Season Finale Hits New Heights In Dramatic Finish To 2016 ATP Season

ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena London (photo: Red Photographic)

LONDON, November 23, 2016

The 2016 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals culminated in a historic title match between the top two ranked players in the world, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic, marking the first time in history that the year-end No.1 Emirates ATP Ranking was on the line for both finalists in the final match of the season.

The dramatic finish to the season, which saw Murray defeat Djokovic 6-3, 6-4 in front of a 17,800 capacity crowd to become only the 17th player in history to finish as year-end world No.1 (since 1973), capped off another bumper edition of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at The O2.

This year’s event attracted a total attendance of 252,481, meaning the tournament has welcomed in excess of 250,000 fans each year to The O2 arena since 2009. The 2016 edition saw the season finale attract its two millionth fan since moving to London.

The tournament, aired on 59 broadcasters in 198 territories, attracted record audiences worldwide. Global viewership on television is forecast to come in at approximately 111 million, a 14% increase on 2015. On digital, broadcast streams on Tennis TV, the ATP’s official live streaming site, hit 7.5 million, a 4.1 % increase on the previous year.  Meanwhile the ATP’s websites registered 19.8 million page impressions, a 10.7% increase from 2015.

In the UK, Murray’s dramatic semi-final win against Canadian Milos Raonic drew a peak audience on the BBC of 4.5 million, the highest viewership of any Barclays ATP World Tour Finals match on BBC since the tournament moved to London in 2009. The 5-7, 7-6(5), 7-6(9) encounter, in which Murray saved a match point, was also the longest best-of-three set match in the history of the tournament, at three hours and 38 minutes. The final on Sunday evening also drew a peak audience of 4.5 million on the BBC.

Chris Kermode, ATP Executive Chairman & President, said: “It was unprecedented to have the No.1 ranking come down to the last match of the season for both players, providing a truly dramatic finish to a historic tournament. The O2 arena once again provided the perfect stage for such a thrilling finale to the 2016 ATP World Tour season.”

History was also made in the doubles event. While Henri Kontinen and John Peers captured their first season finale crown, it was Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares that snatched the year-end No.1 doubles team ranking, presented by Emirates. It marked the first time that two brothers, Andy and Jamie, were to finish atop the singles and doubles rankings respectively.

The tournament also launched a new partnership between the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals and Unicef, the world’s leading children’s organisation. This included the launch of the Super 8, in which the world’s best eight qualified tennis players came together at the season-ending finale on a mission to help Unicef raise awareness and vital funds to keep children safe. The partnership raised more than US$250,000 that will help Unicef provide life-saving food, vaccines, education and protection for children in danger around the world.

The 2016 tournament also attracted a number of celebrities to The O2 across the eight days of competition. Among those to attend were Jose Mourinho, Gerard Pique, Jude Law, Woody Harrelson, Kevin Spacey, Hugh Grant, Clive Owen, and David Beckham.

The Barclays ATP World Tour Finals has a rich history dating back to the birth of the Masters in Tokyo in 1970. The tournament will be held at The O2 in London through 2018.