Will An Italian Reach The ATP Finals?
We’re heading to the final stretch of the season, with only three weeks separating us from London’s World Tour Finals.
The Shanghai Masters, the second-to-last Masters of the year, showed us that the everything has yet to be said on who will be playing in London in a few weeks. At the moment, six players have already booked their spot for the final event of the year, we’re talking about the ‘Big Three’ Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and the young guns Daniil Medvedev, Dominic Thiem, and Stefanos Tsitsipas. This means that there are two places left, and at least four or five players will fight for them.
Alexander Zverev managed to reach the final in the Shanghai Masters, losing to Medvedev. With this achievement, the German earned 600 points, that pushed him to the seventh place of the Race to London, with a 370-point-lead on Roberto Bautista Agut, currently in the ninth position.
Does an Italian have a chance?
Two italian players also had beautiful results in the last tournament. We’re talking about Matteo Berrettini and Fabio Fognini, who both reached the quarterfinals.
Matteo Berrettini’s real chances
The 23-year-old, who started the year as no. 54 in the rankings, had a beautiful season, winning two ATP titles, in Budapest on clay and in Stuttgart on grass, and showing some high-quality tennis throughout the whole year. He improved his ranking week by week, and is now 11th, just one step behind the top 10. A qualification to the World Tour Finals would be the right prize for his amazing improvements.
In 2017 I wrote about him for the first time, warning you that he would be someone to remember very soon. What really amazes me about Berrettini is his humility and his dedication, so he will for sure be aware of his possibilities, and will focus to reach his main goal. He is the 8th in the Race to London, with a 40-point lead on Bautista Agut, and has two remaining tournaments on his schedule: Vienna’s ATP 500 and the Paris-Bercy Masters 1000. Of course he will need good results in both tournaments if he wants to hold his place. He will be the only player in the ‘Race-fight’ to play Vienna, because Zverev, Fognini, Bautista Agut and Goffin all chose to play in Basel, so he could take advantage from this, even if there will be very strong players in Austria too, such as Medvedev and Thiem, to name the first two that come to my mind.
Fabio Fognini, can he still do it?
The other Italian who will fight for a place in London is Fognini, who is a bit behind in this classification, currently #11. 290 points separate him from the fellow-countryman we spoke about earlier, but he could already get some important points this week, because he’s playing in Stockholm, where he’s the #1 seed. In the Swedish ATP 250, Verdasco’s withdrawal and #6 seed Opelka’s loss in the first round meant a lucky draw for Fognini, since both were placed in his half. The first seeded player opponent should be Shapovalov in the semifinals, which means that the MonteCarlo Masters champion really should not miss this chance and try to get as many points as possible. 250 points would give him a lot of confidence heading to the final two weeks of the season. The other players who also chose to play this week are Monfils and Goffin, respectively #1 and #2 seed in Antwerp ATP 250.
We will see if one of them will manage to be a part of the World Tour Finals, but what is sure is that we will have a lot of fun in this final part of 2019. So be ready for everything and enjoy these last weeks of tennis anyway!
Main Photo from Getty.