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19.02.2002

Masters Cup - year-end Event

The Tennis Masters Cup is together with the four Grand Slams (Wimbledon, US Open, French Open and Australian Open) one of the five premier events on the world tennis calendar. This unique event brings together an elite field, which includes only the world's top eight players.

The first Championship of this kind took place in Tokio in December, 1970. Six leading players took part in the Championship that year. The next year already seven players competed (the prize money counted 15 000 US Dollars) in Paris.The third tournament of this kind took place in Barcelona, Spain in 1972. That was the World Championship that took place accoring the scheme, existing nowadays.

Ivan Lendl and Pete Sampras won the World Championship five times each: Ivan Lendl – in 1981, 1982, 1985, 1986, 1987; Pete Sampras – in 1991, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1999. Gustavo Kuerten won Tennis Masters Cup in 2000 and last year the best player was Lleyton Hewitt.

The results of Year-end World Championship give the answer to the most intriguing question of the year: who is the World No.1 player? Marat Safin lost the final match to Gustavo Kuerten in 2000; and in 2001 Kuerten himself lost to Lleyton Hewitt, also in the final match. Yevgeny Kafelnikov didn't miss any Year-end World Championship since then and he was the finalist in 1997. He also reached SF in 1999/2001. In 2000 Marat Safin reached SF in Lisboa.

Tennis Masters Cup has been already hosted by Tokio, Paris, Barcelona, Boston, Houston, Melbourn. Year-end World Championship took place in New York from 1977 till 1989, in Frankfurt-am-Main – from 1990 till 1995 and in Hannover – from 1990 till 1999. But it was decided by the ATP that Year-end World Championship can't take place every year in one and the same country and city, because it decreases the role of tennis popularisation in the world. Since 2002 Year-end World Championship bears the name Masters Cup and it has already took place in Lisboa and Sydney. Now St. Petersburg has applied for hosting this event in a cultural and sports center of Russia.

The idea to host Tennis Masters Cup in St. Petersburg belongs to St. Petersburg Open. The idea to host Tennis Masters Cup –2003 is closely connected to the celebration of St. Petersburg tricentinary, which guarantees the appropriate attention of the world's press and the social attention. St. Petersburg tennis history, modern sports arenas, the infrostructure development level, the support from the government in addition to the experience in organizing tennis tournaments (St. Petersburg has already received two special awards from the ATP) let St. Petersburg host the sports events of any level.

The Prize Money for Tennis Masters Cup is $3,700,000. The winner, in case of 5 wins in 5 matches, will have a chance to earn more than $1,5 million; the finalist, winning 4 matches of 5 – up to $900,000. Even an alternative receives $50,000 just for coming to the evnt.

It's essential to notice that this tournament had three names in a history: "Masters" – in 1970-1989, "ATP World Championship" – in 1990-1999 and its present name, which is "Masters Cup"

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