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HISTORY Originally it was called “Masters Grand Prix” or more simply “Masters” and the name spoke for itself. The tournament was created by the ITF (International Tennis Federation), in 1970, to be the Final event of the season with only the Tennis elite, meaning the players who had won the most points in the Grand Prix Tournaments, supposed to compete.

The right name and the right qualification criteria, however, didn`t secure the presence of the best players. All throughout the 70s, in fact, a separate circuit was rivaling with the Grand Prix. It was organized by the WCT (World Championships Tennis) and had its own final event, the WCT Finals, held in Dallas, Texas.

Both circuits were awarding points for the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) Ranking, although very oddly no points were at stake in the two final events, but, in some cases, players were just competing in one of the two, due to specific contractual commitments.

This explains why Jimmy Connors missed the Masters Grand Prix for 3 consecutive years, from 1974 to 1976, when he was the World No.1, and why Bjorn Borg didn`t compete in 1976 and 1978. The 1976 edition, won the by the Spaniard Manuel Orantes, was particularly disappointing, since also the No.

3, Ilie Nastase, missed out. During the 80s, the top players used to compete in both circuits, although the WCT was organizing less and less tournaments, therefore they always played in both the year end events. In 1990, when the ATP started running the tour as a one unique circuit, the Masters was renamed as ATP World Tour Championship and finally began to awards points.

The name was changed again to Tennis Masters Cup, in 1999, when the tournament merged with the Grand Slam Cup, an event created by the ITF in 1990 and offering an higher prize money than any other tournament, including the Majors, although it didn`t allocate points for the Ranking.

In 2009, the tournament was renamed as ATP World Tour Finals, its current denomination.