As the tennis season comes to a close, things heat up on the ATP and WTA Tours, with the 2021 Tour Finals coming later this month.
2021 – An incredible year
To conclude an incredible year of tennis, the year-end finals are fast approaching and there’s still plenty of action for us to look forward to before the end of the season.
2021 saw new champions crowned, legends break records, and the tennis season return to normality following the heavily disrupted 2020 season.
18-year-old superstar Emma Radacanu became the first singles qualifier to win a major championship in the open era after she defeated Canadian Leylah Fernandez at the US Open in September.
But the British sensation wasn’t the only player to claim her maiden title this year, with Russian superstar Daniil Medvedev stopping Novak Djokovic from taking a clean sweep of majors this year by winning his first grand slam title at the US Open.
While Djokovic missed out on his 21st career grand slam, he still managed to equal Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal’s 20 major championship haul and overtook Federer to become the longest-reigning player to occupy the world No.1 spot.
Whether he can win this year’s ATP Tour Finals remains to be seen as we preview the remaining events on the men’s and women’s tours over the next month.
WTA Tour Schedule
With two months to go until the Christmas break, there is plenty of action still ahead of us on the WTA Tour.
While the Dow Jones Classic and the Argentina Open are currently in full swing, all eyes are looking ahead to the next two weeks of the tour, where the world’s best players will go head-to-head at the Upper Ladies Linz Open and the WTA Tour Finals.
While world No.2 Aryna Sabalenka will not be defending her title at the Linz Open this year, having qualified for the WTA year-end finals in Guadalajara, there will be a raft of exciting players heading to the Linz Open on November 6th.
Britain’s Emma Radacanu will be among those in competition, and she’ll be joined by some big names from the WTA circuit, including Veronika Kudermetova, Ekaterina Alexandrova and Ajla Tomjlanovic.
Shortly afterwards, the WTA Tour finals will commence in Guadalajara in Mexico on November 10th, where the WTA’s 10 best players will go head-to-head in a round-robin tournament to decide the WTA year-end champion.
After the tournament was cancelled in 2020, world No.1 Ashleigh Barty was the last player to be crowned the WTA’s Finals champion in 2019 but will not be heading to Mexico to defend her title this season.
Despite Barty’s absence, the draw is still packed with a wealth of exciting talent, which will see multiple players, including Arnya Sabalenka and Barbora Krejcikova, make their debuts at the year-end finals.
The WTA Tour will then wrap up its season with a trip to Uruguay for the Montevideo Open before drawing a curtain on the season in France at the Angers Open and Open De Limoges.
ATP Tour Schedule
The Men’s tour will also come to a climactic conclusion this November.
This week’s Paris Masters signals the beginning of the end of the ATP Tour season, with Daniil Medvedev, Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev, and Hubert Hurkacz all heading into the semi-finals.
As a result, Hurkacz has now qualified for the eighth and final spot in the ATP Nitto Finals and will, along with 22-year-old Casper Ruud, make their debuts at the tournament, with Ruud being the first Norwegian player to appear in the ATP year-end championships.
Before then, the tour will head to Sweden for the Stockholm Open on November 6th, and there will be some big names in attendance for the final ATP250 tournament of the season.
Former Wimbledon champion Andy Murray will return for his last appearance of the season and will be accompanied by fellow Brits Cameron Norrie, Dan Evans and Canadian world No.12 Felix Auger-Aliassime.
Despite having qualified for the ATP Next Generation Finals next month in Milan, Auger-Aliassime’s decision to play in Stockholm means he will skip the Next Gen Finals in Milan, which will run concurrently from November 9th-13th.
That will allow Frenchman Hugo Gaston to take up a place in the finals after the world No.103 emphatically defeated Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz to reach the quarter-finals in Paris earlier this week.
The Tour will then head south to Turin for the finale of the men’s season at the ATP Nitto Finals, which will commence on November 14th.
Novak Djokovic is likely to be crowned year-end world No.1 if he can win in Paris this week but will have to fend off advances from a field of rising stars, including former champions Stefanos Tsitsipas and Daniil Medvedev.
Once the tour champion has been decided, all eyes will then turn to next year as we gear up for the 2022 tennis season and the first grand slam of the year, the Australian Open.