Men's professional tennis has always featured a year-end championship ever since Jack Kramer, the first executive director of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), implemented the Grand Prix structure of a year-long series of tennis tournaments in 1969. Right from the first Masters in Tokyo in December 1970 it became a prestigious event, and was subsequently held in Paris, Barcelona, Boston, Melbourne, Stockholm, and Houston before the event started a 13-year association with Madison Square Garden in New York from 1977 to 1989. The Masters evolved into the ATP Tour World Championships in 1990. Frankfurt and Hannover shared the event through 1999. In 2000, the event was rebranded Tennis Masters Cup and was held in Lisbon, Sydney, Houston and Shanghai. In 2009, the event moved to The O2 in London, the world's busiest entertainment arena, as the Nitto ATP Finals.
In a dramatic beginning to the Tennis Masters Cup, Gustavo Kuerten became the first South American to rank year-end No. 1., but only after beating Pete Sampras in the semis and Andre Agassi in the final.
The event was reborn in 2009 as the ATP World Tour Finals in London at The O2. Roger Federer (winner in 2010-11) and Novak Djokovic (2012-15) are pictured with former Tournament Director and ATP Executive Chairman and President, the late Brad Drewett, for whom the trophy is now named. Andy Murray claimed year-end No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings with victory over Djokovic in the 2016 final.
In May 2017, the ATP announced that the season-ending tournament would continue its extremely successful stay in London a further two years through to 2020, under a new title sponsorship with one of Japan’s leading innovation companies, the Nitto Denko Corporation. The tournament, first staged in London in 2009, is now be renamed the Nitto ATP Finals.