Three Nitto ATP Finals berths remain up for grabs, as the race to Turin slowly takes shape at the Paris Masters.

The trio of players currently in line to secure those tickets all advanced to the round of 16 Wednesday, as did the competitor in the No. 9 spot. But two hopefuls who needed to make a deep run here in order for next week’s ATP 250 events to have significance on their qualifying chances were sent packing.

The rundown:

No. 6: Stefanos Tsitsipas [WON]

The Greek furthered his Turin case by cooling off Felix Auger-Alisasime, 6-3, 7-6 (4). Tsitsipas saved six of the seven break points he faced in improving to 6-3 against the incoming Basel champion. “My slice worked perfectly. I was able to go from cross to down the line almost effortlessly. It felt good to be able to navigate the ball so well with precision,” Tsitsipas assessed in an interview with Prakash Amritraj. His next matchup is what the race to the finish line is all about.

Tsitsipas will seek his 50th win of the year on Thursday.

Tsitsipas will seek his 50th win of the year on Thursday.


No. 7: Alexander Zverev [WON]

The 2020 finalist escaped Ugo Humbert, 6-4, 6-7 (3), 7-6 (5), to eliminate the only home favorite to get out of the first round. After failing to serve out the match at 5-4 in the second set, Zverev found himself playing from behind. He won a massive 16-minute, 18-point game to break back for 4-4 in the decider and later erased a 2-4 deficit in the tie-break. Humbert incorrectly challenged with the breaker tied at 5-5, before Zverev finished off the 3:32 battle with a backhand winner. It sets a crucial clash with Tsitsipas, who has taken eight of their 12 career meetings and their only prior encounter indoors (2019 ATP Finals).

No. 8: Holger Rune [WON]

Rune opened his title defense by easing past qualifier Dominic Thiem, 6-4, 6-2. The Dane did not drop serve, fending off all five break points Thiem created. Last year, Rune upended five Top 10 players on his way to a maiden 1000 crown. More of that magic may be required to maintain his Turin positioning—a rematch of last year’s final with Novak Djokovic looms as a potential tasty quarterfinal.

No. 9: Hubert Hurkacz [WON]

Hubi surpassed the 1,000 ace mark in a season for the first time, as he continued his late fall surge. The winner of the most recent Masters 1000 event in Shanghai, the Pole dismissed Roberto Bautista Agut, 6-3, 6-2, to keep the pressure on those in front. His next opponent shouldn’t go away quietly…

Rune is coming off a semifinal showing in Basel (l. to Auger-Aliassime).

Rune is coming off a semifinal showing in Basel (l. to Auger-Aliassime).


No. 11: Casper Ruud [LOST]

It’ll be Francisco Cerundolo, not the Norwegian, who faces Hurkacz come Thursday. A day after outlasting Gael Monfils, Cerundolo posted a 7-5, 6-4 victory. It virtually ends any chance of Ruud defending his 2022 finalist points from Turin unless he gets in as an alternate.

No. 12: Tommy Paul [LOST]

The No. 2 American had survived three match points in his opener with Richard Gasquet, but today, couldn’t muster enough of a comeback. Botic van de Zandschulp ousted the No. 12 seed, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3, in two hours and 27 minutes for a date with No. 5 seed Andrey Rublev.

No. 13: Alex de Minaur [WON]

Down an early break in the third, De Minaur recovered to overcome lucky loser Dusan Lajovic, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, for the 200th match win of his career. The Aussie, who staved off a match point in the first round, awaits the winner of Jannik Sinner and Mackenzie McDonald.

NOTE: No. 10 Taylor Fritz previously withdrew with an abdominal injury and Karen Khachanov moved up one place to No. 14 on Tuesday with his victory over Laslo Djere.