The race is on, but it won’t be as we know it!

For the twelfth and final time London will be hosting the ATP Finals before it heads to Turin in 2021.

The O2 Arena can usually set 17,500 and as ever during the week of tennis over 240,000 fans are anticipated to walk through the doors at what is the 2nd biggest tennis stadium in the world by capacity, only second to Arthur Ashe Stadium at the US Open.

Tickets are pretty much a sell out and it is still unknown what will happen in the UK regarding indoor crowds. Will 17,500 be able to be at a sit-in in November? Will the ATP have to cut and refund people? How do the ATP then decide this as many like myself would have booked hotels. This event generates millions for the ATP and if worst case scenario meant that it had to be played behind closed doors and it being moved to Turin in 2021 it would cost the ATP over £20,000,000 in ticket refunds!

What we do know is, how you will qualify for the tour finals. Bare with, it is slightly complicated.

  • Players ranking in the “Race to London” is usually an accumulation of their best 18 events from a certain number of events. These events are: 4 Grand Slams, 8 Masters 1000 (not Monte-Carlo), 6 best other (either ATP 500 or ATP 250)
  • For what was meant to be the 2020 “Race to London” the ATP Cup also acted as a event for players who could qualify taking their quota to 19 however it has not been confirmed whether this is still the case, it is likely though.
  • Best 18 for players will now be taken from March 2019 to December 2020. A player cannot count the same Tour-level tournament twice in his “Best 18” breakdown. For example, a player who played the Mutua Madrid Open in 2019 and plays Madrid again in 2020, will count the better of those two results
  • When you add points to your ranking in 2020 these will still on the players’ 52 week ranking until the 52 weeks is up or the event is played in 2021. For example, if a player picks up points in Madrid this year in October, they will drop off in May 2021 when the tournament is next played.
  • Players will be able to boost their ranking like Dominic Thiem who for example when out in the 1st round of US Open last year and will not lose any points at Roland Garros.
  • Any points a player earned at the 2019 ATP Finals will not count towards a players qualification for the 2020 ATP Finals.
  • If a player defends their title this year from 2019 they will not gain or lose any points.

All these changes have been made with the agreement of the ITF and all four Grand Slams.

If there are anymore disruptions to the tour this year or next year it will be revised.

There has been no notice from the WTA yet on their rankings but it would be unusual to go against this system which makes the most sense.

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