Four previous Finals champions will be involved as the ATP Tour’s best eight players battle for the season-ending prize in Italy.
The ATP Finals are upon us for 2023, with the world’s top eight players facing off at the Pala Alpitour in Turin.
Novak Djokovic heads into the season-ending tournament as the defending champion and the incumbent world number one; following his victory at the Paris Masters last week, the Serbian will ensure he ends a year at the top of the rankings for the eighth time should he win a single match.
That means the magnificent Carlos Alcaraz, who has won six tour-level titles this year, will almost certainly have to settle for a year-end world number two, though the Spaniard will no doubt have his eyes on the prize as he makes his ATP Finals debut.
Djokovic and Alcaraz will be joined by Daniil Medvedev, Holger Rune, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrey Rublev, Alexander Zverev and home favourite Jannik Sinner, with four former ATP Finals title winners playing at the event this time around.
There’s not just pride on the line, of course. This year’s prize money is a record $15million (£12.2m/€14m). If the champion at this year’s tournament lifts the trophy without losing a match, he will earn more than $4.8m (£3.9m/€4.5m), which would be the largest sum of prize money for an individual player in the history of tennis.
Here are all the key storylines and statistics ahead of the 2023 ATP Finals.
Djokovic on the Hunt for More Records
Djokovic currently shares the record for ATP Finals titles (six) with the now-retired Roger Federer, so a second straight triumph in Turin would put the 24-time major winner out in front of his former rival.
Should the 36-year-old get the one win he needs to hold onto the year-end number one spot, then Djokovic will also be top of the rankings for a 400th week of his illustrious career – he heads into the tournament on 398.
Reigning Australian Open, French Open and US Open champion Djokovic would be the first player to reach 400 weeks at the top of the world. Federer is the only other player in the history of the ATP rankings to make it above the 300 milestone (310).
Another title would mark his 98th Tour-level triumph, taking him to within two of the 100 landmark. Only Federer (103) and Jimmy Connors (109) have achieved that feat.
Going back-to-back at this event is nothing new for Djokovic, either. He has won more consecutive titles at the ATP Finals than any other player, having collected four in a row between 2012 and 2015. Ilie Nastase (1971-73) and Ivan Lendl (1985-87) won three consecutive titles. Djokovic’s first title came in 2008.
If Djokovic reaches the final without being handed a walkover, he will become the second player since 1970 to win 50 ATP Finals matches, after Federer (59).
It is the 16th time Djokovic has qualified for the ATP Finals – since the event began, only Federer (17) has qualified for it on more occasions.
Djokovic has been drawn into the Green Group alongside Sinner, who is sure to have the Turin crowd firmly on his side, plus world number six and 2019 ATP Finals champion Tsitsipas, and debutant Rune.
Rune, who Djokovic will face in his opening match of the group stage in a replay of the Paris Masters final, is the first Scandinavian player aged 21 or under to reach the ATP Finals since Stefan Edberg in 1986. He is only the fifth since 1970, after Edberg, Björn Borg, Mats Wilander and Henrik Sundström.
The Kids Are Alright
Alcaraz’s rise to superstardom has been incredible, but this will be his first appearance at the ATP Finals after he missed last year’s tournament due to injury.
That means he is one of two ATP Finals debutants – along with Rune – at this year’s event.
The world number two has maintained his sensational form this season, adding another grand slam title to his collection by beating Djokovic to win Wimbledon. At 20, the world really is his oyster.
Alcaraz, who also won at Indian Wells and defended his crowns in Madrid and Barcelona this year, won four of his opening six tournaments in 2023 after overcoming an injury that saw him miss the Australian Open.
Three of Alcaraz’s 12 career titles have come on debut, though the Spaniard has not won a tournament since downing Djokovic in an epic contest at the All England Club in July.
He heads into the competition with a 63-10 record for the season, while he is level 2-2 on head-to-head records with Djokovic and world number three Medvedev (a champion in 2020), who he will face in the Red Group, which also includes Zverev (a champion in 2018 and 2021) and Rublev.
Of course, Alcaraz is not the only young gun participating. Indeed, bar Djokovic, it is a young field, with Medvedev the second oldest player at 27. Zverev and Rublev are 26 and Tsitsipas is 25, while Sinner is 22. Alcaraz and Rune are just out of their teens.
