Singapore will have to wait a little longer to welcome the top men's tennis players, after the ATP announced yesterday the Italian city of Turin will replace current host London in staging the season-ending ATP Finals from 2021 to 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.
It will also offer a record prize fund of US$14.5 million (S$19.7 million) in 2021, up from the current US$8.5 million.
It is the first time Italy will host the Finals, and Turin is the 15th venue since the tournament's inception in 1970.
Sport Singapore, the Singapore Tourism Board and Singapore Sports Hub congratulated Turin in a joint statement and noted: "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."
London has staged the 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 calendar now sees players conclude the 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, and the Finals are in London from Nov 10 to 17.
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."
With six titles, Roger Federer is the most successful ATP Finals player but last year's edition was won by rising German star Alexander Zverev, who beat Novak Djokovic in the final.
Men's singles world No. 1 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.