ATP Tennis World Finals 2017
Another thrilling year of men’s tennis will conclude in London in November when the ATP Tour Finals head to the O2 Arena. It’s been a fixture on the circuit for a number of years now and while there is a sense of fun about the final big event before Christmas, this is a serious competition with prestige and plenty of prize money at stake.
In 2017, we may see some notable absentees on the final list but it will still be a tight and competitive field left to battle it out.
The event was first held in 1970 and was known at that point as the Masters Grand Prix. It has gone through some name changes since that time but the aim has always been the same – to bring the best men’s tennis players together in an end of season spectacular.
In those early years, the tournament moved around the world. 1970 saw Tokyo host the inaugural tournament followed by Paris, Barcelona, Boston and Melbourne. London took over in 2009 as the first regular venue and the city will play host until 2020 at the very least.
American Stan Smith was the first winner of the Masters Grand Prix and then, from 1971 to 1973, Ilie Nastase won for three straight years. The Romanian took his fourth title in 1975 and for many years held the overall winner’s record until he was overtaken by Ivan Lendl in 1987.
Lendl finished with five wins and has since been matched by Pete Sampras and Novak Djokovic. However, the all time leader with six victories is Roger Federer who will be hoping to extend that record by edging out defending champion Andy Murray in 2017.
Each year, qualification is determined by results throughout the season. A points table – known as the Race to London – is compiled and when all relevant matches are complete, the top eight players make it to the ATP Tour Finals.
The first point to note is that the great Novak Djokovic will not be in attendance this year due to the elbow injury that flared up at Wimbledon earlier this summer. The Serb is targeting a return in early 2018 and although he still features in the Race to London points list, he will not be there.
The Swiss player Stanislas Wawrinka will be absent too. The 2016 US Open Champion will not return in September to defend his title and ‘Stan’ has targeted 2018 as a return while he battles a knee injury.
Doubts also persist with Andy Murray who is still troubled by the hip injury that blighted his 2017 Wimbledon campaign. Murray currently lies ninth in the Race to London, technically out of the qualifying places although Djokovic and Wawrinka are currently ahead of him.
So, it’s a slightly confusing qualifying picture although current leader Rafa Nadal looks certain to be in London. Roger Federer is in second place with Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem also well placed during the run in.
Marin Cilic, Sam Querrey and Grigor Dimitrov also remain in contention and there will be some thrilling action to come before the final eight players are confirmed.
Ante Post markets have been declared but it’s a little surprising to note that only one bookmaker is currently quoting odds as of August 2017. It’s such a big event but once the US Open concludes in September, we expect the ATP Tour Finals Market to become much busier.
At present, the odds offered by SkyBet should be a good reflection of what we can expect moving forward so who is in the frame for the win?
It’s been a stellar year for Roger Federer who, at the age of 36, has defied suggestions that he is past his best by taking two Grand Slam titles in 2017. Having claimed the Australian Open and his eighth Wimbledon Crown, the Swiss starts as favourite for the World Finals at 11/8.
Andy Murray follows at 9/4 but at this early stage we should perhaps be wary of his injury record. The Scot will want to be performing in front of a partisan British crowd but that troublesome hip threatens his qualification and it may not have healed well enough for him to attend.
Punters may therefore look to third favourite Rafa Nadal at 7/2 while some outside options include Zverev at 10/1, Cilic at 12/1 and Thiem at 18/1.
Other Betting Options
It’s worth noting that a men’s doubles competition will also run parallel to the singles event and while it won’t attract as much spectator interest, it will give us further options from a betting point of view.
Ante Post side markets are very quiet right now but as the ATP World Tour Finals draw closer, we can expect this to change with all of your regular favourites included. Betting on the finalists will be available as well as a huge range of betting on the individual matches and they will be busy markets for such a major tournament.
Hopefully there will be some good value promotions from across the sportsbooks too so keep tuned as we bring you the best of those.
The ATP Tour Finals will take place in 2017 from the 12th to the 19th of November at London’s O2 Arena and ahead of the tournament we will bring you a full betting preview. At that stage we will know exactly who is taking part and who is in form in the lead up to the event so check back and we will look to find you a winner.