SINGAPORE - The Republic will have to wait a little longer to welcome the top men's tennis players, after the ATP announced on Wednesday (April 24) that the Italian city of Turin will replace current host London in staging the season-ending ATP Finals from 2021-2025.
The tournament, which features the top eight men's singles players and doubles pairs of the year, will take place at Turin's Pala Alpitour stadium, Italy's largest indoor sporting arena.
The winning bid was put together by the Italian Tennis Federation and Sport e Salute in partnership with the Italian Government, the municipality of Turin and Regione Piemonte.
Sport Singapore, the Singapore Tourism Board and Singapore Sports Hub said in a joint statement: "We congratulate Turin on being named host city for the ATP Finals, and wish ATP all the best. We had put up a compelling bid and will take the decision in our stride. We will continue to look out for world-class events that can inspire the enjoyment of sport here, and add to our vibrancy and attractiveness as a sport and lifestyle destination.We would like to thank everyone who has helped us in the bid."
Men's singles world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, who is also president of the ATP Player Council, said he is "very excited" for the Finals to move to Turin.
"It's still a few years away but I know that the players will be very excited to compete there, and I also hope to be part of what will be a very special event," he added.
Said ATP executive chairman and president Chris Kermode: "Italy provides us with one of the strongest and most established tennis markets in Europe and has a proven track record for hosting world-class tennis events with the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome, as well as the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan."
London has staged the US$8.5 million (S$11.5 million) ATP Finals since 2009 at the O2 Arena and its current deal ends next year. Turin, London, Manchester, Tokyo and Singapore were shortlisted to host the Finals, with the National Stadium mooted as a possible venue.
Among the factors reportedly in Turin's favour was the Italian government's commitment of about €15 million (S$23 million) annually for five years to the ATP Finals, and also the issue of scheduling and travel time.
The current calendar sees players conclude their season in Europe. This year, the penultimate Masters 1000 tournament is in Shanghai from Oct 6 to 13 followed by Paris from Oct 28 to Nov 3, while the Finals is in London from Nov 10 to 17.
The women's equivalent of the season finale, the US$7 million WTA Finals, was staged at the 12,000-seater Singapore Indoor Stadium from 2014 to 2018.
It drew about 130,000 fans a year for the first two editions, 168,000 in 2017 and that figure increased by over 20 per cent last year.
The Chinese city of Shenzhen won the 2019-2028 hosting rights and also doubled the prize purse to US$14 million.