as part of the new lockdown protocols, all non-essential businesses would have to close and people will be advised to stay at their homes.

However, even as the announcements led many in the tennis circles to wonder if the Nitto ATP Finals would go ahead as scheduled, the ATP released a prompt statement saying the event was on.

Novak Djokovic to enter Nitto ATP Finals as the top seed

One of the top events in the ATP calendar, the Nitto ATP Finals are scheduled to be held at the famed O2 Arena from November 15 to 22. The tournament, which features the top-16 of men’s tennis, is among the most widely followed calendar ATP events.

The tournament offers an appetizing platter for viewers this year, with  20-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal and 17-time Slam winner Novak Djokovic confirming participation in the event.

PARIS, FRANCE – NOVEMBER 01: Rafael Nadal of Spain returns a forehand in his match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France on day 5 of the Rolex Paris Masters, part of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 held at the at AccorHotels Arena on November 01, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

It will also feature rising stars like Daniil Medvedev, last year’s US Open champion Dominic Thiem, Stefanos Tsitsipas, the current holder of the ATP crown, last year’s US Open finalist Alexander Zverev and Andrey Rublev, who is in line to add 200 ranking points to his kitty if he wins the Erste Bank Open title on Sunday. However, Swiss Ace Roger Federer, who is still in rehabilitation mode after undergoing a knee surgery, has opted out of the event.

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With 11,740 ranking points under his belt, Djokovic has sealed the No.1 spot in the new ATP rankings. Needless to say, he will enter the tournament as the top seed.

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DIVE DEEPER

Novak Djokovic Surpasses Rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in Another Prestigious Record at ATP Vienna

11 months ago

While the ATP has scotched all speculations around the tournament’s conduct in a pandemic year, it remains to be seen if all the players who have enlisted participation in the tournament will make the visit in the light of the lockdown announcement.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

1101 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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