Hubert Hurkacz has qualified for the 2021 ATP Finals following his thrilling three-set victory over James Duckworth in the Paris Masters quarterfinals. Hurkacz becomes the second Polish man after Wojtek Fibak to qualify for the singles event at the season-ending championships where he will make his debut.
Just a week ago, his hopes of qualifying were in serious jeopardy with the 24-year-old overtaken by Jannik Sinner in eighth place after his shock first-round exit in Vienna. But the race went down to the wire. Sinner and the chasing pack which included Cameron Norrie, Aslan Karatsev, and Felix Auger-Aliassime couldn’t quite make any serious inroads this week.
With Hurkacz completing the line-up, let us take a look at the eight men who will vie to win the prestigious title in Turin – the new host city of this event.
The Eight Elite
It all comes down to this. 🏆 🇮🇹
— ATP Tour (@atptour) November 5, 2021
1. Novak Djokovic
Best result: Winner, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2015
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic became the first man to qualify at the event shortly after capturing his sixth Wimbledon title in July. The Serbian superstar has won three Grand Slam titles in 2021 and went 27-1 in Grand Slam matches this year – the only stain coming in the US Open final. Djokovic has won the ATP Finals five times in his trophy-laden career, just one short of Roger Federer’s record of six titles.
2. Daniil Medvedev
Best result: Winner, 2020
Daniil Medvedev is second in the Race. He will fondly be remembered as the man who ended Djokovic’s Grand Slam dominance in 2021. The Russian World No. 2 captured his maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open after beating the Serb is straight sets in the final. He will lay claim as the man who stopped history at the very last hurdle. Medvedev is the reigning ATP Finals champion.
3. Stefanos Tsitsipas
Best result: Winner, 2019
Stefanos Tsitsipas became the youngest winner of the ATP Finals in 18 years after winning the 2019 edition. The Greek has punched his ticket once more at the season-ending championships. Tsitsipas has had a mixed season, but his major highlight this year remains his first Grand Slam final appearance at the French Open. He has also registered a tour-leading 55 match wins this season. However, there is a cloud of uncertainty surrounding his participation after retiring from his second-round match at the Paris Masters with injury.
4. Alexander Zverev
Best result: Winner, 2018
Next in line is Alexander Zverev, winner of the ATP Finals in 2018. Zverev has racked up four ATP titles this season with his most recent success coming on the indoor hard courts of Vienna. This has been another truly iconic year for the World No. 4. At the Tokyo Olympics, he became the first German man to win a singles gold medal in tennis.
5. Andrey Rublev
Best result: Group Stage, 2020
Another solid season for the Russian power-hitter has been deservedly rewarded with a second straight appearance. Rublev, however, comes into this year’s tournament in a terrible run of form. He has picked up two wins from his past seven matches and hasn’t won back-to-back matches since the start of October. If he intends to get out of the group stage, he will need to eradicate that form.
6. Matteo Berrettini
Best result: Group Stage, 2019.
There will he a home representative in Matteo Berrettini at the ATP Finals. The World No. 7 will be the lone Italian in the singles draw. Berrettini has won two titles this year including the coveted Queen’s Club Championships on grass. He would finish runner-up to Novak Djokovic in his first Grand Slam singles final at Wimbledon. Berrettini returns to the ATP Finals scene after missing out from last year’s edition.
7. Casper Ruud
Best result: Qualifies for the first time
Casper Ruud was made to wait anxiously to secure his berth at the ATP Finals. He will be one of two debutants in Turin after a terrific year on the ATP tour. The perpetually tough Norwegian has bulldozed the ATP’s lesser-ranked players at low-key events this year, winning five ATP 250 titles and peaked at a career-high ranking of World No. 8.
8. Hubert Hurkacz
Best result: Qualifies for the first time
As mentioned at the top of the article, Hurkacz is indeed the last man to qualify at the ATP Finals in 2021. The Pole, along with Ruud, will be the two debutants in Turin. Hurkacz who is set to play Djokovic in the Paris Masters quarterfinals on Saturday, won the biggest title of his career at the Miami Open earlier this year. And it looks like that victory over Sinner at the Hard Rock Stadium has turned out to be pivotal in the ATP Race points calculation.
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