Season-ending ATP event leaving Shanghai

Updated: July 3, 2007, 9:33 AM ET
Associated Press

WIMBLEDON, England -- The season-ending ATP championships will move to London from Shanghai starting in 2009.

The Masters Cup, which features the top eight players and doubles teams, will be renamed the ATP World Tour Finals and played in London for four years, the ATP said Tuesday.

The $4.5 million tournament will continue to be played in November when it moves to the O2 Arena in East London. Last year's event, won by Roger Federer, had prize money of $4.45 million.

"They may not like the weather here, but this place has a roof," ATP executive chairman Etienne de Villiers said.

Anschutz Entertainment Group, the O2 Arena's owners, and the Lawn Tennis Association financed the bid to stage the competition, with the All England Club providing logistical and marketing support.

De Villiers said there was a good chance the ATP tournament would stay in London beyond the initial four-year agreement.

The move follows the WTA's decision last week to move its end-of-season championships to Qatar in 2008 for three years and then to Istanbul from 2011-13.

The O2 Arena, located in the former Millennium Dome, opened last month as a multipurpose venue and will stage basketball and gymnastics events at the 2012 Olympics.

The arena will also host concerts, including The Rolling Stones, Prince and Elton John, and will be the venue for some NHL games in September.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press