All You Need to Know About the ATP Finals Format and Points Distribution System

Published 11/13/2021, 2:32 PM EST
A general view during the singles final between Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria and David Goffin of Belgium during day eight of the 2017 Nitto ATP Finals at O2 Arena on November 19, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

After witnessing some top-quality tennis throughout the year, it is time for the blockbuster conclusion of the men’s tennis season. The ATP Finals 2021 will kick-off on November 14, 2021, and will stretch till November 21, 2021. The event will be taking place in Turin, Italy this year.


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Interestingly, Turin will be the city to host the ATP Finals for the next five years. This is the 52nd edition of the tournament and it is offering a total prize pool of $7,250,000 this time.


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Everything to know about the format of the ATP Finals

Unlike other ATP tournaments, ATP Finals follow a very different format. Even though the last three matches are knock-out matches, the other ones follow a different pattern, which can cause some confusion.

Only eight players make their way through to the ATP Finals- which is the year-end tournament. The eight players who earn the maximum ATP points in the singles and doubles category respectively in a calendar year qualify for the tournament. After this, they are divided into two groups and each group has four players.

View of the Centre Court during Day Six of the Nitto ATP Finals at The O2 Arena. November 16, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Alberto Pezzali/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Each player competes with the other three players of his group and this is what is called the ’round-robin’ format, that is used in the ATP Finals. The top two players, who secure the most number of wins, advance to the semi-finals of the ATP Finals. There, the winner of the first group faces the runner-up of the second group and vice versa and the finale is also, obviously, a one-off match.

World No.2 Daniil Medvedev is the defending champion of the tournament as he defeated Dominic Thiem in the ATP Finals 2020. In doubles, Wesley Koolhof and Nikola Mektic won the tournament last year.

Russia’s Daniil Medvedev celebrates with the trophy after winning the final match against Austria’s Dominic Thiem Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

Roger Federer is the most successful player in the history of the tournament as he has won it on six occasions. The Serbian legend, Novak Djokovic, is beginning the tournament as the top-seeded player and if he succeeds in Turin, he will match yet another Federer record. That would be the perfect icing on an already exquisite 2021 season for Novak.

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What is the point distribution system at the year-end championships?

Even though the ATP Finals are the year-end tournament, they also offer ATP Points to the players. Intriguingly, an undefeated champion of the tournament would bag 1,500 points. Otherwise, a final win offers 500 points and a semi-final win, 400.


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Besides this, each victory at the round-robin match fetches a player 200 points. So, even if a player fails to qualify for the semi-finals but wins a match, he will still gain 200 ATP points.

A detailed view of an ATP TOUR logo on a tennis net during the semifinal round of the Western & Southern Open at Lindner Family Tennis Center on August 17, 2019 in Mason, Ohio. (Photo by Adam Lacy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Thus, the stage is set and it is time to witness some incredible action at the ATP Finals 2021. Who will emerge as the winner of the tournament this year?


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Anshul Singh

1533 articles

Anshul Singh is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports, currently pursuing Journalism Honors from Delhi University. Having significant experience with content, Anshul has authored over 1000 tennis articles. He has previously worked as a writer and an editor for DU Express, penning riveting articles on sports, politics, and culture.