Chase for the Championships: ATP race heats up; WTA lineup is set

Chase for the Championships: ATP race heats up; WTA lineup is set

Two spots in the ATP Finals are still up for grabs. On the WTA front, Belinda Bencic secured the last spot after reaching the Moscow final—she won the title.

With only two weeks to go in the Race To London, things are really heating up in the battle for the last two spots at the Nitto ATP Finals. The five leading contenders for those last two spots—and eight of the leading nine contenders—are in action at 500-level events in Basel and Vienna this week.

They’re all trying to join Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Daniil Medvedev, Dominic Thiem and Stefanos Tsitsipas in the eight-man field at the $9,000,000 season-ending event.

The following screengrab is the Race as of October 21, 2019:


Zverev could become seventh ATP Finals qualifier by winning Basel

Alexander Zverev, who’s currently No. 7 in the Race To London standings—and thus the frontrunner for the seventh berth in the ATP Finals—could secure his spot at the Swiss Indoors Basel this week. The German, who won the ATP Finals last year, would need to win the title and have other results fall in his favor to do it.

“The ATP Finals trophy means a lot, everything, to all of the players,” Zverev said after capturing the biggest title of his career in London a year ago. “You only have so many chances of winning it.”

Three more of the five leading contenders for the last two spots—Roberto Bautista Agut, David Goffin and Fabio Fognini, who are currently sitting at No. 9, No. 10 and No. 11 in the Race To London—are also playing Basel, as is Stan Wawrinka, who’s currently at No. 15 after reaching the Antwerp final.

Two of the six men who’ve already qualified for London, Federer and Tsitsipas, are also in the Basel draw. They’re both on the top half and wouldn’t have to face Zverev until the final. Federer’s a nine-time champion at his home event—he’s also won his last 20 matches in a row there.

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Berrettini tries to get closer to London in Vienna

Matteo Berrettini, who’s at No. 8 in the Race To London, is playing this week’s other 500-level event, the Erste Bank Open in Vienna. The Italian has had a breakthrough last few months, reaching his first Grand Slam semifinal at the US Open and then his first Masters 1000 semifinal in Shanghai. Gael Monfils and Diego Schwarzman, who are No. 13 and No. 14 in the race, join him in the draw.

Home favorite Thiem, who’s already qualified for the ATP Finals, is the top seed in Vienna.

Bencic rounds out WTA Finals field by winning Moscow

She only needed to reach the final to qualify, but Belinda Bencic went all the way to the title in Moscow this past week and claimed the eighth and final spot in the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen.

“I’m so happy I reached the top eight,” Bencic said. “It means the world to me. It was a big goal this season, particularly after I started it so strongly, and having put myself in a position to reach the WTA Finals, I’m so happy now to have reached it. And to do it last minute makes it even more emotional.”


The Swiss, who’s playing the WTA Finals for the first time, joins Ashleigh Barty, Karolina Pliskova, Naomi Osaka, Bianca Andreescu, Simona Halep, Petra Kvitova and Elina Svitolina in the field.