Should Alcaraz or Rune win, they would be only the fifth player since 1970 to be crowned champion before turning 21, after John McEnroe (1978), Andre Agassi (1990), Pete Sampras (1991) and Lleyton Hewitt (2001).
It is the first time since 2000, when Hewitt and Marat Safin made their debuts in Lisbon, that two players under the age of 21 will make their ATP Finals bow in the same tournament.
Away from Djokovic and Alcaraz’s mammoth tussle at the top of the rankings, it has been another superb year for Sinner, who comes into the tournament as world number four.
The Italian, who opens his campaign against Tsitsipas, has won four Tour-level titles this season, taking his overall tally to 10.
His most recent title came last month, as he defeated Rublev and Medvedev on the way to winning the ATP 500 event in Vienna – he also downed Frances Tiafoe, Lorenzo Sonego and Ben Shelton during that run. That success in Austria followed glory in Beijing, with Sinner beating Alcaraz and Medvedev en route to a victory at the China Open.
Sinner collected a maiden Masters 1000 trophy in Toronto in August, and also reached the final in Miami and at the ABN AMRO Open in Rotterdam. He lost to Medvedev on both occasions in what is fast becoming a burgeoning rivalry (the Russian holds a 6-2 winning record as it stands).
Sinner is hoping to become the seventh player to win the ATP Finals on home soil after Connors (1977), McEnroe (1978, 1983-84), Boris Becker (1992, 1995), Hewitt (2001) and Andy Murray (2016).
If he reaches the final without a walkover, meanwhile, Sinner will be the first Italian player in the Open Era to win 60 ATP matches in a calendar year.
Sinner is one of three players at this year’s event – along with Rublev and Rune – who is yet to reach a grand slam final. Four players in the last decade have won the ATP Finals before reaching the showpiece match of a major – Grigor Dimitrov (2017), Zverev (2018) and Tsitsipas (2019).
Having won the 2019 NextGen Finals, Sinner could become the second player to win both the youth tournament and its senior equivalent, after Tsitsipas. Alcaraz, the 2021 NextGen champion, could also achieve that feat.
- This will be the 54th edition of the ATP Finals, and the 27th on a hard court.
- Federer has won the most matches at the ATP Finals, holding an overall win-loss record of 59-17. The Swiss great has also appeared in the most finals at the ATP Finals, winning six of a possible 10. He is the only player in the Open Era to appear in 10 finals at four Tour-level events – Basel, Halle, Wimbledon and the ATP Finals.
- Djokovic is the only player to have won the final via a walkover, with Federer needing to withdraw from the 2014 final due to injury.
- Since the ATP Finals were changed to best-of-three sets in 2008, Federer has conceded the fewest games en route to winning the event, with 35 in 2010 – excluding walkovers. Djokovic has conceded the most, with 59 on the way to winning his maiden ATP Finals in 2008.
- Medvedev has claimed 10 victories over top-10 opponents in 2023. Should he win two matches in Turin, he would surpass Yevgeny Kafelnikov’s Open Era-record among Russians of 11 wins in a calendar year (1994) against top 10-ranked opponents. Medvedev is already the first Russian in the Open Era to claim 10 top-10 wins in multiple seasons – 2021 and 2023
- Only four left-handed players have won the ATP Finals since 1970 – Guillermo Vilas (1974), Manuel Orantes (1976), Connors (1977) and McEnroe (1978, 1983, 1984). This is the first time since 2018 that there has not been a left-handed qualifier.
- Players from the United States have won the ATP Finals a total of 11 times – the most of any country. However, there is no American representative at this year’s finals.
- Dominic Thiem, Jim Courier, Rafael Nadal and Vitas Gerulaitis are the four players to appear in the final at the ATP Finals at least twice without winning the event.
- David Nalbandian is the lowest-ranked player to win the ATP Finals, enjoying success in 2005 while ranked 12th following the withdrawals of Nadal, Andy Roddick and Hewitt.
- McEnroe is the only teenager to win the ATP Finals, defeating Arthur Ashe in the 1978 final. The age gap between the two of 15 years and 221 days is also the largest between two players in a final.