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 and celebrated the 50-year anniversary in 2020. After a successful 12-year stint in London, the tournament will move to Turin from 2021.
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 FedEx ATP Rankings with victory over Djokovic in the 2016 final.
One of Japan’s leading innovation companies, the Nitto Denko Corporation, took over the title sponsorship in 2017. Renamed the Nitto ATP Finals, the event was won by Grigor Dimitrov (2017), Alexander Zverev (2018), Stefanos Tsitsipas (2019) and Daniil Medvedev in 2020, the 50-year anniversary, when it was played behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In April 2019, the Italian city of Turin was selected to host the Nitto ATP Finals from 2021-2025. The five-year agreement will see the world’s beat players compete at the Pala Alpitour stadium, Italy’s largest indoor sporting arena.