Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals at the US Open. But with two months to go before the season-ending event at the Pala Alpitour, the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin is heating up. The previous qualifiers Casper Ruud, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Daniil Medvedev are well placed in places three to five.
But among them the battle is near. Felix Auger-Aliassime is currently in seventh place and is trying to secure his place in the year-end championship for the first time. The Canadian missed an opportunity to build a points cushion at the US Open, where he lost to Jack Draper in the second round.
But with 2,860 points, the 22-year-old sits 160 points ahead of eighth-placed Alexander Zverev, a two-time Nitto ATP Finals champion who has not competed since the US Open through injury. Auger-Aliassime is just 190 points behind sixth-placed Andrey Rublev, who is attempting to qualify for the third straight season.
Rublev reached the quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows. If 15th place Novak Djokovic, this year’s Wimbledon champion, stays in the top 20 of the race as expected, then that will put him in seventh place this year, not eighth.
Two weeks later this month there will be five ATP 250 events where players can take their steps to get closer to qualifying or secure their position. The next big chance for the stars of the ATP Tour to make a big leap will be the week of October 3, which will see ATP 500 events in Nur-Sultan and Tokyo.
Defeated Alcaraz. Casper Ruud in the final of the US Open
Mats Wilander, special adviser to the daily L’Équipe, tried to analyze during the two-week US Open what makes Carlos Alcaraz an already special player.
And according to the Swede, the 19-year-old Spaniard is a combination of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic. “Carlos is the product of Roger (Federer), Rafa (Nadal) and Novak (Djokovic). He grew up watching her on TV. He takes from Rafa the passion and love for competition.
From Roger he gets his artistic side, the drop shots, the serve and volley etc. And from Novak he gets his flexibility and quality of movement. I’m not sure if he moves better than Novak, but he’s faster. Despite everything, his passion is different from Rafa’s: he fights with a smile.
We had never seen that before! Maybe with Gustavo Kürten, but different… He’s trying more paybacks than any big player has ever tried. He really is the product of a sport owned by Roger, Rafa and Novak. I thought Stefanos Tsitsipas could be that product. Carlos Alcaraz went even further.”