For men’s tennis, the season is a long one—starting in January and ending in early December with the Davis Cup finals. The ATP, however, ends its year with the World Tour Finals which get underway on Sunday.
It is the crowning event of the 2011 season where the top eight men do battle to determine the champion of the champions.
The World Tour Finals is the latest title for the ATP year-end tournament for men’s professional tennis to be held in London for the second consecutive year.
The Masters year-end tournament, first played in 1970, features the top eight players on the men’s tour selected based on accumulated calendar year ATP ranking points. The top eight men draw to create two teams with members of each four-man team competing with each other in three round-robin matches.
From each group, the two players with the best results move onto the semifinals where the top-ranked player from each group plays the second-ranked player from the other group.
The final is contested by the winners of the semifinal contests. The winner of that match is accorded 1,500 ranking points as well as the honor and prestige of winning in a field of the best eight players in the world.
Last year, Roger Federer faced Rafael Nadal in the final which Federer won 6-3, 3-6, 6-1— giving the Swiss his fifth title in this event. That ties Federer with Pete Sampras and Ivan Lendl at five championship titles at the ATP year-end tournament.
So, in the 41 years the championships have been held, who are the multiple winners of this event? Who reigned as the best of the best at the end of the season?
We will count them down here.