The ATP Finals commence in Turin on Sunday November 14 and will crown a champion a week later. Here are some of the biggest storylines to look out for these upcoming eight days.

New chapter for the ATP showpiece

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After spending 12 successful years at London’s O2 Arena, the Nitto ATP Finals begins a new tenure at the Pala Alpitour in Turin, where the event is set to be staged until at least 2025.
Turin is the 15th different city to host the tour’s season finale and the venue is set up to hold up to 12,000 spectators. According to the latest reports in Italy, the crowd capacity will be capped at 60 percent.

Novak Djokovic (Masters 1000 París-Bercy 2021)

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On Friday, world No.1 Novak Djokovic looked back fondly on the ATP Finals’ lengthy stay in London but he’s happy to see the event move on to a different destination.
“I have been a proponent of circling this tournament a little bit more frequently around the world because I feel like there is no better promotion than the best eight players in the world playing in an event every day, round-robin system, so in terms of promoting tennis, promoting the ATP Tour, it probably doesn’t get any better than that,” explained the Serb.

Djokovic going for a record sixth

As he continues his relentless pursuit of every tennis record out there, Djokovic will join Roger Federer at the top of the leaderboard for most titles won at the ATP Finals should he manage to claim his sixth trophy in the competition next Sunday.
At 34, the Serb would become the oldest ATP Finals champion in competition history.
It won’t be a routine task for the top seed though. Djokovic has not won the ATP Finals since 2015 and hasn’t made it to the championship match on his two most recent appearances, falling to Dominic Thiem in the semi-finals last year and failing to make it out of the group stage in 2019.

Novak Djokovic.

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He remains as determined as ever to rewrite the history books, however, and is heavily tipped to end his recent ATP Finals drought this week.
“I can't really fully devote myself to thinking about the historic achievements, but of course it means the world to me to be in this position because that's obviously one of the biggest motivations of why I still play professional tennis,” Djokovic said after clinching the Paris Masters title last week.

Medvedev looking to double up

No one has picked up back-to-back titles at the ATP Finals since Djokovic retained his crown in London in 2015 and Daniil Medvedev will be hoping to snap that streak by successfully defending his trophy in Turin.
The world No.2 is one of four former ATP Finals champion in the draw – a first occurrence since 1994.
After going winless on his tournament debut in 2019, Medvedev was a perfect 5-0 during his title run last year and became the first in ATP Finals history to sweep all top three players in the rankings, thanks to victories over Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Thiem.

Daniil Medvedev is looking to defend the ATP Finals trophy

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The 25-year-old Russian finished 2020 with back-to-back titles in Paris and London, turning the page on a period where he felt “completely out of shape and completely out of confidence”.
“Those two tournaments last year brought me back the confidence that was enough for all this year, to just be sure that I’m able to beat the best players in the world and that’s what you have to know in order to be one of them,” reflected Medvedev on Friday.
Medvedev, who picked up a maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open in September and started the season with a runner-up showing at the Australian Open, begins his Turin campaign on Sunday against first-time qualifier Hubert Hurkacz of Poland.
He prepared for the tournament by having a practice session with archrival Djokovic, whose dream of completing the calendar-year Grand Slam came to an emotional end at the hands of Medvedev in New York two months ago.

Prize money slashed

When the announcement was made in 2019 that the ATP Finals were moving to Turin, a lucrative five-year deal was revealed, including a dramatic rise in prize money from $9 million to $14.5 million.
Two years and a pandemic later, the inaugural staging of the ATP Finals in Turin will offer $7,250,000 in total prize money – half of what was initially expected, but still more than the $5,700,000 allocated to the tournament 12 months ago.
Asked about this reduction, Djokovic said he wasn’t fully aware of all the facts, but he isn’t concerned about the future of the event because he feels that the ATP Finals “has been the strongest product that ATP has on the market, it’s always a strong product”.
He added: “I know it’s a struggle, it’s a struggle for everyone – players, tournaments, everyone involved. But as we are getting back to somewhat of a similar to normal situation I would say as before Covid, in terms of capacity of the crowds, I feel like prize money should follow as well.”

Berrettini flying the flag for Italy

World No.7 Matteo Berrettini will be banking on home support when he takes to court for his second appearance at the ATP Finals.
The 25-year-old from Rome reached the first Grand Slam final of his career at Wimbledon earlier this season and will kick off his campaign on Sunday night against 2018 champion Alexander Zverev.

Matteo Berrettini

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There could have been two Italians in the field but Jannik Sinner just missed out on a qualification spot as Ruud and Hurkacz squeezed past him in the Race.
“I think between me and Jannik there is a really good relationship, we push each other to get better. He’s five years younger than me so I’m sure he’s going to qualify in the next years but he had an incredible year. He was really just a few points away but I think this experience is going to help him in the next years,” Berrettini said on Friday.
A title for Berrettini in Turin would mark the 10th time the ATP Finals are won on home soil, and just the second since Australia’s Lleyton Hewitt triumphed in Sydney in 2001. Andy Murray defeated Djokovic for the 2016 London crown.

Ruud, Hurkacz keen to impress on debut

No.7 seed Hurkacz and No.8 seed Ruud are the only two first-time singles qualifiers in Turin and they survived a tight photo finish in the ATP Race to secure their places in the draw.
Hurkacz, who has enjoyed a breakthrough 2021 season that saw him win a Masters 1000 crown in Miami and make a run to the Wimbledon semi-finals, is just the second Polish player to qualify for the ATP Finals in singles.
Ruud is the first ever Norwegian to make it to the season-ending championships and he earned his place on the back of an impressive year, where he won five ATP titles, three of which were captured in the span of three weeks.

Hubert Hurkacz

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“It’s my debut, obviously we don’t need to think about it now but I’d like of course to come back here and play this event more times. For now I’ll try to enjoy the moment and play my next three matches without pressure because the last months were almost too much to handle,” confessed Ruud.
When Medvedev won in London last season, he was the sixth different ATP Finals champion in as many years, repeating a feat from the 1970s. Never have seven different players won the title in seven years. The four players who could make that record a reality are two-time qualifiers Berrettini and Andrey Rublev and debutants Hurkacz and Ruud.

Tsitsipas, Zverev chase second ATP Finals crown

Stefanos Tsitsipas, the 2019 champion, and Zverev, the 2018 champion, arrive to Turin at the top of the ATP match-wins leaderboard for this season, with 55 victories each.
The duo are looking to end their year on a high after Tsitsipas reached a maiden Grand Slam final at Roland Garros and Zverev secured Olympic gold in Tokyo.
Tsitsipas is carrying an elbow injury that forced him to retire during his Paris Masters opener last week, while Zverev has reached the quarter-finals or better in his last six tournaments.

Stefanos Tsitsipas

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“In Paris the pain was unbearable so I had to quit. It was very painful for me to let the crowd down and not play that match. But I had to, it was for my safety, for my well-being, and I don’t regret doing that,” said Tsitsipas, who opens against Rublev on Monday night in Turin.
“The last couple of days I’ve been practicing with a little bit of pain but recently I’m feeling much better than I did when I started five, six days ago. It’s heading towards the right direction and I’m doing everything possible to recover from it.”
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